1 family. friendly food. » Surviving Valentine’s Day

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Every passing year I get more cynical about Valentine’s Day. Maybe it has something to do with growing up? Or with being middle aged? I believe I see the world more clearly as I get older, that I am becoming wiser, but who knows?

I’ve been married for 10+ years and I’ve had kids for 8+ years. We’ve been through 11 Valentine Days already. We’ve done the chocolates, flowers, dinners, candles, cards, gifts, etc before. It’s not that exciting, not to mention surprising, any more.

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In those passing years we’ve had our ups and downs in our relationship—it’s not all rosy, you know. Adding kids to the equation means less romance and couplehood time. I learned to fantasize less and get more efficient and realistic.

And the cynicism? The heart-shaped balloons, the roses, the chocolates, the cards in every corner in every store around Valentine’s Day… C’mon… Who are we kidding here? They all make me feel like there’s a Perfect Valentine’s Day recipe I’m supposed to follow, or more frightening, a hidden social law I’m supposed to obey… I’m too old for this. (Or am I a middle-aged rebel? Hmm.)

But the other day I went grocery shopping—how mundane and boring—and with all that REDNESS around me, the strawberries (“Not in season”, I took note) looked particularly red and when I sniffed them suspiciously they smelled sweet (“What were they injected with?”, I thought) so I decided maybe it’s time to dust off the fondue pot which I’ve never used (We got it as a gift about 10 years ago) and spoil my family with strawberries dipped in chocolate, and why not throw a cake in it too?

So I baked a cake—a vanilla-chocolate marble cake with chocolate chips and cocoa nibs (for crunch), to be exact

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And I baked gorgeous carrot-zucchini tartlets from my newest cookbook for dinner (More about those in the next post)

(No, I did not expect the kids to eat them)

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And I started to get a bit excited about V Day. So I packed 2 slices of the warm cake for the kiddies to surprise them when picking them up from school.

“Happy Valentine’s Day”, I chirped and handed the cake to my son.

“It tastes like chips”, he decided.

“You mean, potato chips?”

“Yes. But I love chips, so that’s good.”

O-Kay…

Next, the little one.

She got in the car with an attitude that had nothing to do with me or her brother. I handed her the cake.

“Here you go, a little sur-priiiise for youuuuu. Happy Valentine’s Day!”, I sang.

“It doesn’t taste good”, she declared without even opening the box!

Oh, man…

Inhale, exhale.

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The evening did not progress so well either with continuous bickering between brother and sister. “Can’t you stop fighting and teasing each other? It’s VALENTINE’S DAY TODAY!”, I yelled.

And then I found a few lil’ things to be mad at my husband as well and the two wine glasses (I poured the more expensive stuff for V Day night) were left untouched.

Well, I did have one glass to drink before and filled mine for a second round >>> This is the fine line between enjoying wine and turning into an alcoholic, I thought. It’s the mood you are in when you are drinking!!! A fine line, I tell ya.

So, now what ?

I’m back to being as cynical about Valentine’s Day as I was on Monday, 2/13/2012 pre 3 PM.

This is reality. Well, my reality at least.

There is no happy ending to this little story. That’s reality, folks.

But I will tell you more about those tartlets soon–I promise—so you can’t say that I am not an optimist! After all, tomorrow, there is another day.

Oh, wait, I think someone used that line before…

Oh, well, let them eat cake.

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Categories : Family, Holidays



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