A finicky guy's exploits in finding gustatory (and other) satisfaction in his kitchen, his neighborhood, and beyond.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Let's make every day a holiday

Happy second Monday in February, everyone!  Around here, we don't pay much attention to Valentimes Day or any other market-driven "holiday" with irony quotes, but I grab any excuse to share some love on ANY day of the year.  Or some chocolate.

I actually consider it appalling to think that lovers would reserve their most special treatment of each other for a single day of the year.  Why not be all lovey-dovey whenever the inspiration hits — and hope that it hits often?  Does anyone really think that some little fairy with a bow and arrow is out there only on February 14th, authorizing romantic gestures with his magic love weapon?  Get real.  Grab your honey EVERY day, plant your juiciest kiss on those lips, and do something to make his/her day a little sweeter.
And wait to buy your roses when they haven't been marked up 75% to take advantage of the retail delirium that ensues whenever "they" proclaim a holiday.

I get similarly exasperated during the Christmas/New Year's season when everyone is suddenly filled with goodwill for their fellow man.  People really are nicer during this month and more likely to treat each other — even strangers — with gentleness and patience.  So why can't we be that nice to each other all throughout the year?  It is depressing to note how we invariably revert to our normal grouchy, selfish behavior when we are no longer conscious of Santa's omniscient and judgmental eye seeing us when we're sleeping and knowing when we're awake.

You know what the hap-happiest season of all really is?  It's whenever we make the choice to treat someone else with respect and kindness.  Please don't wait for the sanction of an arbitrarily declared holiday to try this out.

Ahem.  Sorry if I got carried away in my pique.  I must still be a little buzzed-up from all the chocolate I consumed at Whole Foods yesterday.   Our local branch, in [please choose your preferred phrase from the options given]
  1. a gracious gesture of unconditional love for all people around the world 
  2. a bald attempt at stimulating a buying frenzy in their store to pad the pockets of the owners
was offering free samples in every department of foods prepared with chocolate.  Some of the offerings were traditional and unsurprising — chocolate-dipped strawberries in the produce department, brownies (thoughtfully served with a tiny cup of milk) in the bakery.  Other offerings presented an unorthodox use of the cacao bean — mole braised beef and chocolate/cayenne cod in the cow and fish departments, respectively.  I wasn't able to try either of these.  The cod looked scrumptious, but wasn't finished cooking when I passed that table, and there was too much of a crowd around the beef.

But one of the unexpected serving suggestions for chocolate is my new favorite food: chocolate-covered bacon.  I know, it sounds disgusting, and maybe like something only people who shout at their cheatin' spouses on the Jerry Springer Show would eat.  But the sweet/salty dichotomy and the chewy, fatty yumminess had me so enchanted that I had swept 23 bouquets of red tulips, 3 dozen "special" pink and red cupcakes, and a heart-shaped box of organic free-range ylang-ylang laundry powder into my cart before I was jolted back into rationality when the toddler in a stroller behind me in line kicked me with his $250 shoes.  Three times.

I quietly returned to their shelves the inessential items I'd obtained during my chocolate-fueled spree, and refilled my cart with the necessities of daily life.

Like strawberry shortcake, artisanal spiced ale, and olive/caper tortilla chips.

It's back to the kitchen for tomorrow's blog, folks.  I'll be writing about an exotic and mephitic Indian ingredient and the kale/mushroom soup I created to express my undying love...for kale and mushrooms.

Now get out there and love your fellow humans.  Or this big fairy will shoot you with a bow and arrow.


  1. Oh, well said! Valentine's is not so big here in Australia, thanks to our laid-back 'that's just wanky' kind of attitude. I've seen numerous crafty blog-moms from the USA posting about Valentines they've helped their kids make, for the entire school class. With lollies attached. Is everything just an excuse to sugar-up our kids? I couldn't stand it if my kids came home from school with a bag stuffed with sweets today. And how romantic can a kid feel about everyone in his/her class? Just weird I reckon.
    And when people refer to Valentine's Day as a 'holiday', does that literally mean it's a public holiday i.e. most people don't work? Cos that would be sort of sweet, but a lot kooky. Or is it just meaning it's something to celebrate?

  2. Oh, Jane, you're treading dangerously close to the being-funnier-than-the-blog-host line. But I'll forgive you, because I think Aussies just can't help being funnier than other people.

    This is not an "official" holiday here. Most people go into work, if only so they can express their romantic affection for their officemates. Yes, America is one big love-fest on this very special day.

  3. Well said. Especially about the roses, I would rather have a dozen rosebushes, preferably of the old fashion variety.

  4. I am right there with you Michael with all this holiday stuff. I got a sweet kiss this morning, I get one every morning...and that will be my Valentine 'gift' for the day. I work in a restaurant and it is the second worst day (right there behind Mother's Day) for me.

  5. Hey, Sassy. Here's hoping this VD will be different — that every customer you wait on will shower YOU with love! Congrats on the daily sweet kiss thing: nice!

  6. I want a "laid-back that's just wanky" kind of attitude. Or just the opportunity to toss "wanky" into my vocabulary now and then without getting odd stares.

    Happy VD. Er … you know what I mean. ;-)

  7. You can toss a "wanky" at me anytime you like!

    If a lady such as yourself drops a wanky, a true gentleman will pick it up for her.

  8. Happy Valentine's Day! I made the Mexican Chocolate streusel brownies for my sweeties and posted the picture and recipe online for you :)
    I hope you have a great day.

  9. Seems there's a few people picking up my wanky, teehee! Feel free to use it liberally.