Thursday, February 10, 2011

Walkin' After Midnight

Last week Chef and I joined a couple on a dinner theater double date.  We went to see Taking a Closer Walk with Patsy Cline at the Alhambra Dinner Theater.  I love dinner theater, there is something wonderfully retro about it.  For those of you who don't know Patsy Cline, you ought to...she is only one of the best female American singers of the twentieth century, which is no small feat considering she tragically died at the peak of her career in a plane crash at the age of 31.  Walkin' After Midnight, is definitely one of my top 5 love songs, and since Valentine's Day is coming up I thought this week I would write a bit about love.

There were 3 couples sitting at our table at the Alhambra that evening.  Chef and I, our friends Merle and Julian, and a pair of strangers.  While we chatted excitedly with our friends over a bottle of wine, the couple to my right barely said a word to each other the first 20 minutes they sat down.  She was relatively non-descript, all I remember is her diamond pendant and that she had a pink I-phone.  He was bald, clean shaven and wearing a starched yellow shirt.  After their strained silence, the man tried to strike up a conversation with his wife about a man standing in the buffet line. ( The buffet, our dining experience is a story unto itself I will share in the future).

"What do you think about that fella over there in the sweater vest?  I like that look.  It looks nice, but still casual."

"I don't.  I think he looks sloppy.  Too casual for the theater.  I think it is terrible."  She squawked back.

"Forget I said anything."  He replied.

I kid you not. 

I looked over at Merle and Julian, Julian with his arm thrown over the shoulder of his wife of 30 something years, laughing away about something said and thought to myself...bravo.  You two know how love is done.

Love is a strange bird don't you think?  Flies in and out of our lives.  My love flew into my life at a bar.  Go figure.  Chef and I attended a going-away party for a mutual friend at a favorite local watering hole.  We had a brief introduction as is usual at such occasions and then carried on with our evening.  Little did I know that he was smitten.

From that day on he rode his bike past that tavern every night for two months to see if I was there. Finally one night he spotted me through the open door.  He walked in, strolled up to me at the bar said hello and in the next breath asked "So when am I cooking for you?"  Without a second thought I shot back "How about Thursday night?"  It was done.  Our first date set.
I arrived at his loft apartment on the designated evening and after a tour he poured me a healthy glass of wine.  For dinner he served pan roasted scallops with lima bean succotash, pepper-cured pork tenderloin with ginger blackberry preserves, a baby green salad with rice wine vinaigrette, and Earl Gray pots de creme with tempura fried truffles.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that I did not really eat pork, so I did it, and after that first bite I never looked back.  And the fried truffles...gentlemen out there, if you want to win a woman's heart forever fried chocolate works every time.

Chef did not feast with me, but instead drank wine and watched me eat every last bite.  It was a bit unnerving to sit at a table with someone you barely know and have them watch you eat...but I found something attractive about the situation as well.  He was so intent on me enjoying the meal, and talking about the food, he was so interested in what I had to say about his craft that I found all the attention strangely flattering.  

Lets just say there was much more wine imbibed that evening, more than is healthy. I woke up in the morning fully clothed in his bed with a terrible headache and embarrassed as hell.  I assured him I wasn't that type of girl as I rushed out of his apartment.  All I remembered aside from the meal is a few brief flashes of me jumping on his bed. Yup. Not that kinda girl.

The rest is history.  We are 5 years and 2 kids into a life together, and don't need a reason to celebrate love...but why not?  Last year we started a new Valentine's Tradition, I cook him the meal of his choosing and he buys me a pair of plants.  Then it was a five course, this year he took pity on me and has requested only 3.

Bib Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Roasted Eggplant and Sausage Rigatoni
Humming Bird Cake

We will celebrate on Sunday night, because my man works every Valentine's Day.   He is usually home from work by midnight, so who knows...maybe we will go walkin'.