I've received several emails asking about Valentine's Day Cooking. Specifically people were looking for suggestions on meals to prepare for a loved on the day made for romance. Every year someone will point out to me that the whole holiday is geared towards nothing more than the sales of chocolate, roses and greeting cards. I agree, it probably is... so what? Are you willing to risk blowing off Valentine's Day?
If you are a NASCAR fan, be advised that the ARCA Race at Daytona and the Daytona 500 is coming up! You DO NOT want to mess things up right before you plan on sitting around for hours on end watching Speedweeks! I suggest you start believing in Cupid!
It's simple, it's time to show some extra love! The point of Valentine's Day may be to knock all of us out of our daily love routine. Hugs, hand holding, picking up after yourself, listening, dedication, spending time together are all ways we show love. There are too many ways to list. With Valentine's day we can go the extra mile. Who cares if it's overly commercialized? Last year was busy and things are finally winding down after the holidays. Valentine's Day is placed perfectly during the year so that everyone can now take a deep breath, buy some flowers, some chocolate or even plan a nice dinner for the one you love.
That brings me back to the original question.
Can Food Be Sexy? I was asked this question by a reporter and my instant response was that my wife Ally could walk into the room with a box of Twinkies and I would think those were the "damned sexiest Twinkies ever!" Afterwards I started to wonder what does classify a recipe, a food or an ingredient as being sexy? What foods really are aphrodisiacs? Is it in simply in the eye of the beholder as it was with me and my Twinkie response? I'm guessing it probably is for many of us.
I'm pretty sure that presentation, delivery and more have a role to play as well. Here is an example. Let's say you are treating your better half to a dinner. It could be at home or at a restaurant, just follow along for a second. You can say "Honey, I'm treating you to a steak, roll, salad, vegetables, beverage and dessert followed by a movie or something."
Or you can say something like this. (Read the next example to yourself using a Cary Grant inner voice.)
Honey, tonight we will be having a tender, and lightly marinated, Rib eye steak topped with herb seasoned butter. It will be served with fresh yeast rolls hot from the oven with an aroma that will fill the room. The salad is made with your favorite seasonal salad greens and topped with cranberries, toasted croutons and more along with a serving of your favorite fresh steamed vegetables. I'll pour your favorite wine for you to sip on and afterwards you can enjoy strawberries dipped in white chocolate drizzled with a raspberry chocolate sauce. I also have two or three of your favorite romantic movies for us to enjoy.
The inner Cary Grant voice really sells it.
I guess what I'm saying is don't worry about if the meal you're planning is sexy or not. I'm not sure if any food, or meal, can actually be sexy. If you placed a plate of food on a pedestal in a roped off section of a mall and asked shoppers walking by what they thought about the meal I'm guessing that nobody would use the term "sexy" in their description. It's really up to you to make the whole event a... meal to remember.
I was hoping I could work in a reference to the Cary Grant Classic! Ok, I admit that I'm allowing my fun side to be involved with this piece. However, I do believe that Valentine's Day is a fun holiday that reminds me to hug my wife a bit harder and longer today. Hopefully she knows that I love her everyday.
And what do I consider to be a "sexy" food? I'm sticking by my Twinkie remark above... or what ever else Ally is holding. It's in the eye of the beholder.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Picture - Cary Grant and Betsy Drake - Room for One More - WB 1952
Picture - Pin Up by Gil Elvgren