I had great fun with the graphic design on this one :)!
I pulled all sorts of visual imagery from the Song of Songs (from the Bible)
for the invitation:
Roses & lilies (Song of Songs 2:1-2)
An apple tree (Song of Songs 2:3–the shorter tree on the right)
Doves (Song of Songs 4:1)
Pomegranates (Song of Songs 4:3–the taller tree on the right)
Twin fawns (Song of Songs 4:5)
The garden itself (Song of Songs 4:12)
A fountain (Song of Songs 4:15)
Wheat surrounded by lilies (Song of Songs 7:2)
Palm trees (Song of Songs 7:7)
Vineyard (Song of Songs 8:12)
The key is a metal charm from a bag of scrapbooking supplies I got on Freecycle (it’s usually better for getting rid of things, but once in a while we actually receive something!).
My prince managed to get home early, so we took advantage of the unseasonably warm, sunny day to take a brief walk while the last of the meal finished baking.
The meal itself didn’t have much to do with the Song of Songs, but it was special food I hadn’t attempted since the food allergies took a turn for the worse. I made Salisbury steak using half ground pork & half ground beef (see the “recipes” page above or to the right for the foods I mention)–I’d forgotten just how much flavor the pork adds. I’d been accumulating beef “juice” from the last few times of cooking hamburger, so I thickened that with a little potato starch to make gravy (can’t use beef broth base anymore). We had breaded, baked zucchini & onion (onion rings for me–my prince isn’t as fond of those), rice on the side, and, of course, seed milk.
The food that did go along with the theme came later. When we settled into our garden bedroom (which is a story in and of itself!),
I served a dish of applesauce with a plate of “raisin cakes,” (Song of Songs 2:5)
and a bottle of wine (Song of Songs 1:2). The wine was mostly for effect–neither is us like alcohol, so we add just enough wine to our water to change the color! As it turned out, the raisin cakes and applesauce went very well together.
The premise of the date was for us to go through the Song of Songs together (with the infamous “Hind’s Feet on High Places” cd playing in the background–it is based on the Song of Songs!), stopping at various verses & doing some sort of activity or asking a question based on the verse. Initially, I was planning to make up the activities & questions myself, write up cards & have us draw from those. I reconsidered because I was interested in what my prince would come up with. Since I knew we wouldn’t be able to cover every verse in one night, I puzzled over how to select which verses to use. I gave my prince some options. We could use a spinner to select the chapter (we had one from a game that had 8 spaces) & then use some sort of random number generator to pick the verse in that chapter (his graphing calculator can do that sort of thing) or we could start at the beginning & roll a die to determine how many verses to move forward. He opted for the die (he’d left his calculator at school), which got us about halfway through the book.
I further asked him to record the verses we landed on & what we did, thinking we could use them later in making a more formal game. Umm…nice idea ;)! We did dutifully record them, but after typing in a couple of these, my prince asked, “These aren’t going on the internet, are they?” I assured him that no, they were not! Let’s just say that I think we gave King Solomon a good laugh & leave it at that 🙂 ! On one of the verses referring to doves, I asked my prince about his experience of raising and showing (at the fair) pigeons & chickens & learned quite a bit!
Sometimes you just can’t predict where a date’s gonna go ;).