Side Dish: Valentine’s Day (February 22, 2010)

Last week was Valentine’s Day and as some of you know I have what can best be described as a love-hate relationship with the holiday. Sure I met Kevin again (for the first time) on Valentine’s Day a few years ago, but for the most part, my Valentine’s Days have been a string of bad memories tracing all the way back to Second Grade and a certain girl named Bea.

That year my parents kept asking who my Valentine was going to be with a panicky and optimistic expression on their faces. It was as if they were desperately hoping that my intense interest in Barbie was just a phase. Since I didn’t think they’d want to hear that I had my eyes (and heart) set on Sean (the best whiffle ball player in my class!) I lied and named the most popular girl: Bea. My mom encouraged me to ask her to be my Valentine and so at lunch the day before Valentine’s Day, between bites of a dry turkey sandwich, I built up the courage and passed Bea the note you see above. She laughed, checked a box and sent it back.

Ouch. I collected myself, downed the rest of my chocolate milk and did what any aspiring chef would do to deal with my pain: put on my chef’s hat, apron and oven mitts and headed into the kitchen.

Since the next day was Valentine’s Day I decided to play it safe and just make my parents breakfast in bed right down to freshly made Belgian Waffles. Call me a perfectionist, but as I focused my efforts on getting the plate garnishes just right (after all, you eat first with your eyes), I completely forgot about the waffles and, well we had a Valentine’s Day date with a fireman.

OK the fire wasn’t that bad, but the waffles were. To their credit, though, my parents dutifully ate them. Although I don’t think anyone had seconds.

But 2010 was going to be different. Valentine’s Day this year was on a Sunday. Kevin and I coordinated our schedules so we could spend the whole day together starting with a breakfast in bed menu I had been planning all week (including a new waffle recipe). Nothing could get in our way except, of course, the Walker family.

As most of you have probably heard by now (and maybe some of you even saw on the news!) Kevin’s sister Kitty spent Valentine’s Day announcing her run for the US Senate. At first I was disappointed that our plans for the day changed so suddenly, but looking around during Kitty’s speech I realized that being part of this kind of familial love is exactly what Valentine’s Day is all about.

And although we spent the whole day with the Walkers, when Kevin and I got home that night I realized something equally important: who says breakfast in bed is only for the morning? So Kevin and I put on our pajamas and ended the day with breakfast. I even made waffles again, this time without bothering the local fire department.

Scotty’s Belgian Waffles

Ingredients:
1 package dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm milk
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted flower
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup melted butter

Directions:
Sprinkle yeast over warm milk; stir to dissolve. Beat egg yolks and add to yeast mixture with vanilla. Sift together flower, salt and sugar; add to liquid ingredients. Stir in melted butter and combine thoroughly. Beat the egg whites until stiff; carefully fold into batter. Let mixture stand in a warm place about 45 minutes or until mixture doubles in bulk. Use -1 cup mix per waffle. Makes four Belgian waffles.
Top with strawberries in the shape of a heart for your special Valentine.