It was Valentine’s elegance when my friend Susan hosted cooking club. She and her daughter-in-law are the most creative people I know. They excel in using simple everyday items in innovative ways. Like these table decorations. Mixed in with the shiny heart garlands are vintage costume jewelry and clear goblets filled with water and topped with upside-down silver Christmas-tree balls for some metallic reflection.They then tied everything together with red and white linens. And see those white cards on the table? Those were our place cards. Susan had written “What I love about you …” descriptions for each of us. We had to read them all and guess which one went to which person. Fun, fun, fun! Valentine’s touches were everywhere, like the red ribbon Susan tied around the cake stand to highlight the heart-topped petit fours. Now, I know that up North petit fours are what y’all call those little torte-like cakes, but here in the South (well, at least my part of it), petit fours are tiny two-bite-sized cupcakes with melt-in-your-mouth icing decorated with colors and themes of your choice. The best come from Victorian Tea Room in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. No occasion around here is complete unless there are Victorian Tea Room petit fours. Visit http://www.victoriantearoomcatering.com, tell them Cathy sent you and you might talk them into shipping you some. Susan even gave us extras in the Valentine’s candy boxes she gave us that also has miniature fudgy brownies and heart-shaped mini pink chocolate-chip cookies. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. She got the boxes at our local big-box arts and crafts store, but almost everything else was what she had on hand. We were all impressed and felt special and pampered. We also immediately assured our newest member most of our cooking-club meetings are not like this. In fact, when it’s at my house everyone’s just happy I remember to vacuum up the cat hair. But we’re glad we’ve got people like Susan to show us how it should be done.