Food – a wonderful, fulfilling way to communicate your love
Every year it seems the hype around Valentine’s Day becomes more intense. Like many of the celebrations throughout the year, it seems this one too has been hijacked in the name of commercialism. If you’re not buying gifts or booking a special dinner, you don’t love your partner.. What a load of crap!
Of course, with less than half the adult population in some form of committed relationship, not only does this particular “event” place pressure on those who are – but it also leaves the rest of us feeling particularly “un-special”!
So, what to do?..
We have a simple suggestion that works for everyone and is a far truer celebration of the love delivered at every step along the way than the gimmicky, commercial Valentine’s Day celebrations. Not, of course, that we begrudge anyone their gift-buying or night out – but just so that a greater proportion of the population get to feel the love – because that is always a welcome gift! And if your love is great, but your budget is limited, even the most modest dish prepared with love sings loud!
If you’re looking for a way to experience – and give – a multi-tiered message of love this year, why not go out to your local market or shops, buy whatever produce looks great – then cook and serve it to the special person or people in your life who you want to shower with love?
The people who have put their heart and soul into growing fruit and vegetables, raising animals, searching the sea for fresh seafood and processing everything from wheat to dairy produce have already shown their love for the raw ingredients you will find on your adventure. The shop-keepers and stall owners at the markets, delis and stores you will visit along the way have lovingly selected whatever it is they are offering and taken a lot of time to display it in a way that shows the care they have for both the produce and their customers.
As you think about the menu you are going to prepare and the joy it will bring to those who consume the resulting culinary Opus, the first strains of your love for them start to enter the recipe as you look for what is freshest, most exotic or simply within your capacity to work with. Let’s face it, we’re not all master chefs!
Once you’ve ferried your ingredients home, the process of washing & preparing the ingredients for each part of the meal precedes combining them and, in some cases, cooking or baking them. At every step of the way, you are pouring your affection for those who will subsequently consume the meal into every step along the way.
Keep in mind that if there are a bunch of you, that one of the great joys in life is hooking in with a number of other people and cooking together. It certainly takes some of the potential drudgery out of the prep process – and kitchen parties are always the best! You can split steps or dishes – and you should definitely go shopping together before it all starts!
When, finally, the cooking is done, the table, rug or deck are set and the food is laid out for everyone to see, just stop for a second and feel the love! Yours, for orchestrating the feast that lies in wait, the love that was added well before you started cooking by those who produced the ingredients – and then the love that everyone who eats the meal will feel – whether they have participated, or are just the very lucky recipient of your love for them!
Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us!