The Ideal Valentine

One Halloween when I was in high school, I dressed up. But it wasn’t a well-planned costume. At the last minute, I remembered there was a costume party, and since I was president of the Student Council, I thought it would be poor form not to participate. At the last minute, I threw together this ridiculous “fairy ballerina” costume that involved an old tutu, smiley-faced boxer shorts, and a little sweater. It was horrific. I was in such a hurry, I forgot to pack a change of clothes. And when I arrived at school, I quickly discovered I wasn’t the only one who had failed to remember the costume party. Turns out, I was the only one who finally did.

That’s right friends.




Did I mention the costume was ridiculous? And that I didn’t have a change of clothes?

I tell you that story because a few days ago, we posted an invitation on the Scarlet Threads blog to tell a Valentine’s story – whether it was a fairy tale, drama, comedy, or tragedy. I imagine many of you have great stories, and we thought it’d be fun to get a few out on the table. Sadly, no one else thought it would be fun. At least not yet. But I haven’t lost hope. I still think others might participate. So here’s my offering…

And if I’m the only one, so be it. It won’t be the first time.

Friends, I present to you my Valentine’s Drama. Better known as: Jacob Learned Quickly

So it was our first year of marriage. Jacob and I were enjoying newlywed bliss, and I had just come back from a week of training at my adoption agency’s headquarters in Kentucky. A co-worker at the KY branch had just returned from Italy, armed with what sounded like delicious recipes.

One was for homemade gnocchi and a walnut cream sauce. Doesn’t it sound divine?

It was shortly before Valentine’s Day, and I thought we needed an extra-romantic at-home dinner to celebrate our first wedded Valentine’s. I took off work early and went home…

I made gnocchi. From scratch. (I’m still impressed by myself.  If anyone’s from Food Network, you can call me. I’m open to hosting a cooking show.) Everything was going perfectly. My anticipation grew as every step sailed right along. You see, Jacob’s the better cook in our household. It isn’t often that I wow him with something, and I just knew this was going to be it. (I have since evolved into the baker. He’s still a better cook…) With the gnocchi finished, I set to work on a walnut cream sauce. It was hard work, with an odd combination of ingredients, but my friend had assured me that the end result transformed into a celebration for the taste-buds.

Everything was finished. Lights were dimmed. Candles were lit. The sauce was simmering on the stove, and in walks my husband – home from a long day’s work. I felt like the quintessential 1950s housewife. That is until my husband walks up behind me at the stove, lovingly wraps his arms around my waist, and sweetly asks, “What are you making?”

“Homemade gnocchi with walnut cream sauce,” I proudly reply, as he dips a small spoon in for a taste.

“Oh,” he says.

Hmm… that didn’t sound quite right, I thought to myself. But maybe he’s just distracted from a long day.

He opened up the cupboard and withdrew a new saucepan. Then he turned to the fridge and started pulling out ingredients. Without a word, he starts pouring and stirring and simmering.

“What are you doing?” I ask, none too gently.

“Oh,” he casually said, with a nervous twitch slightly evident in his voice, “I thought the gnocchi sounded like it would go great with an alfredo/pesto sauce.”

That’s right, ladies and gents, my husband shamelessly made his own sauce for the Valentine’s feast I slaved to prepare.

I can’t say I blame him, as the walnut cream sauce really was awful. I’m not sure if it was my fault or the recipe’s fault; I’ll never know. I do know I was too stubborn for the first half of the meal to admit defeat. I ate my walnut sauce, even if I had to gag it down. Halfway through, though, I gave up. His alfredo pesto sauce smelled far too good to ignore.. and you know what they say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

I still enjoy holding it over his head. And dragging it out four years later to share with the blogosphere. I could tell you the sweeter stories, but this one is more fun.

So, will you share one of yours? Jump on over to the Scarlet Threads blog to link up and read more. Oh, and we’re offering a 15 percent off coupon on Scarlet Threads purchases now through February 8! You can get the details on the blog.

8 thoughts on “The Ideal Valentine

  1. You weren't there at Thanksgiving, but you could have added this story to the discussion Majaunta, Jenny, and I had about the McKean boys…they like to “help” (read, take over) when we cook. I like this story, unfortunately, I could add many of my own, but they are definitely not confined to V-day.


  2. I remember how good the gnocchi and walnut sauce was and i commend you for making it yourself! She once made a pumpkin risotto for me and I have tried without success to duplicate something close to it. Actually, I've given up. Honestly, I only do quick risotto from a box.


  3. SO funny….that is exactly how it is on our house. Sometimes, I'll make dinner, and Scot will sit down at the table with a bowl of cereal- it's his polite way of saying, “I'm sorry, I just can't eat it.” (Meanwhile I'm explaining to my kids that if they don't choose to eat what is in front of them, they will go to bed with hungry bellies-nice, huh?). I too have become the baker, but have also learned a lot from Scot over the years to the point where I can now say when I'm having a crisis in the kitchen, “WWSD?” (What would Scot do?), and I can usually figure it out! 🙂

    As for Valentines Day, I'm going to be NO help for you here- Scot may be a great cook, but a wonderful Valentines Day memory-maker…….not so much. I can't actually recall anything we've ever done to celebrate EVER. So, there you go…..that's maybe a depressing Valentines Day story for you! 🙂


  4. Ok Sis…you weren't ” the only one” who wore a costume. I remember someone who went as a black eyed pea and another was wrapped in saran wrap and called themselves left overs. You were “the only one” who looked totally ridiculous. Lol. Sorry but I had to. Love you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.