Okay, I fully admit it; I'm a romantic. A sentimental fool. And I have my girly-girl moments, especially when playing the part of the wooee in a new relationship, with a suitably gallant wooer hovering about. But I'm very happily single right now, and yet I am still getting bombarded with unnecessary Valentine's suggestions and advice through the mostly food related email mailing lists that I am on. Yes, I know receiving a heart-shaped cheese - like the mini couer aux petales de roses from Les Amis du Fromage pictured here, especially as part of elaborate home-made candlelight meal would make me absolutely melt; or conversely, would be so fun to include in a romantic meal that I could make for someone special. The cheese is a "fermier (farm made) heart-shaped, young raw milk chevre, produced in the Loire valley. It has a sprinkle of wild rose petals on top. This young cheese has a delicate, crumbly texture and has a tangy sourness that is sure to make it a perfect choice for a goat cheese salad for two" the email tells me. But I think sending this out to all the sentimental, single foodies is just cruel. It may sound like I'm not as happily single as I say I am, but hell, I was happy enough before imagining all the lovey dovey couples around me giving each other cheeses from Les Amis!
Incidentally, not all of that advice I'm getting in email looks all that helpful, so here's a quick rant. One article gave advice for Valentine's gifts that "don't scream stalker." I can imagine too many men taking to heart the message that you don't want to appear too eager or like a "stalker" by giving too romantic a gift too early in the relationship. I say don't worry about this too much. Good chocolates and flowers, are a cliché for a reason, and if your date is threatened by them or by another gift, perhaps that's just a sign that the two of you shouldn't be dating. I mean really, think back to the last time you were really attracted to someone - would you freak out it they gave you wonderful chocolates? Actually, I can't think of anyone that I wouldn't like to receive wonderful chocolates from, but that's probably just because I like receiving chocolates. Note that I'm talking only about women receiving them from men because I can only speak from my point of view. Maybe some men would think "stalker" if they got a really good Valentine's gift from a new flame, but most likely they'll just think "oh damn, I hope my gift is good enough." or "oh my god, I didn't get her anything."
Well, enough of my false bah humbugging. I really do like Valentine's Day, whether an active participant or just cheering on from the sidelines. Why else would I subject the single foodies who read my blog to even more of the Valentine's propaganda I'm supposed to be complaining about - by the way, apologies if you are one of them (just go get your mum something nice if you're really down about it, or donate to the food bank, or just find someone nice and randomly do something nice for them). And while I love the classic chocolates and flowers, if you have the stuff it takes to wow someone with something personal and creative, go for it. Here's an example from a movie I just saw, "Stranger Than Fiction." The character that Will Ferrell plays is just about to win the heart of the baker played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. There's a lot of build-up to why this gesture is so sweet, but I won't get into it because I hate spoiling movies for people. So what's the gift?...
...Why, he brought her flours, of course!