Every holiday that we celebrate in America has very specific menus or menu items. We can move through the calendar from the “Hoppin’ John” of New Year’s Day itself to Easter Lamb and Easter Eggs; the heroic barbecues and picnics of the Fourth of July to the Cuban Nochebuena of Christmas. At our home Thanksgiving goes on for two solid weeks. Those holiday menus can supply us with a tremendous opportunity for sustenance. But what do we do with it? Most folks just watch football! It is ironic that the very holiday that may require the intake of a powerful amount of food points to only one; candy. Candy? Really? Arguably candy is an energy giver but wouldn’t an entire menu of dishes providing true, robust, aphrodisiacal powers to inspire would-be Casanova’s and Cleopatra’s a more fitting “training table” with which to spend an evening of ardor on Valentine’s Day?
Is it as our parents grimly warned us? Did we ruin that potential dinner with sweets? Maybe the whole show got put off from the start with those pastel-colored, heart-shaped candies we shared with each other from the very first year of grade school? And how odd that the guardians of prudish behavior every other damn day of the year, (our school teachers!), would instruct and guide us in the rituals of these candies as well as those emotionally nerve-racking little cards we were exhorted to exchange! The fear of rejection and/or ridicule at age 7 is monumental.
But enough of that! It is time for a change! I have a plan for the perfect Valentines Evening Feast.
It will be an All Chocolate menu!
My Valentine’s Menu fantasy begins on a celestially beautiful rooftop garden of a stone-columned, medieval castle in the French countryside. There is a silvery river flowing beside it down below. With each course I would serve chocolate and descend with my lover one floor at a time to a new room where a new course awaits us. Each of these rooms would be decorated in a manner that moved steadily and inexorably to more and more palpable evocations of Eros. The meal would include the Catalonian dish “Mar y Muntanya”, which features edible gold, bittersweet chocolate and saffron-gilded rice.
Our Valentine’s Feast would end on a gigantic red velvet blanketed bed which I would have had nailed onto a floating raft in that lazily winding river. There would be all manner of chocolate covered kisses on our ride and we would wash them down with gemstone studded silver cups of Rhum laced Aztec Hot Chocolate.
With this Valentines Feast I think we would….be able…to attain…greatness. At any age!