Having attended a Jewish day school for eight years while growing up, Valentine’s Day was never a big celebration. We were not encouraged to bring in cards or candy for our classmates, and my mother never failed to remind me that the holiday is actually SAINT Valentine’s Day. (I never trick-or-treated either, but I promise, I turned out just fine!) Looking back now, I never considered it a double standard when my father brought home chocolates (or even better, Godiva flavored coffee) for my mother on February 14th. I suppose he always bought extra candy on Halloween too, so I shouldn’t complain…
Last year, after having dated Kirios for several months already, it seemed appropriate for us to exchange gifts and spend time together on Valentine’s Day. We decided not to go out for a fancy dinner or anything, and we made a no-chocolate pact. (Trust me, we already had plenty between the two of us!) I ordered Kirios a set of cufflinks with his initials engraved on them (which meant I needed to buy him a French cuff shirt next so he could wear them!), and was feeling pretty good about my gift for him, and then a few days before Valentine’s Day I won a $25 Godiva gift card in an office raffle. There went my side of the pact!
Meanwhile, Kirios was laboriously working on the circuitry for ThinkGeek’s “LED Flashing Sweetheart Kit” and plotting the demise of our pact as well. (Yes, I love my Greek Geek.) While the flashing heart didn’t exactly pan out, (must have been a short somewhere) Kirios did surprise me with an entire case of Israeli popping chocolate. If you haven’t had popping chocolate, just imagine a chocolate bar with pop rocks inside it. When I traveled toIsrael in high school, I hoarded the stuff. My parents went toIsrael together in October 2010 and brought me back a bar, which I shared with Kirios. “They sell the cow brand chocolate in the States,” I told him, “but I’ve never seen the popping one here. It’s so unfair.” He may have broken our no-chocolate pact, but major props for thinking of popping chocolate and for actually finding it in theUnited States! (I know, he’s a keeper…)
Anyway, sure enough February rolled around again this year and Hallmark store on the way to my office started displaying humongous red hearts all over the place. With our trip toNew Mexicoin the beginning of the month and my birthday at the end, we decided again to skip the expensive price-fixed dinner, and while we were at it, we renewed our no chocolate pact. Instead, we decided to make our own crepe feast with savory crepes for dinner and sweet crepes for dessert using our fancy schmancy blue steel crepe pan.
I was in charge of getting ingredients for the savory crepes and Kirios was in charge of the dessert ones. I stopped at the supermarket on my way home from work, and picked up some fresh produce to ensure a delightful meal. Before Kirios came over, I prepared a platter of vegetables so we could quickly make the crepes together and then start eating our first course. We had steamed asparagus; sautéed portabella mushroom and garlic; fresh spinach, carrots, scallions, tomato, and avocado; as well as kosher imitation bacon bits, fresh oregano (to appeal to his Greek flavor profile) and hand-grated cheese.
I also gave Kirios a small gift – a mug designed to look like a camera lens. He was pleased with his present, and now uses it to drink coffee at work. Kirios agreed not to get me a special Valentine’s Day gift, since he had just bought me a beautiful ring while we were in Santa Fe. But the man lacks restraint sometimes, especially when it comes to spoiling me. He arrived at my apartment with two overflowing grocery bags from Trader Joe’s and immediately said, “oh no, I forgot to buy a pineapple!” I mean, what sweet crepe is complete without a whole pineapple to stuff inside of it?!? Slowly he began unveiling the fruits he picked out for dessert – blueberries, blackberries, bananas. And then he continued to unveil fruits – mango, kiwis, a basket of plums, three different colors of grapes, an entire bag of oranges, a pomegranate, and a cantaloupe! Kirios became frustrated that I was putting the fruit away too slowly (it required a love of refrigerator maneuvering) but he didn’t stop pulling contents out of his grocery bags. In addition to the fruits, Kirios had also purchased two kinds of cheeses, a container of chai tea mix, mango ginger chutney (which provided much needed moisture for our savory crepes), a bottle of sparkling wine, and a single red rose.
It’s now more than a week after Valentine’s Day. I am still making my way through the produce, but I didn’t miss the pineapple!