Cooking is always an act of love for me. Even if, instead of whipping up a romantic feast to rival Babette’s this Valentine's, it is making peanut butter toast for my daughter.
I’m not entirely sure where this expressing-love-through-cooking thing comes from, for me. My mom certainly did not enjoy cooking and I suspect eating was always more functional for her than an experience to be shared and savoured.
I do remember this: Making thick custard for my father on a winter’s night as a little girl. Sprinkling it with cinnamon sugar and proudly presenting it to him. And relishing his obvious delight.
We’ve put together some recipes to inspire you to cook with love for the important people in your life. Whether, like Sam, you choose to spend the day with a cherished friend, or if you are making food to seriously seduce your lover like Jan, life is full of opportunities to celebrate – and why not love?
Sex in the City: This menu is packed with aphrodisiac delights that lovers can feed each other by hand.
When Harry met Sally: Leave plenty of time to enjoy each other’s company for a relaxed evening with these simple dishes.
Family affair: Light some candles, put a flower on each plate and spoil your kids with this special dinner on Monday night.
Single girls don’t cry: Call your friends and let each bring something for a girls-only feast that rocks.
Perhaps Valentine’s Day should not be so much about waiting for someone else to make you feel special, but rather about you doing something you love for the people that mean something to you?
I’m thinking of whipping up a batch of these cheeky chili chocolate cupcakes for my mates at work and later surprising my daughter with a special candle-lit dinner of pink food: Pink salmon fishcakes, watermelon and feta salad plus a thick homemade strawberry milkshake.
How about you?