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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach

Back when I first moved in with my husband I baked him a cake. I went to the store to buy some baking powder, and the woman behind me didn't approve of the brand I was buying. I said my boyfriend was teaching me how to cook, and that I had actually never made a cake before. She said it should have been the other way around - that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Well, the opposite was true, and I didn't eat much of anything before I met him (well, this). This weekend, while doing some Valentine's Day baking I finally got to the end of that can of baking powder (if you want to lecture me about it not being fresh after 3 years, well go ahead). I got to thinking about food in our relationship.

  • We met in a diner where I'd pressure him to order milkshakes, and he'd try to talk me into eating some of his fries. 
  • I baked him a quiche. There was no air conditioning and there was a hot and sticky black leather futon.
  • We moved to Albany and shortly after went to Provence to mark our 2 year dating anniversary.
I often struggle about what to eat for breakfast and lunch, but sometimes eating isn't just about necessity, practicality, fat content, or the time it takes to eat. Restaurants can add to your sense of community, and dinner parties can strengthen friendships. I personally can't think of anything more romantic than eating the food at Cafe Capriccio. Also, is it just me or does cake made for special occasions taste differently than cake not made for a wedding or a birthday? When I was a kid I had some idea about marriage being about routines people were trapped in. Now I realize how comforting routine can be - Thomas Keller's crisp and juicy chicken roasting in the oven as we both read interesting books, Cook's Illustrated hot and gooey chocolate chip cookies made for no reason at all, or a quick and healthy stir fry on a weeknight shared over stories of boring meetings that ran too long. Sometimes food is about necessity, and sometimes like music, it is interwoven with all the great things about your life.


Happy Valentine's Day!

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