How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Although no, it’s probably more correct to put the question like this: do you somehow celebrate Valentine’s Day? And, since this is perhaps one of the most romantic holidays, I have a question for married couples – is there romance in your life? And can such a fragile thing as romance in general survive in our harsh reality, and even more so in family life with children?
Why do I ask: like any girl, on this day I also want flowers, breakfast in bed, valentines under the pillow and all sorts of cute and romantic things in the same spirit. But here’s the trouble: with all the many virtues of my husband, romance is not about him. Leshkin’s dignities include a lot of much more useful and simply invaluable skills in family life: he can fix, screw, and customize anything, and all this is literally joking (well, except for a million of my reminders, but that doesn’t count :)). A broken vacuum cleaner, a broken Internet connection, my mother’s TV that doesn’t work – these are all just children’s toys in Lech’s experienced hands. With a light touch of the keyboard, he can settle a real Armageddon at his work, in 5 minutes he can help me solve the problem with WordPress, when I call and start crying because I have been writing a recipe for 2 hours and everything has gone to hell. He took me to the doctor at 8 a.m. to the other end of Moscow (this is when I was with a plaster cast), was present at the birth (he did not even faint :)), and was not afraid to be the first to take the newborn Dimka in his arms. He also has an amazing ability to find a common language with anyone, regardless of age, race and religion – you must admit that not every IT specialist can boast of this. And in general, you can rely on Leshka like on a rock, and for family life this is simply priceless.
But all these valentines, breakfasts in bed, romantic things and gifts so dear to a woman’s heart (especially gifts) for my husband are on the mission impossible list. Well, he is not a romantic, whatever one may say, and at some point I realized that, instead of being upset about this, I had better just calmly accept it. Just like the fact that I will never be able to persuade him to dance salsa :).
By the way, in general, I strongly doubt that Lech will remember that today is Valentine’s Day, since all week he crawled home completely exhausted, only to sleep for a few hours and in the morning again into battle. Yes, this is the harsh reality of Lech’s work.
But does this mean that there is no romance at all in our family life? And that on Valentine’s Day I am sitting like a fool without a present? Not at all! I confess: I have another man who prepares breakfast for me, draws valentines and gives me flowers and lovely gifts :). And in his heart he is as romantic as I am, even more :).
I think if you still haven’t guessed who I am, this card speaks for itself :). Yes, this is Dimka, my favorite and sweetest romantic.
By the way, unlike Leha, Dimka seems to share almost all my hobbies. Well, except that except for salsa (although, perhaps, all is not lost here yet?). Just like me, he enjoys photographing and has an amazing ability to see beauty even in the most everyday things. Just like me, he loves to make beautiful things with his own hands, understands styles, understands a lot about beautiful interiors and says that he wants to be a designer. Just like me, he loves yoga and he loves to cook … In general, here you can go on endlessly, I will only say that every day it becomes more interesting with him, and we have even figured out how to derive practical benefit from our joint hobbies … For example, I will definitely need help with video training – and Dimka has already promised to help me with this! :).
I often think that for half your life you dream of meeting a person who would love you with unconditional love, the way you are, along with all your advantages and disadvantages, and would share all your interests and hobbies, or at least half of them. Then you get married, and you understand that all this is at least very naive, and in fact it is a great rarity when a spouse wants the same thing as you :). And that in general, in most cases, all that our halves want on a weekend is just to lie quietly on the couch, and we drag them to do shopping and are still angry that they do not get any pleasure from it :). Some time passes, and now we become a little wiser and stop tormenting our spouses with shopping, demanding the impossible from them (for example, dancing salsa), and we begin to respect their right to spend their weekends the way they want – even if it means lying on the couch with a laptop in an embrace.
And then your child somehow suddenly grows up and you suddenly realize that he is the very man who loves you with absolutely unconditional love and shares at least half of your hobbies. It turns out that he is also interested in testing new recipes (we recently mastered homemade chocolate), competing who will get more likes on Instagram, learning to take pictures and dream about how you will spend warm summer days together. And, I tell you, such discoveries are just wonderful :).
So today I dedicate Valentine’s Day to my little romance. Berry jelly is his favorite dessert, he just adores it! And me too, which is not surprising :).
- 500 – 550 g berries
- 2 glasses of clean drinking water
- 3 packs of gelatin *, like this:
- About 4 tbsp. light honey **
* I love strong jelly, so I usually take more gelatin than indicated on the package. If you have a different gelatin, then carefully read the instructions on the package – they all have different soak times and different dosages. I like this one the most because:
it is soaked for only 10 minutes
with him I get strong jelly, as I love
it dissolves easily and does not leave lumps
** If you are allergic to honey, you can use sugar or another sweetener, but then the recipe will no longer fit the paleo diet.
- Defrost berries (if using frozen ones).
- Rub the berries through a sieve.
- It turns out this berry puree:
- What remains in the sieve (peels and bones), transfer to a small saucepan, pour 2 glasses of water and put on low heat. Let it boil, turn it off and cool slightly.
- While your “compote” is boiling, soak the gelatin in clean water, as indicated on the package. For sheet gelatin, like mine, 10 minutes is enough. And there is also free-flowing gelatin, which needs to be soaked for 40 minutes.
- Then strain our “compote” through a sieve into the same container in which the berry puree remained. Overall, I got about 800 ml. liquids. I usually measure to determine how much gelatin I need.
- Pour everything again into the same saucepan where the “compote” was cooked, and heat a little (without bringing it to a boil, we want live vitamins!).
- Squeeze out the soaked gelatin, it will look something like this:
- Dip the gelatin into a saucepan with warm berry juice and stir. It should dissolve, if not, turn on the fire under the saucepan and heat a little more.
- I add honey last, so as not to overheat it and not to lose vitamins and beneficial properties (honey loses them at t from 40C). How much honey (or sugar) you put in is up to your taste, I usually just try. I took 4 spoons and the jelly was sour, the cranberries are still quite sour berries. With sweeter berries, I think you can do less.
- Almost everything – it remains to pour the jelly into glasses or molds, cover them with cling film and refrigerate.
- And in the morning, pull out the glass with the already frozen jelly and enjoy! By the way, while I was writing this post, all the jelly disappeared without a trace – and this is always the case :).
Berry jelly is as delicious as it is beautiful! Doesn’t it look like precious rubies? Which cannot be left unattended in any way :).
PS Many thanks to everyone who helped me choose a photo for this post – as you can see, it was not easy :).