Valentines Gingerbread Houses

Sweet Love at The Solvang Bakery – Valentine’s Day and Gingerbread Houses

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Love is an emotion we know well at The Solvang Bakery.  Whether we’re putting the finishing touches on an elegant wedding cake for an anxious bride, or icing the words, “I Love You” onto short-dough cookies for a grandmother, we have the pleasure of observing the many flavors of love in our customers’ lives.

This last Christmas, our little shop played host to not one, but two engagements!  One of the couples, Jenn and Rob, have shared their story with us.  Here it is:

“December 8, 2012 will be a day I will never forget and made all the more special by all the lovely ladies at Solvang Bakery. My now fiance schemed with Melissa to create a proposal that was not only special but unique. We built a lovely gingerbread house at the bakery and when we were finished, Melissa thought there was just one thing needed to make the house perfect. She brought out a covered plate concealing a very special cookie with the words ” Will you marry me Jenn?” Of course once I uncovered the message I couldn’t believe what was happening and was completely overjoyed. I eventually said “YES!” after a lot of disbelieving “shut ups” and we are planning a our wedding for late 2013! Thank you so much Melissa and everyone for making this a day Rob and I will never forget!”

jenn and rob engagement - The Solvang Bakery

With Melissa and Billy coming up on 20 years of marriage, and Susan and Paul at 48 years, we are deeply honored that Rob chose our bakery as the locale for this momentous occasion.  Many thanks to Rob and Jenn for sharing their story!  Our other groom-to-be hid the engagement ring inside a gingerbread house…talk about a surprise!

Are you plotting something special this Valentine’s Day?  We’ve created a special Valentine’s Love Shack for 2013.  To achieve those pretty pink walls and roof, we used short-dough rather than gingerbread.  As always, you may personalize it with names on the roof…or perhaps a message…or a question…  We also created a Valentine’s Love Shack Kit.  Build and decorate one together – it serves as a tasty metaphor for things to come!  (Of course, your children and grandchildren will love them too)

valentines gingerbread house love shack solvang bakery

valentines gingerbread house kit love shackvalentines cookies solvang bakerythe-solvang-bakery-valentines iced cookies gift box

Sweets for the Sweet? Careful!

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Valentine’s Day is a treasured holiday at The Solvang Bakery – it makes us take pause and reflect on how fortunate we are to be in sustained relationships.  Susan and Paul have been married for 49 years and Melissa and Billy have been married for 20 years. We thought we’d poke around to better understand the history of this paramour’s holiday.

be-mine-cookies-the-solvang-bakery-300It seems the origins of Valentine’s Day are nearly as inconclusive as who shot Kennedy. There appears to have been several St. Valentines…at least one of them was allegedly beheaded on February 14 in the north of Rome. He may have been a priest who secretly presided over wedding ceremonies for soldiers so that they wouldn’t have to go to war…thereby inviting the wrath of Emperor Claudius. Or he may have been a priest who helped Christians escape prison in Pagan Rome. Falling in love with his jailor’s daughter, he signed a note to her, ‘From your Valentine.’

Valentine’s cards have been around for centuries. The first written valentine on record was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife, whilst he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.

EstherHowlandModern American Valentine’s cards were the brainchild of Esther A. Howland, a Mount Holyoke College graduate, who in the late 1840’s whipped up a dozen sample cards made with imported lace and paper from England. Thinking she might get $200 worth of orders, she received an astounding $5,000.  Eventually, she grossed $100,000 year and is now known as the Mother of the American Valentine…and interestingly, Esther never married…she does look rather stern.

One thing we do know for sure is that long-term marriages take care and feeding. Did we say feeding?

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but we’re pretty sure that tasty morsels will make a child’s heart glow as well.

valentines-cookies-gift-box-open-sm-heart-solvang-bakery-300As we looked into the origins of Valentine’s Day and the giving of Valentine’s, we came across a number of phrases associated with love and lovers. Perhaps one of the most commonly misused phrases at this time of year is sweets for the sweet. It’s a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet – the Queen is placing funeral flowers (the sweets) on the grave of Hamlet’s now deceased lover, Ophelia (the sweet). The whole scene is rather disturbing for a number of reasons…and it certainly has nothing to do with a lover handing a delicious treat to his betrothed!

new-gingerbread-love-shack-gold-hearts-300So, in sharp contrast to Shakespeare, our Valentine’s Day offerings are truly edible sweets that someone whom you find sweet will swoon over. You’ll find our edible Valentine’s gifts on our Valentine’s Holiday page at a variety of price points.

We’ve updated our Valentine’s Gingerbread Love Shack to include options for gingerbread sweethearts or gumball/candy sweethearts. We also thought the Gingerbread Man could use a girlfriend…the bakery gets lonely at night…so we have a pair of sweethearts that will keep your own paramours and little sweeties content over the three-day weekend.

blog-post-valentines-gingerbread-man-and-woman-the-solvang-bakery-2-500

new-gingerbread-love-shack-2014-the-solvang-bakery-300Our Valentine’s Gingerbread Love Shack Kit will bring some lovable moments with your children…or between a boyfriend and girlfriend. It might even be fun to hide a ring in one of the candy containers…just sayin’.

However you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and whatever its authentic origins, make sure you let those you love know you love them!

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine

http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/sweets-sweet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_Howland

http://www.worcesterhistory.org/wo-valentines.html#

http://www.wbur.org/2012/02/14/origin-valentines