By Sheridan Lane, director, culinary program and operations, Lincoln Land Community College
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, February is certainly touted as the time for love. According to a recent survey from Wallethub.com, the time of love also means the time of spending! This study states that consumers in the US will shell out nearly $21.8 billion keeping hearts a flutter this season, and believe it or not, the same study also found that 9.5 billion of those dollars spent will be on gifts that loved ones didn’t really want. Uhhf!
If you are still racking your brain trying to figure out what to do for Valentine’s Day, consider something a bit more intrinsic this season. Before you run out and drop a huge wad on the “perfect” Valentine’s Day surprise, consider the findings of the Harvard Study of Adult Development which is the longest running study on happiness performed over the last 80 plus years (yes, participants are in their 90s). Relationships, not money, fame or gifts, keep us physically healthier over time, so why not let Cupid’s piercing arrow serve a reminder to invest in the quality of our connections?
While this concept may be easy to comprehend, questions about how to do that in times of Covid keep fizzing up? Yes, I know there are some universal relationship musts: time together, being present and communicating (listen and be listened to), but the ways in which I facilitate those relationship fueling activities in my own life have changed dramatically. Date nights out to dinner, gathering with friends, traveling to explore new things together have mostly been curtailed during the pandemic, making it just a little bit more tough to really connect. Sure, Facetime and phone calls are great, but as I plough through this frigid week, planning (hoping actually) for warmer days, for fun times face-to-face, and for quality time together with those I haven’t seen in forever, will have to be the placeholder keeping those relationships afloat. The cherry on top for me is that while this Valentine’s Day will certainly not be elaborate, I am grateful to celebrate with a special crew of folks I love very much over a Valentine’s brunch that will include – no TV, no phones, good food, maybe even cards or a board game, and several types of soda floats! Sign me up for the “Old Fashioned” one!
Root Beer Float
Freeze your tall float glasses ahead of serving.
1 or 2 scoops of high quality, vanilla ice cream
Root beer such as Abita, Fitz’s or Sprecher’s
1.) Strawberry ice cream, cream soda and fresh sliced strawberries
2.) Alternating scoops of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet with cream soda
3.) For adults, prepare a classic Old Fashioned and top with vanilla ice cream and a splash of cream soda.
With any of the options, don’t forget to tilt the glass to the side and slowly pour the soda over the ice cream to avoid extra fizz. Top with whipped cream and a cherry on top.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry and Value Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions? Email email@example.com.