Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.
-Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian Designer.
Thank God I started running because I have been eating like a QUEEN lately, the descent into hedonism began on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s day is a day I adore because it honors love and I am so unabashedly and proudly ROMANTICAL that I cannot help it if it doesn’t make me a little giddy. This Valentine’s Day, however, my lover was feeling particularly loving and gave me one of the best Valentine’s Days EVER.
I awoke on the day of the love-fest feeling particularly groovy and, having finished my blog AND morning stoutness exercises (Winne-the-Pooh anyone??? I still read and love Mr. Winnie Ther Pooh), I was about to go off to get some champagne and bon bons as an early gift for myself, only to be met at the door by my loving husband returning home with a box of See’s Candy and the most lovely 13 (he even made it a bakers dozen!) lavender roses. And, if you can believe, the day only got better!
Later in the afternoon, after I had eaten all the See’s candy, my love said he was planning our dinner and I was to be in no way, shape, or form part of its conception, labor, or birth. That said, he exiled me to the living room where I sat cozily couch-bound watching the food network to my heart’s content. I was glad because I felt rather ill from eating the entire box of Sees Candy and needed to recover! I could smell delicious things emanating from the kitchen and could hear my husband talking to himself as he always does when he is either thinking deeply about something really good or really bad. From what I could hear, things like: “now we’re talking!” and “look at this little gem, this little jewel is just about ready!” and so on, I thought that it must be quite good whatever was transpiring.
Moments later, he arrived at my couch-like throne carrying a beautiful plate and glass of sparkling wine, my first course, my amuse-bouche, so to speak (I have always loved this French term—a little mouth amusement before the main course, those French! Maybe all the formality and Cartesian order they adore merely creates the boundaries with which they cherishingly protect their overly sensuous natures)! The amuse-bouche was a plate filled with perfectly ripe, succulent mango slices, roses of proscuitto, and little sticks of pecorino romano cheese. It was just the most interesting and sublime combination of flavors! Luscious!
Needless to say, I ate all of this and by the time I was finished, was allowed into the kitchen to eat the next course and help with the salad dressing. My husband and I have very specific jobs in the kitchen: he usually fries, sautés and grills while I chop, make dressings, sauces and side dishes. We work very well together. Synergy is what I believe it is called. I happily munched on bacon wrapped shrimp dipped in his homemade bbq sauce and whipped together a balsamic vinaigrette for his spinach salad with bacon and red onion.
And then it was time to eat, REALLY eat! He whisked me out of the kitchen and brought me a glass of wine (Bogle’s Petite Syrah—one of my favorites). I was then presented with the most beautiful plate of the most scrumptious food…bacon-wrapped filet mignon topped with melted pecorino cheese, perfectly seared buttery scallops, and fresh green spinach salad studded with bits of bacon and thin rounds of purple-y onion. It was one of the most memorable and delicious meals I have ever been lucky enough to enjoy. The pecorino was amazing with the steak; it gave it this salty, sweet kick. The scallops were succulent and perfectly seared. And the freshness of the salad was a perfect counterpoint to the richness of the meal.
I have to say that I am blessed and very lucky to be so loved by my husband and to have one so thoughtful of my romanticism. I feel so lucky, in fact, that I have created a man’s Valentines Day, just for him. I am going to celebrate it exactly half a year from Valentines Day, on August 14, and it will be a day just for him, just as he had a day just for me, filled with all the things that he loves. I am naming it Malentine’s Day!
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