Winslow's Tea Stories ARCHIVE EDITION
Valentine's Day 2011
As January turns into February and the days become longer, Valentines Day approaches. Cards of an affectionate nature arrive in the mail or appear on the table, perhaps merely a prelude to the flowers and confections to follow.
While handmade valentine cards were traditionally created from lace and ribbons, nowadays they are far likelier to be made of paper. It often adds a special touch to supplement a card with something a little different. In the case of Elizabeth Rose Tudor, this year's Valentine's Day festivities will include birch bark. It is not a coincidence that much of the firewood keeping Elizabeth warm this winter is paper birch, known in the old days as canoe birch. The bark peels easily from logs. When not needed in the morning to kindle the fire, the extra birch bark is stacked in a corner of the woodshed for future reference.
Birch bark has additional uses besides material for fires and canoes. One of them is mailbox construction. Children enjoy Valentine’s Day as much as grown ups, for love is especially important to them, and they are just as excited as the next person to find a hand addressed letter to them in the mail, especially if the mailbox is small and tacked to a tree.
Tasha created many Valentine cards through the years, and in 1984 assembled a book called All for Love, which approached the subject matter with the inclusion of poems by William Blake, Shakespeare, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, among others. In addition to Valentine cards, Tasha made cakes and cookies on the 14th, and always encouraged others to enjoy the occasion.
-Photos and story by Tasha's grandson, Winslow Tudor.