Twenty-two years ago, on February 14th, a young California couple was skiing at Squaw Valley.
Being Valentine’s Day, one half of this couple – the man – was looking for a perfect gift for his sweetheart.
They didn’t know it then, but when they wandered into the Wildflour Baking Company at the base of the mountain, their fates, and future, were sealed.
“Each Valentine’s Day we make big heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies with poems on them,” explains Wildflour founder, owner and creative baker Susan Lopez. “It’s our tradition.”
“This guy came in with his girlfriend. He wanted to get her a cookie, but he didn’t have a poem.”
So Lopez suggested this: I love you from KT to the Slot. Oh baby, you’re so scorching hot!
Her customer wasn’t quite sure. Wasn’t that a bit aggressive, since they’d only be dating for 3 or months?
“You love her, don’t you?” Lopez replied. He bought the cookie.
His girlfriend loved it. They married, had children, and, they’ve never missed a single February 14th at Squaw.
This year, being year 22, they will be celebrating by skiing KT 22 and possibly eating 22 cookies.
One year, during the middle of a blizzard that shut down the mountain, they were Lopez’ only Valentine’s Day customers.
While she could have closed the bakery, she didn’t.
She knew they’d come.
It’s their tradition, too.
Cookies and More
If you ski Squaw Valley, you’ve got to try the Wildflour. Famous for it’s prepaid, discount “Cookie Pass,” the Wildflour is on the ground level of the Olympic Building and is a favorite with junior ski racers.
You don’t have to be a racer, or visit on Valentine’s Day to enjoy Lopez’ fare.
With a full, “made-from-scratch” breakfast and lunch menu, you can enjoy the Wildflour several times a day!
In addition to the chocolate chip cookies, don’t miss the steel-cut oatmeal with dark chocolate, walnuts and honey greek yogurt.
If you do go on Valentine’s Day, come prepared with a poem, or let Lopez be your muse.
Some of her favorite rhymes from year’s past?
Roses are red, Lake Tahoe is blue, I’m only 8 and I ski faster than you!
I love you from ski tip to tail. For you, I’d ski all the mountains from Squaw to Vail.
Other Sweet Treats
While not all resorts have deep-rooted Valentine’s Day traditions, sugar is a staple on most ski resort menus. Here are two more unique ways to get your fix and share your love.
Liège Waffles at Canyons
Belgium waffles come in two varieties: the Brussels variety, a yeast-risen, light and airy waffle with deep pockets for holding syrup and the Liège variety, a thick, cakey waffle sweetened and caramelized with pearl sugar.
That’s my favorite. And while I’ve learned to make them at home (contact me for the recipe!), there’s something so much more fun about skiing up to a waffle shack and skiing away with this treat.
At the Canyons you can do just that. Look for Red Pine Waffle House next to Red Pine Lodge near the gondola terminus and the base of the Saddleback Express Lift.
And while you can easily add toppings or opt for a torpedo (a waffle stuffed with two bars of Belgian chocolate), go for the plain, honest, sugary goodness of a simple Liège waffle. It’s all you’ll need and more!
Fresh Maple Taffy from La Sucrerie (Sugar Shack) at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec
Looking for the sweetest stop at Québec’s Mont-Sainte-Anne Resort?
Look no further than the Sugar Shack or sucrerie partway down an intermediate run called La Pichard.
A rustic cabin, with a wood-fired stove to one side, the Sucrerie, is a favorite stop for skiers and snowboarders, both young and old. You just need to bring your sweet tooth.
Inside the shack, maple sap is boiled and thickened into syrup. For just $2 each, hungry guests use this maple syrup, and fresh, clean snow, to make delicious taffy.
Here’s how it works.
Hot syrup is poured onto fresh snow in specially made troughs. The syrup thickens as it cools and guests scoop it up, twisting it around wooden sticks to make a soft, gooey, taffy lollipop.
For maple lovers, it’s the best ski resort snack ever. And something you’ll never find out West.
- You Gotta Go Ski Squaw Valley, November 11, 2103.
- A Family Guide to Utah’s Canyons Resort, December 1, 2014.
- Quebec City: My Kind of Ski Town, December 10, 2014.
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