Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Valentine's Day Table-So Much More Than Romance

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I began to formulate images of flowers, candlelight, soft music and romance in my mind and jumped right into creating my Valentine's Day tablescape.  This year I combined the vibrant color of red with my black and tan leopard print.  The leopard print ribbon on the vase was last year's purchase from a Christmas clearance and it seemed to fit in so well with the leopard runner and deco balls.  I had enough ribbon left to make a bow for my red rose door wreath too.  Don't you feel a little provocative and sassy when you see this tablescape?  What kind of feelings does it conjure up for you?

What would Valentine's Day be without a bit of something sweet?  I, of course, love chocolate and would have no problem dreaming up a rich, delectable chocolate dessert.  However, I need to make every attempt at keeping those ever mounting calories down.  So for a more healthier option, I decided to make a simple but extremely delicious dessert.  My vanilla mascarpone cheese and fruit stuffed waffle cones are tantalizing yet not overly sweet and rich.  When I used mascarpone cheese for the first time several years ago, I immediately fell in love.  I admit, I am hooked on the silky smooth texture and delicate taste of mascarpone cheese and enjoy finding recipes that use a variation of it.  The stuffed waffle cone dessert includes my own mascarpone cheese whipped filling and is the perfect texture for filling the cone with a pastry bag.  Since I can control the amount of sugar or sweetness that goes into making this filling, it can be a better way to enjoy a dessert. It adds just the right amount of sweetness to the fruit and the waffle cone adds a bit of a crunch.  This dessert can also be served with colorful sprinkles and a whole lot of love. 


Of course, this leads me to "the something more" which I alluded to in the caption of my post.  As I was cleaning out my saved files on my computer, I came across an interesting excerpt taken from a book and posted from a Facebook friend.  I saved it for later use in my file entitled, Serious Ponderings.  This thought-for-the-day is an excerpt from the book, The Supper of the Lamb, written and published in 1967 by Robert F. Capon, author, Episcopal priest, theologian, chef and food writer.  This piece entitled, The Richest Subjects in the World, started me thinking about what really comprises my Valentine's Day dinner.  As you read it, give some thought as to how it relates to your Valentine's Day gathering or even your every day family meal.  

As I read this excerpt and then yet again, I began to believe that food and the dining experience at home was more than just eating for physical sustenance and to satisfy hunger.  Certainly, I do not want to ignore or minimize the importance of food giving nourishment and life, especially for those who go hungry.  But, I do believe that it is for this very reason and importance that we should look at food as something special and treat it as such--a blessing, a gift and a chance to bring people together around our dinner table and share it.  By welcoming others and sharing our meal with those who are at our table, we give a piece of our heart by way of our cooking.  Our shared dining experience also gives the ability and opportunity to show how much we care for each of those seated around our table and provide a spirit of belonging.   For me, it sets the stage for what truly goes on in a much broader sense.  Our sense of humanity begins here, around the dinner table.  It is where we share, give thanks for the good food that we eat and express our experiences, thoughts or plans with family and friends.

So before this Valentine's Day, and before you begin planning and preparing your menu, remember just how much more goes into your meal than you originally might have thought.  For me, it truly signifies a love profoundly much greater----it is a love expressed through food that is so much more than just romance.  It helps formulate our sense of humanity.

Happy Valetnine's Day!