We often hear about ‘Food for Thought’ but today I want to write about ‘Food for Love’…..in line with the LOVE theme of the Valentine’s Day which is just a few days away.
Talking about LOVE, remember the the old adage …“The Way to a Man’s (or a Woman’s) Heart is Through His (Her) Stomach”?
Is it true? Is the Way to a person’s Heart really through his/her Stomach?
I was intrigue and decided to conduct a little research on that….. and let’s see what I have found during my desk research…..
The American statesman John Adams wrote in a letter (1814), ‘The shortest road to men’s hearts is down their throats’, that’s where this originated by the way. During that time, many men were simply looking for a wife that would be a good Helpmate and Mother and the fact that she could cook well was a good indication that she was up to the takes of nurturing a family. In that time many a marriage was still “arranged” so if you could not offer romance and love at first sight.. then maybe your best bet was to be able to please his stomach and work your way to his heart.
Obviously True Love is based on much much more……BUT, love starts somewhere.. And A brilliant meal in a homey atmosphere can get a person thinking….and there’s just something about eating together that creates intimacy. Eating good meal together can bring people closer to each other.
Feeding a man/ woman does not claim his/her heart, but if you do it right, it can catch his/her attention. The heart is found when the attention focuses on the other person and an emotional connection is given.
There was one opinion by Kanon42 that captured my attention: “Love is not in the Heart, it’s in the Stomach”:
It’s often said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but there’s more to it than that. When you like someone, your stomach fill with this evil sense of foreboding, a flibbertigibbet feeling of uneasiness.
It’s not until the situation is resolved that your stomach calms its ceaseless churning and finally lets you finish lunch. But then there’s also the negative side. When you go through a bad break up, its the stomach that gets all twisted up. You eat too little or too much.
So in fact it’s not the heart but the stomach that is the source of all love emotions.
I also found an interesting quote by Robert Byrne which says “Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography”
Over the years of my cooking journey, I have learned how something seemingly as simple as cooking can make all the difference in a meal. I believe that when I cook with love, the food tastes better than when it’s prepared out of bad mood. That’s why it’s so important to cook with LOVE because it carries the energy of our thinking and feeling.
It’s a scientific fact that our emotions have a direct effect on that which we are cooking with our own hands. If I cook a dish from scratch, and I am happy about cooking, knowing I will get to share this dish with people I care about, then I am putting positive energy into my cooking. If I am preparing a meal but I’m in a bad mood then that is what I am putting into my cooking.
Since next Monday is Valentine’s Day, why not make something special for our loved one?
Here is one simple idea for Valentine’s Dinner…..…….. and what could be more romantic than ………..’Italian Dinner’ to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one where the most important ingredient in the menu is LOVE……..
For appetizer, I am thinking of Prosciutto e Melone (cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto). This is my favorite Italian appetizer. It’s just amazing and I never tire of it. I always get a little ’high’ when I imagine the taste of Prosciutto e Melone! The sweet cantaloupe, the sexy and salty Prosciutto, the tang of the mint and balsamic vinegar…… and all mixed with LOVE
Followed by Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce (Pomodoro) for the main course.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for garnish
- 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 500 gram spaghetti
- 1 small bunch fresh basil, for garnish
- Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, grated or shaved, for garnish
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in sugar, and season with salt, to taste.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain.
- Pour the tomato sauce over hot pasta with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of basil, and cheese (optional)
Decorate and serve with…… LOVE
Nothing says “I love you” to a loved one like Panna Cotta - a rich dessert surrounded by a some fresh berries…..this is to show the most thoughtfulness with the least culinary effort or expertise possible
- 1tablespoon of unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoon cold water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a non-stick saucepan, add gelatin and water together, blend to dissolve the gelatin over low heat, remove saucepan from heat.
- In another non-stick saucepan, mix heavy cream, half and half, sugar to boil slowly. Make sure to stir at all times so cream and sugar do not burn on the bottom.
- Remove the cream saucepan from heat, add the gelatin mixture, and add vanilla extract
- Divide the well blended cream mixture into ramekins, let it cool to room temperature
- Once cooled, cover the ramekins with saran wrap, and chill in fridge overnight.
- when ready to serve your Panna Cotta, dip your ramekins in hot water for a few seconds. Run a knife along the edge of the ramekin. Invert the ramekin onto a plate.
Serve with fresh berries and lots of LOVE
As the perfect summary to a lovely Italian dinner is a cup of Hot Creamy Cafe Latte saying ‘I love You’
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
- All pictures are ‘borrowed’ from Google Images