Do you ever stop and think, dang, every "special day" is celebrated with cheap, not so tasty candy? If you are a mother, you know your child is going to come home wired from all the sugar at thier class valentines day party.
It's too much!
Here is a valentines day treat which the kids just love (I've done it for my classroom the past two years, and the children's eyes just light up). And it is a little more health conscious than kisses and dumdums.
I have two versions, the Blooming Rose, and the Rosebud. Both are fairly easy, but the Rosebud just a smidge easier, and a little safer for the younger ones.
**Important** If you are giving these to kids, be sure to remind them that there are pointy bits of wood, and to be careful!***
Step 1: Materials
Blooming Rose Materials
Twice as many toothpicks as strawberries
Tiny rubber bands
Vase (or one of those crystal lite cylinders)
Step 2: Blooming Rose Step 1
Take a new, valentines theme pencil, 2 toothpicks, and a tiny rubberband.
Wrap the band around the pencil so that the two toothpicks stick above the eraser. Be sure to line up the band and toothpicks so that the lay flat along the pencil. It the band is too high, the toothpicks will flare out.
Step 3: Blooming Rose Step 2
Using the leaf template, draw and cut leaves out of green construction paper.
I used the "paper doll" method, because I am lazy.
Write each Valentine's name on the leaf.
Step 4: Blooming Rose Step 3
You may find it easier to do this after step 4, maybe not. It doesn't matter which order you do it in, whichever you think is easier.
Line the rectangle part of the leaf up against the pencil so that the paper doesn't end where a toothpick is, and tape it down.
Then put small pieces of tape on the other side of the rectangle, above and below the leaf, and wrap the rectangle around the pencil, covering the toothpicks.
Step 5: Blooming Rose Step 4
Line the toothpicks up with the bottom (well top technically) of the strawberry, and pierce them into the strawberry.
You want to leave the green (sepals) on the berry, as they will look like the sepals on the rose!
Make sure there is enough toothpick in the berry to support it, and enough on the pencil that the berry doesn't get top heavy and loose it's bloom.
I find it is handy to put them in the vase once you do this.
Step 6: Blooming Rose Step 5
Now to bloom the rose. Don't get scared, this is one of the easiest fruit cravings you can do.
*tip 1 - it works better if your knife is very sharp, and you hand very stead
*tip 2- a cold strawberry is easier to carve than a warm one
About half way up the strawberry, make a shallow slice into the berry angling in slightly. If you divide the place where you start cutting to the bottom of the berry into thirds, you want to cut down two-thirds.
As you pull the knife back up, pull the blade towards yourself, curling the petal. They may need recurling as you handle the berry, but you still want to encourage the curl as you slice it.
Continue to do this another 3-4 times around the bottom of the berry.
Step 7: Blooming Rose Step 6
Once the first layer of petals are complete, carefully chose and area in between the petals and repeat, with smaller petals.
Be careful not to cut too deeply, or your first petals will break.
You do not have to worry about curling these petals out as much.
Continue for a third level of petals, with small cuts and no curl at all.
Step 8: TA DA!!
A beautiful blooming rose!
Entirely edible. And won't cost you $25!
Remember the safety warning if giving these to kids!
I am sorry I don't have a vase of roses that are bloomed, I did they as I gifted them, because they will oxidize the way fruit does once cut.
I suggest blooming the rose in person anyway (after you practice). You are bound to impress with your amazing fruit carving skills!
Step 9: BONUS! Rosebud - Easy Peasey Version
Rosebud Materials (safer for the under 7's)
Vase (or one of those crystal lite cylinders)
Green food coloring
Using the number of bamboo skewers you need valentines for, place them in the shallow pan, and add water and green food colouring.
Soak the skewers overnight, using something heavy to hold them down.
(Honestly, this doesn't make them super green... you may get frustrated, like I did last year, and end up colouring the skewers with a non toxic marker. This is fine, as long as it is non toxic! and you don't colour the bit you are going to stick in the strawberry).
Remove and allow to dry.
Insert skewers into stawberries.
Cut a white piece of heavy paper into "gift tags", write each giftees name on the tag.
Hole punch the corner, and using curling ribbon, tie the tag around the skwere.
Place the strawberries in the vase (or use one of those cylinder and decorate it like a bunch of flowers).