Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

It wasn't until we moved to Chicago that Jay and I finally came out of the closet as foodies. Jay had been much more interested in gourmet meals than I, especially when I lived in Boston. But I was a poor graduate student, and a fun dinner out for me meant Pizzeria Uno or, if we were going to be really fancy, Legal Sea Foods. As a result, we missed a lot of great cuisine in a city that offered food of all types. So when we moved to Chicago (after living in the California desert for two years) Jay finally convinced me that it would be fun to splurge every once in a while on a great meal. So for big occasions (each of our birthdays, our anniversary, and Valentine's Day) we'd forego giving each other gifts and instead go out in the city for a superb meal. Some of our favorites were Crofton on Wells, MK, Blackbird, and Onesixty Blue

The latter was our choice for Valentine's Day 2005, which was the most monumental Valentine's Day ever for us... We celebrated with champagne (compliments of the cute little gift bag we got when left the restaurant), chocolate-covered strawberries (courtesy of one of the great parishioners at the church where I was working), and a to-die-for meal. Nine months later, yep, a little boy.

We haven't done much to celebrate Valentine's Day since then. Last year we said Hello to each other as Jay clocked out of Joshua Duty and I clocked in. This year, as we were standing in the bathroom, Jay said to me, "Hey, isn't today Valentine's Day?" "Oh, I guess it is," I said, "Happy Valentine's Day!" And that was about it. We're not sure what to do now that we don't have a big meal to splurge on. Heck, I can't even have wine with dinner tonight.

So I guess "Happy Valentine's Day" will have to do!

11 comments:

anna said...

This is when Valentines Day can be even more fun. You have to be creative is all. Instead of dinner out cook a great meal that just the two of you can enjoy after Joshua is in bed. This year we'll be dining in as well but I'm making cherry pie and heart shaped brownies to make it feel a bit more special and I might even climb into bed next to my husband and be wearing something other then 3 layers of flannel. But there'll be no kissing this year as our house has been hit with the bug, and I have yet to get it full force.

BTW...our favorite Siloam Valentines restaurant of 2004 burnt down so I guess we won't be going there this year.

Mary Beth said...

Well, that's just tragic. ;) After all, how can Valentine's Day be complete without a Mexican buffet? I just bought Jay some Reese's cups. We can't do too much to enjoy a quiet night as I still have to write a "devotion" (10 minutes--to me that's a sermonette) for a 100+ person banquet on Friday.

TLS said...

We too discovered we are foodies. Watching too many top chef/hell's kitchen shows has made us apprecitiative of finer foods.

We splurged and went to OM, a new restaurant in Harvard Square. Very nice.

Jennifer said...

Please tell me you did not have the octopus at MK or Blackbird. I wish such places featured more gourmet vegetarian entrees, but such is life… I'll ignore the mushy gushy talk, since my exhusband nearly talked his way into a nice little black eye for V Day...

Mary Beth said...

TLS--I just went by their website and it looked so good.

Jennifer--I can't remember what I had at either place, but Jay had the tasting menu at MK and thought he'd gone to heaven. I think most of those places have chefs that would be happy to whip up a vegetarian entree (maybe even one that didn't center around pasta!) if you asked. Being in the midwest, however (as I'm sure you're all too aware), they like to feature the red meat.

Girl, remind me not to piss you off.

The best octopus I've ever had was prepared by two Korean men who lived in the theology dorm with me my third year of seminary. They had gone down to the farmer's market in Boston at the crack of dawn one Saturday morning and came back to make octopus soup of some sort. I could never ruin that experience by eating octopus anywhere else. It didn't even matter that MD tried to gross me out with their little sucker thingies.

Jennifer said...

LOL... and to think, my temper was what first attracted him to me...

Jenny said...

On the subject of good vegetarian foods:
When we visited my brother the Dunce in the Netherlands many moons ago, we went to a restaurant he'd been itching to try, particularly because they had on their menu a vegetarian rijstafel (sort of a smorgasbord of veg entrees) that he (the veggie, not me) wanted to try. But when we got in there, there was a new menu, and no veg rijstafel! The waiter (very polite) apologized thoroughly, and we ordered something else. A few minutes later he returned from the kitchen, telling us the chef would make us the vegetarian rijstafel. It was awesome and it left us all with nice feelings toward the place and the nice waiter ("do you have enjoyment?") and the chef.

Jennifer said...

Jenny, that is a great story! :)

Kat E said...

With the move and all, we didn't do much to celebrate V day this year (though signing the papers on a new house was pretty romantic in my book!). We still exchanged a few small gifts, and I received the most unconventional V-day gift EVER: a pair of hip-waders. We have some wetlands on our new property, so it was quite a fitting gift, if not a supremely odd one...

Mary Beth said...

Sexy!

Mercedes said...

I realize I am a little late to commenting here, but, here goes --

Mary Beth -- the best place I have ever had octopus was in Greektown in Chicago. Roasted and served with a yummy sauce. I tried to convince Brooke it was good, but that was a no go. He relegated it to "sushi status."

Kat e -- the first time you need those waders, you will realize how much love went into that gift!

Brooke won me a Vermont Teddy Bear for V-Day by calling in to answer a question on sports radio. Query whether he should be allowed to even participate in such things? It's a cute bear, though! :-)