I wasn't raised celebrating Valentine's Day, and when I heard about this holiday, I was immediately envious of all my friends' childhoods- full of love notes and cards that were made in school in early February. I tend to like holidays and celebrations, and as I left my much more insular world of my childhood, I've enjoyed learning-about, and adopting holidays that are not my own.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about the hall-mark-ness of Valentine's Day. Besides for being commercialized like whoa, I also see that whatever the origin of the holiday was (which I do not really know enough about), seems to be diluted down to a weird pressure for lovers to buy each-other roses, chocolate, and lingerie. From a pretty personal perspective, I also have learned that Valentine's Day was historically a day which is known for the murder of Jews. When I tried to research this claim, I found one horrible account- The Massacre of Strasbourg in 1349. This was amidst a bunch of other murders of the Jewish people throughout the Black Plague. But this specific one was on Valentine's Day, and 2000 Jews were burned to death. I've heard that there were many other years which Valentine's Day was made to be used as a reason to murder my people, and I just want to make sure I acknowledge that.
I don't feel that this post is necessarily the place to go super into alllll the different holidays and their issues, but let's just say for now that the origins of many holidays are actually problematic. And I'm interested in learning more about it all, unpacking it, and figuring out ways to appropriately reclaim what is good about said holidays. BUT all this aside, I'm not trying to ruin the vibe of whatever cheer this holiday brings to people individually. AND I've decided to like this holiday for three reasons:
1. In the rush and rigmarole of this busy life, it's important to have days that are dedicated to indulgence and self love. I would hope that we could all make this part of our routine more than once a year, but sometimes it just doesn't happen, and having a day when it's "the vibe" all over the place, might make it easier.
2. Similarly, I believe in/and practice being in a loving relationship throughout the year. My relationship consists of loving and gratitude year-round, and to be honest my partner hates Valentine's Day. However, for many people in a relationship, this day is used as a way to celebrate their love on a regular Tuesday in the middle of the winter. Which is kinda nice.
3. And probably most importantly, when it comes to love and aphrodisiacs (which this post is really about- I promise that's coming!) is not just about sex. Don't get me wrong, sex is pretty important to me and many other people. But sexual energy is intertwined with creative energy, and when you're in the flow of love, you are much more likely to be more creative. And as a creative, that's important to me. So, just keep in mind that if you're a creative person (which I believe, we all are) and you're noticing blockages in your flow, I recommend indulging in love/aphrodisiac/etc.
...And here are some fun ways to do so!
Aphrodisiac herbs and foods are delicious while also opening the heart, increasing libido, lowering anxiety, and upping the bliss. You can read about many of the herbs I use in my work, in the listings for the Love Dust and the Beloved Aphrodisiac Bitters. Here, I'll move directly into the recipes I came up with for this season. I like them all so much because they're pretty easy, low in sugar, and downright yummy.
Literally Bliss Balls
Yield: 9 Balls
1 cup raw organic cashews
1 cup pitted dates
3/4 cup Roots & Crowns Love Dust (you can probably use any cocoa powder, but mine is full of aphrodisiac herbs and mushrooms, which also happen to be delicious)
(for the glaze:)
2 tbs. organic hibiscus flowers, dried
1 tbs. organic red rose petals, dried
4-8 cups white granulated sugar
dried pink rose petals for toppings
1/4 cup course cane sugar
Boil about 3/4 cup of water, and pour over the hibiscus and rose in a bowl. Mix it all up to make sure the flowers infuse the water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, add cashews, dates, and Love Dust to a food processor or blender (I used a food processor). Blend up, remove, and form little balls. I realized that when it was mixed in the processor it looked like crumbs, but when you form the balls they do stick and mold really easily!
Strain the liquid from the infusion into a bowl, and set the flowers aside. Slowly add granulated sugar until you have a glaze that is thick. If you have a glaze that's too runny, it won't coat the balls as easily, but you'll be able to tell pretty quickly and then you can add more sugar to the mix. Dip each ball into the glaze. For toppings, it's nice to sugar up the infusion flowers with the course cane sugar for some, and use light pink rose petals for others.
LOVE DUST LATTE
1 cup heated almond milk
1 tbs. rose simple syrup*
2 tsp. Love Dust
2 shots of espresso (optional)
Blend all together in a high powered blender for 1-2 min, pour into your favorite mug, and enjoy!
LOVE DUST SMOOTHIE
1 dragon fruit smoothie pack
2 tsp. Love Dust
1 cup almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
Blend all together in a high powered blender for 1-2 min, pour into a pretty clear glass (the color is AMAZING!), and top with crushed cashews and rose petals for fun.
1 tbs. rose simple syrup
2 tbs. fresh squeezed lemon
1.5 fresh rose tea OR vodka
3/4 cup fizzy water
1 dropper Roots & Crowns Beloved Aphrodisiac Bitters
Add first three ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake, shake, shake, dispense into a pretty cocktail glass. Top with fizzy water and ice (preferably with rose petals frozen in them!), and add a dropper of Beloved Aphrodisiac Bitters.
*To make rose simple syrup: mix 1/2 dried roses, 2 cups water, 1.5 cups sugar in a small pot, bring to light boil, lower to a simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain out the syrup!