For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

February 14, 2012

Accepting No Excuses

Needless to say, I'm really no big fan of this dreadful commercial festivity of love. For someone like me who doesn’t consume anything sweet, this day is just filled with big no-nos in all possible ways. Food-wise it's ridiculous: Heart shaped cupcakes, kitsch wrapped chocolates, creamy and puffy pastries; I've even encountered a heart shaped steak once! What a waste of perfectly fine meat I’d say…

However, there’s something about love and food that naturally goes hand in hand. I mean only the act of eating together in many cultures is the number one sign of intimacy and bonding and it is often a mutual slipper slope to other more sexual activities. C’mon, passion and lust (and love) are embedded in good food! But really, why go and make a mockery of your loved one by letting him/her cut in to a heart shaped Tournedos?! It’s just plain stupid if you ask me. A real sign of devotion and love is to cook for your loved one yourself. Now I’m sure there a bunch of lazy-asses or people calling themselves horrible cooks who would oppose, but I have to say in my defense that love really does make you do things you would never do otherwise! That is what I call Valentine’s Day spirit.

And of course I’ve got a personal story for you, otherwise it would be too easy to sit here and speak for almost anything hypothetical. A couple of years back, no, six years back I think it was, I was already a huge gourmade and on top of that I was IN LOVE big time. Back then, Valentine’s Day still meant something to me. It was a special day where any act of love however absurd, overwhelming or cheesy, was fully legitimate and welcome. I had all kinds of romantic images in my head of a five-course meal in a classy restaurant, but considering our age and our economic misery, we wouldn’t even have been able to order a decent glass of red. Let’s say that fantasy had to be postponed to the remote future back then. But I certainly wasn’t ready to give up the thought of being served a romantic meal though, and I damn sure didn’t want to be covered in food stains when I for once had planned on wearing a little sexy dress and be all girly and pretty to please my boyfriend. Solution: I decided that he would be the chef for the night. See that’s the great thing about teenage love. You were actually able to command our loved one and he would do what ever you asked for. ­Good old time…

My ex, poor fellow, was everything but a cook – seriously. I remember his Dad even pealing the oranges for him (maybe that was simply because he was too lazy…anyway)! But to my astonishment he fully accepted the challenge. I was ecstatic! Maybe now he finally would realize how much work and effort a home cooked meal actually takes and he would finally appreciate all my works of art that he had gobbled up in matter of seconds without even recognizing whether it was chicken or beef he was eating.

He started stressing a week ahead it seemed and when D-day arrived he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I felt bad. Maybe it would be best if I took over after all. He was somewhat of a sore looser so there was no way he would admit defeat before even having attempted the task. Three hour before dinnertime he asked me to leave the house. I delightedly followed his orders. As I kissed his goodbye and wished him good luck, I couldn’t help but feeling warm inside when I noticed the stack of recipes he had ripped out from magazines and printed out from the internet. I felt special and loved, what more could I have asked for.

Three hours later I was welcomed back to the house. It smelled amazing! Of course there were some bubbly wine, roses and a heart shaped card, but that was not the point. The point was that he had done it! A three-course meal was about to be served and all I had to do is sit and look pretty. Everything tasted divine! Plus he really hadn’t taken the easy way out. And this was a young man who honestly couldn’t cook for the love of God! 

So there you go, I won’t accept any more excuses – ever. If you haven’t made reservation in a restaurant that doesn’t serve lame-ass Valentine’s Day specials, cancel your reservation and google a few yummy recipes on your lunch break and on your way home drop by the nearest well equipped grocery store. I bet my head on it that you will get lucky!

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