Valentine’s Day weekend is here and it’s a time to celebrate love. For some, it means a night out-on-the-town including restaurant reservations and maybe catching a romantic movie at the theater. For others it could be an intimate and romantic candlelight dinner at home with a sweetheart. For all who celebrate Valentine’s Day it’s a day that we take to collectively recognize the people that we love.
Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday (whether it’s because you could care less or because you view it as a commercial holiday), it has a good point. Recognize the ones you love. Too often we fail to say the words of appreciation that we should be gifting to one another. Especially to those we spend the most time with. We become accustomed to having them in our lives and can sadly take them for granted. Our daily “I love you” becomes routine. Of course one means it, but fully taking a moment to recognize that love is a powerful thing. It reminds us to be grateful for the people who love and support us. We’re fortunate to have them in our lives and fortunate that they accept our love in return. Being loved is wonderful, but someone allowing you to love them is even more special.
The meaning and different types of love are actually fascinating. Allow my inner nerdiness to come out for a second. The Ancient Greek’s created four words to symbolize the different types of love: eros (romantic love), phileo (affectionate platonic love), storge (family and friendship love), and agape (unconditional love). Agape love is a committed and chosen love. A love that sees beyond the superficial and accepts the loved one for who they are despite their faults. A love for humanity without expecting anything in return. To love someone, regardless of who they are, just because they are human. The highest form of love. On a spiritual level love is deep and profound. For some it’s a force that moves the world and for others it’s the whole meaning of life.
In a time when our society finds itself divided among a myriad of difference, it’s important to remember agape love. To try and love those around us, despite our glaring differences, simply because we’re human. The one major thread that connects us all. Go out this weekend and spread that love around. Not just to the people in your inner circle, but also to those outside of it. I’ll remind myself to do the same. Happy Valentine’s Day weekend friends. All my love to you!
This white chocolate bark is quick and easy to create. It’s also great for gifting to a large number of people. It hits all the good spots: salty, sweet, crunchy, aromatic, and creamy from the white chocolate. Try and use high quality white chocolate for the best flavor. The dried culinary rose petals (food grade) can be found at specialty stores or online, like these. Many Chinese food markets carry dried rose buds in their tea aisle as well. Visit the Cocoa Nib Truffles post for instructions on how to quick temper white chocolate (link provided below).
Rose, Strawberry & Pistachio White Chocolate Bark With Pink Sea Salt
Makes about 40 squares
5 cups (20 ounces) 31%-33% white chocolate, tempered (“How To Temper Chocolate” instructions here)
1/2 cup dried culinary rose petals or rose buds
1/2 cups roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
3/4 cup freeze dried strawberries, lightly crushed
1 tsp flaky pink sea salt
Line a large baking sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Pour tempered white chocolate onto prepared baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, quickly spread out chocolate into a thin and even layer. Immediately sprinkle on rose petals, pistachios, strawberries, and pink sea salt evenly over the entire surface. Gently press toppings into the chocolate. Let chocolate bark set completely.
Transfer bark onto a large cutting board. Heat the blade of a sharp chef knife under running hot water, wipe off wet blade with a kitchen towel, and cut bark into 2×2-inch strips to create individual squares. Reheat and clean off knife blade between each cut in order to keep square edges clean. If preferred, skip the squares and break apart bark with clean hands into small to medium sized pieces. Store white chocolate bark in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.