Friday, February 13, 2009

For the Love

I can count the things I’m good at on one hand – even with one or two fingers removed.

I’m a decent writer. I can teach a dog a thing or two. And, as they say down here in the South, I’m a fair-to-middlin’ cook. That’s where I start running out of talents.

My skills in the kitchen came from various sources: my mom, quite a few years spent working in restaurants and lots of trial and error (emphasis on error). I used to think I was quite the culinary man, but a recent stint in a real kitchen proved me otherwise. Even looking around the blogosphere has made me realize I’m a pretty average cook.

However, I love to cook and I’m getting better all the time. I’m also fortunate enough to share my life with someone who likes my cooking and doesn’t mind eating my more errant attempts.

As Valentine’s Day weekend approaches, I know lots of you are planning meals for your loved ones. I started the celebrating last night a little early with a dinner of crab cakes with lemon wasabi sauce and red cabbage slaw. My slaw philosophy is at the end of this post.

I opened another bottle of Torbreck Woodcutter’s Semillon to go along with our meal. It’s my new favorite white wine.

I’ll spare you my rant about the ridiculous consumerism that surrounds V-Day (here’s my rant from a while back). I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you probably won’t be waiting two hours for a table or sitting down for a 10:30 reservation on Saturday night. I know one of my local eateries will be thrilled to have the business in a week or two.

Cooking for your sweetie is a much more romantic gesture anyway. Even if you’re a total novice, you can still follow a recipe and put together something simple. I’d rather have noodles with butter than fight the crowds on Valentine’s Day.

What will I be cooking Saturday night? I’m not sure.

I usually go for something pretty easy, so there’s not excessive clean-up. It’s also not the day to try something new and adventurous – I don’t want to be cranky if it doesn’t turn out right.

Whatever it is, it will be made with lots of love and care. Watching E enjoy my cooking makes me incredibly happy. It’s such a simple – yet rewarding – act of giving.