The Origin of the Heart Shape
Nothing says “I love you” like a yummy treat! It is a fleeting, momentary sign of love, but nonetheless, one most will not refuse. I, for one, am not a proponent of big spending on Valentine’s Day. In the practice of my mother, I prefer to share my affection by baking something and keeping it simple.
So where does the valentine heart originate? Sources seem torn. Keelin McDonnell on Slate.com says it might have to do with a North African plant that is now extinct: Silphium. The plant was used as a seasoning and possibly as birth control, but eventually the seed pod of the plant, which was heart-shaped, became the pattern for coins that were minted. Somewhere along the line, the heart shape became associated with sex and eventually love. Interesting… money, sex, love – an age-old story.
Educationworld.com explains, that in the 1600s Saint Mary Margaret Alacoque,”had a vision of a heart inside a crown of thorns. The shape became more popularly known during the Victorian era, when Britons began using it on a variety of objects”. That, of course, seems a little more PG.
Other explanations include that the heart is the shape of lips or the female buttocks or a misrepresentation of the real organ.
Either way, hearts are here to stay!
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe
The following cookie recipe has been in my file for over 30 years, and I have used it for multiple holiday shaped cookies. The recipe is easy to mix up and makes a nice cake-like cookie. (No refrigeration necessary).
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 4 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Shortening
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Cream all wet ingredients together, mix in dry ingredients.
- Roll out dough on floured surface and cut with cookie cutters.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes
- Frost and decorate as desired.
Yield - 4 or 5 dozen depending on thickness
"Education World: Education World At Home." Education World: Education World At Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2013.
Seipel, Arnie. "The Dark Origins Of Valentine's Day." NPR. NPR, 13 Feb. 2011. Web. 14 Jan. 2013.
Carla J Swick (author) from NW PA on February 03, 2013:
Oh, okay!! I hear ya!
joel on February 03, 2013:
Waiting for a care package ... :P
Carla J Swick (author) from NW PA on January 28, 2013:
wabash annie from Colorado Front Range on January 28, 2013:
Loved the recipe and the pictures were excellent! Thanks for sharing.
Carla J Swick (author) from NW PA on January 16, 2013:
It's a lovely cake-like recipe. It makes a nice hearty cookie if you roll it a bit thicker. Thanks for sharing.
Dianna Mendez on January 16, 2013:
Carla, I now have a craving for some Valentine cookies. These look so pretty and the recipe is one that I can certainly use. Thanks for sharing.
Carla J Swick (author) from NW PA on January 15, 2013:
Thank you for your comment - it's a great recipe! Enjoy!
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 15, 2013:
These look too pretty to eat. I am all about Valentine's Day and heart-shaped anything. thanks for sharing this with us...
Sending Angels to you and yours ps