By Catherine Rush Thompson
It is a wonderful seasoning of all enjoyments to think of those we love. ~ Molière
Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to think of those we love, as suggested by Molière. Interestingly, however, Valentine’s Day was not always been associated with love and romance. Some historians have suggested that Valentine’s Day evolved from early pagan rituals believed to promote health and fertility. Others have linked Valentine’s Day to a Christian feast day honoring the Valentini (men imprisoned for performing religious rites forbidden by the Roman Empire). Some of these men were reportedly executed on February 14th during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus (268 to 270 AD - when persecution of Christians was common). It was not until 496 AD that Pope Gelasius I designated February 14th as “La Fête de Saint Valentin” to honor these Christian martyrs. La Fête de Saint Valentin became associated with romantic love when Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales, linked the February feast to the mating of birds in his poem, The Parliament of Fowls (written in 1382). Its romantic significance was further suggested by Charles, the Duke of Orléans and nephew of King Charles VI of France, who wrote a loving poem to his wife beginning with “My very gentle Valentine,” while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. Valentine's Day currently signifies a cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world.
The French have long been considered the most romantic in the world. Kansas Citians can create a unique and romantic Valentine’s Day celebration that incorporates French flair with “wonderful seasoning of all enjoyment.”
Here are some options to consider:
Use French terms of endearment or Les Petit Noms d’Amour. Listen to a free French audio at: https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-vocabulary/les-petits-noms-damour-french-love-nicknames/.
Explore various pairings of French cheese and wine. The Gourmet Cheese Detective lists some excellent pairings of French cheese with suitable wines, noting “pairing French cheeses with the perfect wine is not an art; it's not even a science…it comes down to personal preference.” See their recommendations at: https://www.gourmetcheesedetective.com/Pairing-French-Cheeses.html. You can find wide selections of French wine and French cheese in local grocery and specialty stores.
Enjoy an exceptional French meal at a local restaurant. Check out the following restaurants’ websites for locations, special menus and reservations:
End the evening with free French music from Melody Loop. This link features a range of 48 French melodies that match a variety of musical tastes: https://www.melodyloops.com/music-genres/french/
Best Wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day!