Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Romantic Postmark for a Romantic Day

A stack of Valentines in decorated envelopes ready to be packaged and sent off to a city offering a special cancellation in honor of the day.
Which one will I choose?

I know you're probably telling yourself that it's still January, and way too early to start thinking about St. Valentine's Day, but you're wrong.  Now is the PERFECT time to think about it because, if you plan ahead, you can delight the recipients of your Valentine's Day cards with a romantic postmark to match the day. Did you know that over 30 cities across the nation offer special cancellations for St. Valentine's Day?  If you've never participated in getting a special cancellation, then you are in for a treat.  Here are some examples:

Here is what you do:
To get a special Valentine-related cancellation, Valentines must be signed, sealed, addressed, and with stamps affixed.  Place them into an outer envelope addressed to: 

Valentine Cancellations
Participating city and state 

Be sure to address one of the cards to yourself so you can get the special cancellation back.

Here’s the entire list:

                          Bliss, NY 14024-9998
                      Darling, MS 38623-9998
                      Deary, ID 83823-9998
                      Fidelity, IL 62030-9998
                      Hart, TX 79043-9998
                      Hart, MI 49420-9998
                      Harts, WV 25524-9998
                      Honeyville, UT 84314-9998
                      Juliette, GA 31046-9998
                      Kissimmee, FL 34741-9998
                      Lovejoy, GA 30250-9998
                      Lovejoy, IL 62059-9998
                      Loveland, CO 80537-9998
                      Loveland, OH 45140-9998
                      Loveland, OK 73553-9998
                      Lovely, KY 41231-9998
                      Loves Park, IL 61111-9998
                      Loveville, MD 20656-9998
                      Loving, NM 88256-9998
                      Loving, TX 76460-9998
                      Lovington, IL 61937-9998
                      Romance, AR 72136-9998
                      Romeo, CO 81148-9998
                      Romeo, MI 48065-9998
                      Sugar City, ID 83448-9998
                      Sweet, ID 83670-9998
            Valentine, AZ 86437
                      Valentine, NE 69201-9998
                      Valentine, TX 79854-9998
                      Valentines, VA 23887-9998
                      Venus, PA 16364-9998

You have plenty of time to hand select special Valentines and dress up your envelope as I did here.  A couple of additions of clip art and a recipe for Café Au Lait for Lovers, and you have a card and envelope that people will treasure for years to come.  As a veteran rubber stamper and envelope artist, I've been sending out decorated envelopes for nearly 10 years.  Some people have developed quite a collection of them, and this pleases me to no end.  Why not start your own similar tradition?  If you have children, get them involved as well; the post office will thank you, and the kids will learn that not all mail is electronic.

Café Au Lait for Lovers 
Serves 2
¾ cup whole milk 
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar 
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 
One 2-inch cinnamon sticks 
1 strip orange peel, about 1/2" by 3"
5 whole cloves 
1 to 1 ½ cups hot brewed strong coffee 
¼ cup cold heavy cream
Ground cinnamon, for garnish
Cocoa powder, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, the 1/3 cup of sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Add the cinnamon stick, orange peel, and cloves and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and prevent the cocoa from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream with the remaining teaspoon of sugar until thick, frothy, and soft peaks form. Set aside.

Strain the milk mixture into a coffee pot or carafe and add 2 cups of the hot coffee (or up to 1/2 cup more, to taste.) Pour into cups or mugs and top each with a dollop of the lightly sweetened whipped cream. Serve immediately.

(The recipe is by Emeril.)

This post is linked to:

Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays


Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

What a great list for a fun Valentine's Day. And the coffee? Well fortunately for me, my Honey does not drink coffee.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a great idea! I'm not far from Kissimmee so that could be a drive by option as I'm toing and froing in Florida. Thanks for the notion!

And thanks for the recipe. YUM!


Sheila :-)

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Keep watching, Melynda, I have a lot of romantic recipes planned. Here's a preview: Strawberries Cyrano, a delicious dessert from a local restaurant specializing in sweet endings.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

I just left a moderate life, stopping by to say congratulations on winning your award.

The Church Cook said...

What a sweet idea and a recipe. THANK YOU,Pattie.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

Hello, I am featuring this great post in my Wednesday and wandering about Valentine's Day. Thanks.