It’s that time of year again when we might be thinking about Valentine’s Day gifts. Some people put a lot of meaning into the one day, hoping that their sweetheart will remember to shower them with roses, jewelry, or a special dinner out. As much as I enjoy those romantic gestures on the one day set aside to celebrate romantic love, I wouldn’t trade the everyday expressions of affection that come with a marriage that has lasted just over 33 years.
In the early days I spent weeks planning the Valentine dinner, choosing the perfect little gift, and reading all the Valentine cards in the store to find the one that seemed to have special meaning just for us. As the years have gone by, there have been some Valentine’s Days when we were too busy with our four children or our jobs to come up for air, much less celebrate with a romantic evening. Now that the children are grown and have their own lives, we have time again to put some thought into Valentine’s Day.
The funny thing is that after all these years the store-bought cards and the designer bouquets don’t have the same kind of romantic meaning that they once did. At this stage of our lives we value an inside joke, a creative whimsy, or an extraordinary gesture of caring that really shows that our sweetheart knows what we like and genuinely wants to go the extra mile to please us.
Every winter there is a flock of mallard ducks that swim in a pond on our ranch. Sometimes The Farmer makes a point to tell me he has seen them on the pond. Its’a a clue that he knows I will want to see the beautiful colored males with the plainer brown females paddling along together, so I’ll make it a point to walk out there. I can’t get too close, because they’ll fly away!
During January our hills have been transformed from dry brown to vibrant green after the rains we had a few weeks ago. We need snow in the mountains during the winter, and rain in our area to fill the reservoirs and aquifers. Just a little rain can do a lot of good, saving the farmers from irrigating with expensive water. It gives farmers a few days off…and just maybe the farmers’ wives will be treated to dinner out!
Besides needing rain to overcome the epic drought in California, I’m hoping we’ll have more rain this year so the wild flower bloom will be spectacular. We already have a few flowers in the meadow, like this bright pink wild sweet pea. I’m sure these flowers have an official name, but they look like sweet peas so that’s what I call them. They look like little Valentines!
For Valentine’s Day this year we’ll probably do the same thing as last year. The Farmer will bring me a perfect cup of coffee at breakfast time, and I will make us both some Avocado Toast, with mashed avocado and cute little hearts cut out of fresh avocados. I wrote a post about how to make Valentine Avocado Toast a few years ago and you can read about it here.
My favorite variety of California avocados are the Fuertes, which are in season during the winter months. Fuerte avocados can be harvested from early December into March. Fuerte avocados are especially tasty around Valentine’s Day! They’re such a pretty avocado too: pear-shaped, thin-skinned, delicately creamy fruit with full flavor. The ultimate romantic when it comes to avocados! “An Avocado A Day” has been promoted lately due to a study that shows a diet including avocados can lower bad cholesterol levels. Just another healthy reason to enjoy eating avocados and to give them as gifts to the ones we love!
Many of you already know that we have a website for our family farm. Beginning today you can get a sneak peak at the new gift boxes we photographed today, as well as the special pricing on Fuerte avocados while they’re in season. Fuerte avocados are not available in stores throughout most of the United States, but we will ship them direct from our farm. They’ll be picked to order, hand packed and sent Priority Mail to you. Then you will be able to make heart-healthy and super-tasty Valentine Avocado Toast too!