I remember being in elementary school, making shoe boxes decorated with Valentines Day doily hearts in pink and red, hoping I would get lots of chocolate and fun cartoon cards from my classmates. There was something about Valentines Day that brought everyone together. Maybe it was just because the rule was that you had to bring a Valentine for everyone. Still, I think the simple act of writing a name on a small card at the age of 8 can bring you to a new level of acceptance and, in a way, love for the people you may not even like very much.
As I got older, Valentines Day went from this sweet, simple concept to, OMG! I need a date for Valentines Day! Ugh. What misery. I mean, seriously- who thought up this crazy holiday anyway? If there was no date to be found, it became a men-are-stupid-who-needs-em-lets-eat-chocolate-till-we-feel-sick sort of day. Actually, sometimes even with a date, this was the typical end to the day.
I still love Valentines Day though. All the pink hearts still find a way to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Speaking of feeling warm and fuzzy, the strawberry-infused vodka I made the other day is perfect for a last minute Valentines Day cocktail. Rather than waiting for days or weeks for the fruit to infuse the vodka, I found a quick and easy way to create a pale pink vodka that tastes of pure strawberries.
Start with a bottle of vodka and 2 cups of strawberries. Take the 2 cups of strawberries and puree them in the food processor.
Put the puree in a fine mesh sieve and place it over a large bowl or pitcher. Slowly pour the vodka over the strawberry puree. Continue until you have poured the entire bottle over the strawberries. Store in an airtight container or strain back into the original vodka bottle. Keep in the refrigerator or freezer.
Simple, fresh, and festive. No matter what you find yourself doing on Valentines Day this year.