I know I've been a slacking blogger... so I'm gonna need you to prepare yourself for the lengthy post that is about to follow... and don't judge me based on how much is written about tasty food. Thanks.
Valentine's Day... I have never been much of a celebrator, unless you count the ritualistic buying of the heart-shaped Reese's and scoffing at the ridiculous facebook posts... but this year Andrew, Leticia and I thought it would be best to go all out! We were going to go to this pizzeria in Brooklyn that was making heart-shaped personal pizzas for the night... sounded like our kind of party. UNTIL I looked up the place and saw that they were doing this price-fixed menu and you had to pay $30! Excuse me? Just to press the dough into a different shape?! When I saw that price I flashed back to events of my childhood that went something like this...
(picture me at age 6 with the mushroom-like haircut and a denim jumper... no I was not home-schooled)
Me: "Mom, can I have that dress? Please it's so pretty??"
Mom: "Sara, don't be silly, we can MAKE that! Let's go to the fabric store and you can pick out your color... on the sale table"
Me: "Oh.. okay..."
(later at the grocery store)
Me: "Mom, can I get these lunchables? PLEASE?!" (No, not those nasty pizza ones or the ones with the hot dogs-- what IS that?!-- we're talking about the classic crackers, meat, and cheese)
Mom: "Sara, don't be silly, I can MAKE that! I'll cut up your cheese and meat and we have crackers-- it'll be the same... now grab that bologna."
Me: "Ooo mom, can we buy this gingerbread house kit?"
Mom: "Sara, seriously, we can MAKE that... and we'll make it into a manger with Jesus and all the animals!"
(Which turned into one of the most awesome displays of all time... if only I had a picture of that to put on here!)
Anyway.. you get the point. I had been trained from a young age to recognize the flaws in products that were expensive and knew I could make a better and much more economical version. So I dwelled on the wise words of Sue Beth Henderson and exclaimed to my dismayed friends "Guys, it's fine-- we can MAKE that pizza! WHATEVER! This will be the best Valentine's Day ever!" So the decision was made and we began preparations for the festivities. Leticia and I had gone earlier in the day to have the alleged best pancakes in the city at Clinton Street Bakery... I was sold...
That's a ramekin of maple butter... at first I was wary of the combination of syrup and butter in one... but it is in fact genius. Go ahead-- book those NYC tickets and you too can indulge in this goodness.
SO we did that and we were wandering about the city and were laughing at all the people carrying around ridiculously large stuffed animals and balloons. In Texas, if you decide it's appropriate to buy a 4 foot panda to show your loved one how much you care, you can keep it on the downlow by shoving that mess in your trunk and no one has to know how terrible of a gift giver you are. But here in the Big City, you have to carry around your purchases all day long and show no less than 100,000 people your "perfect gifts" as you carry them on the subway and bus. By the way, it is never appropriate for a 4 food panda to have a seat on L train while I am standing. Just sayin'.
ANYWAY, so as we got home, we thought it would only be appropriate to go by our local 99 cent store and purchase a large "I Love You" balloon for our dear Andrew so he would have the privilege of carrying that on the bus and subway when he went home that night... we're good friends. While we were there, we naturally picked up a banner with some scary cupids along with some festive plates and napkins. We were prepared.
I must say... the party was a huge success. Per usual, there were other people invited to our shindig, but the trek to Glendale proved to be too much for them to handle, so it ended up being just me, Leticia, and Andrew... but it was perfect! Andrew came over like a true gentleman bearing flowers, wine, and a Japanese cheesecake.. which I can only describe as the beautiful love child of classic cheesecake and pound cake. It's deliciously dangerous.
He loved the balloon. And he loved it on the bus. And the subway. And the walk home.
I set to work on the heart-shaped pizza. I also made a batch of chocolate covered pretzels, because I had gotten a little out of control shouting "we can make it!" all day long, and had to follow through after spouting that off when Leticia was looking for some chocolate-covered pretzels to buy in the city. My plan was to melt white chocolate, dye it pink, and drizzle it over. However, I apparently don't understand the precise science of melting chocolate, so I ended up with some sort of pinky-red paste... so I once again thought to myself "What would Sue Beth do??" and I began to form tiny hearts out of the paste and placed them in the center of the pretzels.
While some of them ended up looking more like actual human hearts than the cute valentine ones, but they looked pretty cute I must say! So we prepared our table and began our feast. Now, going out into the city for dinner is fun and all... but really, this night was so much fun and I can't remember a more lovely Valentine's Day than this one :) I'd like to thank my dear mother for always being willing to think outside the box and get creative... things always turned out to be more fun and interesting that way. Love you, Sue Beth!