On the evening of a day dedicated to love, it's easy to reflect on special loves of your life. And whether you're part of a perfect pair, or if you're single, you may go down memory lane of past loves, or simply think of the other things in your life that bring love and joy to you as the weeks go by.
What better day, then, to take the blog in a slightly new direction. This blog that, believe it or not, has many times been on the potential chopping list of things to let go of in my life. But somehow I just can never completely and permanently *dispose* of what I've written here - though the frequency of posts seems to grow less and less. But I love it. It's my blog and I just can't let it go. Today it's my Valentine, and my gift to it is a new commitment to posting. Once a week. My thoughts are to approach it as a weekly column, or reflection, of what I'm thinking about in this great big world of culinary stuffs, as well as of a few of the things that stood out to me during the week. So here we go for weekly column post number one. Happy Valentine's Day.
When I was thinking about today I couldn't help but think about special people in my life, my friends and family - those who bring lots of laughs to my days and nights. Naturally, many of those laughs and memorable times take place over food, either at some one's home, or out at a favorite city venue. I'll admit lately that it's usually the latter of the two. This thinking took me back to a post I read a month or so ago from film critic Roger Ebert. It was a post he had written on his column at the Chicago Sun Times regarding his what may be the most crippling piece of his battle with thyroid cancer.
Due to multiple, extreme surgeries, Ebert can no longer talk, drink or eat. He can't eat. His body receives food through a tube. He can only communicate via a computer.
The post he wrote was incredibly touching as it reflected on what he missed most about eating. It wasn't necessarily the taste of an incredible meal, but the company he kept and conversations he had while dining. Ebert can no longer truly participate in the act of dining with groups of people, and sharing in the conversation and laughter that is undoubtedly a guarantee when you're with those who are special to you. The article is lengthy, but I highly recommend reading it by clicking here.
I'm a huge believer that eating isn't always about the food. Sound crazy coming from a former culinary student? Maybe, but there are many times when I'll be out with people who I feel are just looking to be critical almost the very moment they walk in to a place. To those people I say: relax. Take in the ambiance, the mood, the way you feel, and most importantly, pay attention to the company you're with. In all honestly, you may very well forget how absolutely delectable that braised beef short rib was, but the conversation will linger on (hopefully) in your memories for years to come.
Some other things that I loved this week.
- A Velvet Painting cupcake from Cupcake Jones. I love cupcakes, but rarely eat them. I had been craving one for a little over a week. While walking in the Pearl with a friend last week, I decided that day was the day. I hopped in to Cupcake Jones and never looked back. It was an absolute delight and made my day - possibly my week.
- Purchasing my own jar of Nutella. I've had Nutella in crêpes at restaurants, but I've actually never purchased my own jar. I splurged this week. I'm still trying to decide if that was the best idea. If you're a lover of the chocolate and hazelnut combo, it is truly heaven on earth.
- Giving a bag of dark chocolate hearts to a boy *friend*. A friendly gesture I couldn't resist when I saw the bag at Elephant's Delicatessen on SW Park. He's a good friend and loves dark chocolate more than any man I know. Maybe more than any woman I know. I thought he was going to tear up. It was sweet.