When I was a teenager, I didn’t care about Valentine’s Day. I was all about adventures, going on trips, trying new things, and hanging out with as many friends as possible. One year, my church announced the upcoming summer camp for the youth group. And as a family with three kids that all want to go on the same summer camp trip, expenses were quite high for my parents. So, as in many other occasions, they used the moment as an opportunity to teach us how to raise and save money.
My friend Rose was a very similar predicament, needing to raise funds in order to attend the youth camp. We decided to get creative and started raising money, doing everything from selling sweet bread in the streets of Mexico City to washing cars in the church parking lot. Then we got a great idea: we should sell roses on Valentine’s Day around the University Campus.
We knew that the best prices for long-stem roses were found at the “Mercado de Jamaica,” one of the most traditional markets located in the heart of Mexico City. So, we planned to purchase many roses and sell them individually.
We spent the night at Rosa’s sister, who lived close to the market, and we woke up before the sun rose on February 14, and walked toward our entrepreneurial adventure. The market was huge—it had so many aisles and different stores that anybody could easily get lost. And though it was very early in the morning, the place was already full of people carrying industrial sized boxes of fruits, vegetables and so many flowers.
The diversity of flowers, colors, textures, shapes and beauty that I saw were unforgettable! I have never seen anything like that in my life.
We found a flower dealer, and after a quick negotiation we got a really good deal, and bought dozens of roses—even more than we had initially planned. In that market, everything is sold in bulk, including the roses we purchased.
We pruned them and wrapped them individually in bags, placing them all in buckets of ice water, and stood at the front gate of campus. We quickly discovered how to make the sale: simply offer a flower to a girl while she is walking by with her Valentine. The guy rarely misses the opportunity to please her by buying her a rose!
Most of our customers that day were forgetful boyfriends or husbands that were desperate for a quick beautiful Valentine’s gift for their significant other. After just a couple of hours, we had sold out! That day we raised all the money we needed for our summer camp, and we ended our successful and extremely tiring day by treating ourselves to a parfait.
So today, in memory of that incredible Valentine’s Day, I am sharing with all of you a cherry cheesecake parfait recipe that is very simple, and very tasty. It was actually the result of a delicious culinary accident from my own kitchen at the hands of my husband just a few days ago.
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day giving lavish gifts, or you don’t do anything at all, this is a great excuse to make this parfait and enjoy it with your loved one.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Cherry Cheesecake Parfait
(About 4 portions)
8 oz of cream cheese
1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/6 cup of lemon juice
1/6 cup of water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can (20 oz) cherry pie filling
Graham cracker crumbs
1.In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.
2.Add sweetened condense milk, lemon juice, water and vanilla.
3.Layer in cups, starting with a layer of graham cracker crumbs, followed by a layer of cherry pie filling and a layer of the creamy mixture, and repeat until the cup is full.
4.Chill in the fridge for about 3 hours.
5.When ready to serve, decorate with whipping cream and a cherry on top.