Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this year instead of showing you all the food and drink out there that you can buy a loved one, or create a recipe to impress a date, I thought I would talk about something that I love more than almost anything… food.
I think for most people there is some story, some memory that is held dearly that centres around food. Be it a first date with someone special, a recipe passed down from a loved family member or eating a home cooked meal that makes you feel warm inside. Food can comfort you during a heartbreak or bring two people closer together and the power of food is the main reason why I love it so much.
This Valentine’s Day I wanted to share the story on how my love affair with food began, and some of the ways it has helped me through 22 years of life. Perhaps I’m writing this in the hope that it has a cathartic effect, or perhaps I’m hoping someone might read it and relate. Whatever the reason… let me begin.
In recent years I’ve been called an ice queen by people close to me and also those not so close, it also became something I called myself as a defence mechanism. But for those who REALLY know me, it’s very clear than I’m a total softie, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m a sucker for romance, this is where my food love affair began.
When I met my first long term boyfriend I quickly learnt that food was the way to a man’s heart. On our first date round my parents’ house I cooked a spaghetti bolognaise, and it was terrible, I was nervous and I poured a whole bottle of red wine in and totally forget to cook it down. My then date, soon to be boyfriend powered through and cleared his plate and it was a whole 8 months later that I discovered he hated it. See, cooking for him was my way of showing affection and being ‘romantic’ and him eating the terrible meal was his. It then became apparent to me that food wasn’t just something I liked to eat, It was something I love to cook and serve and was my way of showing someone I care.
Luckily after that my cooking improved but it also became a creative outlet for me, as well as a comfort when things weren’t so great…
My teenage years were awesome, but like most 15-19 year olds there were times when I was a total mess, stressed because of exams, heartbroken because of a relationship that wasn’t working how I wanted it to, devastated when friendships didn’t last and inevitable feeling like a total outcast as most teenagers do at one point or another. Eating food wasn’t so much my comfort blanket, but cooking it was. Nothing can describe the happiness that I get from baking and cooking. If I’ve had a shitty day, it’s my stress release, If I’m feeling less than adequate cooking up a storm fills me with confidence and quite frankly I owe a lot to food for being there for me through some proper crap times.
My final little insight into my love affair with food is the first fine dining meal I was lucky enough to experience, my first taste of the bloody good stuff and perhaps, no, definitely the reason why I love a posh meal so much. My parents took me to Le Dauphin in Spain, this breathtaking, fine dining restaurant set into a cliff in El Portet, Moraira. To be honest the food wasn’t really to my taste at the age of 10 but the effort and attention to details that went into each dish still didn’t go unnoticed. This was the first occasion that I truly appreciated the love that someone else had for food, and It made me hungry to express my love for it too. So thanks to the chef, who’s name I have no idea of for inspiring me to embrace a love of all things food and drink.
This post is a little far away from my usual blog entry, but if I can’t share my experiences of love (all be it love for ice-cream and cake) on Valentine’s Day then when can I? I love food and it’s a huge part of my life, from memories I have of eating out with friends and family to it being an instant ‘hug’ on a bad day, not to mention the joy I get from my food blog.
I’d really love to hear your food love story. (sorry Tesco’s, stole that one from you guys) so let me know why YOU love food this Valentine’s Day!