We don't celebrate Valentine's Day.
I told that story last year….
We try not to remember that fateful night, those many years ago…
Although, in discussing colors for the kitchen the other day, mon mari remembered that I had painted his kitchen blaze orange and canary yellow in retaliation (he was away for a week, I was house-sitting). As he doesn't usually remember things like colors, it must have made an impression.
We're spending most of our time trying to keep one house warm enough to work in during the day, and another warm enough to eat and sleep in during the night.
And then there's the fact that Mon mari has now locked himself in the bathroom 4 times…
That really has nothing whatsoever to do with romance or Valentine's Day… I just had to tell….
Will the door knob be on soon? Should I start a betting pool?
Back to Valentine's Day….
I'm actually rather glad we ignore it. I think the hype and expectations leading up to this one day can generate a lot of unnecessary stress and disappointment.
Don't misunderstand: I don't think romance should be ignored.
I do think it should be a part of your life, everyday, not just one day.
Romance doesn't need big gestures, although they are nice occasionally (hint, hint).
Making daily life just a tad more pleasant for your 'other' can be most romantic.
The best part of our day, is and always has been, dinner.
We always eat at the table.
Mon mari always lights candles, dims the lights and puts on soft music.
On weekends, when I make a proper dinner, with a first course and two wines, he sets the table: choosing the dishes, cutting flowers, arranging the candles, while I cook.
I'd like to say that we always enjoy intimate conversations and declarations of undying love – but, hey, we've been married 30 years! Sometimes, we talk; sometimes we just and stare into space, absorbed in our own thoughts, but doing it together.
Is it romance?
Or an old routine?
Maybe a little of both…
Routine is doing something the same way, day after day.
Romance is doing it with someone you love…. And making it just a tad more pleasant….
And, it almost always involves food….
If you're fixing a romantic dinner for that special someone, on Valentine's day or any day, make something easy, so you have time to spend together, make it memorable…
And make it with a 'Food of Love' – wine.
For more 'Foods of Love' and ideas for Valentine's Day celebrations, visit Mele Cotte, who is organizing the Kitchen of Love and will have lots of recipes on Feb. 12th!
Veal in Red Wine, for two
This has the flavors of Boeuf Bourguignon, but the veal gets melt-in-the-mouth tender in much less time.
16oz (500gr) veal
3 large shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1 bouquet garni
2 bay leaves
2 cups good red wine
1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour) dissolved in 2 tbs water
1 1/4 cups small pasta
Cut veal into pieces, about 1" cubes, (2.5cm). Peel shallots and cut in half the long way. Mince garlic. Heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add shallots and garlic, and sauté 2 minute. Add veal and quickly brown, another 5 minutes. Add red wine, herbs, cover and simmer for an hour. (more or less).
Cook pasta according to package directions.
To finish: Thicken sauce with the dissolved cornstarch. Drain pasta and put into a serving bowl. Spoon veal and shallots over and serve.
Don't forget to light the candles!
For those who are curious, the countdown has begun: Day 7!