Red Valentine hearts have been hanging in the bay window of my Swan’s Nest kitchen since the 1st of February. It’s a tradition I carried with me to Colorado from our Dallas home – one established when our sons were little. I’m sure my neighbors still think I do it for the neighborhood kids, but truth-be-told, I hang those Valentine hearts in the window each year for ME.
You see, I have an almost-Valentine birthday, and when I was little, my mother would host a party at home for me each year. The table was draped with a white linen cloth and there were red Valentine hearts everywhere – in the windows next to the front door, on the party invitations, pasted to the ruffled, white crepe paper candy cups filled with red cinnamon hearts at each guest’s place, and incorporated into the centerpiece.
As Valentine’s Day approaches each year, I’m transported back to memories of those annual celebrations, and I can hardly wait to hang the hearts in my windows. No doubt, the thrill of those childhood parties contributed to why birthdays and special meals have always been huge in our family – so important that I have devoted my career to food and celebration. There’s nothing like walking into the kitchen a million times a day and smiling at the sight of those red hearts in the window. Such a simple thing, and yet they generate so much joy.
I’m smiling these days for another reason. Our new kitchen addition is almost complete. Last week, we filmed the installation of the new quartz countertops and several of the large appliances for a future episode of At Home with Christy Rost. Later in the week, our tile experts Sean and Ryan installed the travertine backsplash, and our plumber Robert hooked up the sinks, disposals, and exterior venting system to the cooktop’s downdraft. Next week, our good friend, Phil with Colorado Custom Wood Floors will begin installing the select-grade hickory wood floor over our in-floor heating system. I’m certain the kitchen will be transformed before my eyes as the floor goes down.
As snowflakes drift past my window, I’m headed to the kitchen to bake a batch of Valentine cookies to share with friends. This year, I’m baking them in Swan’s Nest’s “old kitchen”, but it won’t be long before I start cooking up a storm in the new one. May your Valentine’s Day be filled with hearts….