February 13, 2014
For me, the most romantic food is not lobster or caviar; it’s a bowl of the smallest of strawberries. This deep emotional connection to these jeweled little treasures start where all the best romance stories begin, Paris. My husband is the man with a plan, and our engagement story is the stuff of movie scenes. A warm summer night in Paris, twinkle lights in the elegant courtyard of the Ritz Hotel, violins playing as we feasted on course after course of Parisian deliciousness. It really felt and still feels like a dream.
For dessert, we were served the smallest bowl of dainty, wild strawberries, fraises des bois or “strawberries of the woods.” These petite powerhouses were bursting with the most intense flavor. From that moment on, those bright berries became a touchstone to that special evening when the man of my dreams asked me to be his wife.
Fast forward a good ten years, two kids, a few moves, a dog, a turtle and countless goldfish and the endless hunt for strawberries that compared to that first bowl of sweetness. I should’ve known from the start where to go — home. I found these Alpine strawberries at Island Seed and Feed, planted them in our yard and have been rewarded with a little taste of that Paris magic year around.
Here I sit in front of the computer screen, my old Lulu’s covered in flour from making sugar cookies for my daughter’s class party, figuring out how to prepare for a Brownie meeting with a focus on Bunny Mats, and still rattled from the drama of making sure all those school valentines are done and still, just a glimpse of these berry photos makes me smile.
For our Valentine’s Day dinner for two at home, the plan is to make cracked crab legs on BBQ, served with a green salad and a small bowl of these Alpine strawberries for dessert. With the kids parked in front of a movie, we’ll enjoy each bite.