My Yummy Valentine

by Alison Friedman in Baby Land, Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings

Valentine’s Day 2006: Sixty miles away from home, after a fun day at the aquarium, a romantic gondola ride with lots of kisses under bridges through the canals of Long Beach with a perfect Italian dinner in a cute little ristorante, dressed in our best date night threads.

Valentine’s Day 2012: Zero miles away from home, after a long day of work and parenting, a yummy dinner from the condo kitchen, followed by mediocre sugar cookies and “Chopped” on TV, dressed in our best couch couture.

Yeeeeeeeah, I’d say things have changed a lil bit. Yup. This                   much.

No complaints here! Yes, the era of extravagant outings and making a big deal of Hallmarkidays is over, but I kind of like the cozy concept of enjoying our home, doses of Madelyn, and snuggles with Princeton. Oh, and each other. So, it was only natural that our Valentine’s Day 2012 was low key, but special. All we planned to do was eat a delicious meal created by Bryan. It couldn’t be created by me or it would not have been a delicious meal. And our fire insurance would have to be validated.

Bryan whipped up a peppercorn filet mignon that made me want to fly higher than Bette Midler’s eagle. It was sosososososososo good. My man can cook. And bake. Then he had the audacity to present me with a chocolate souffle. Take that, Bette. And your eagle.

Meanwhile, back in Baking Land, {bee bee bee bee boo boo dooooo} I tried to find my inner Mrs. Fields. Or Sara Lee. Or Betty Crocker. I don’t discriminate against chicks who can bake; I’ll take any one. So, Keyword: Tried. I threw together some sugar cookies, cut them out with my new heart cookie cutters (thanks, Ma!), and then attempted to make royal icing. Confectioner’s sugar and regular sugar is the same thing, right? WRONG. Attempt to make royal icing #2 went better when I used the correct form of sugar and I even got crafty with the gel food coloring. I learned, though, that royal icing basically has PMS all the time and is a temperamental decoration, so I think it’ll take a few more trials and errors until I perfect the right consistency.

My icing didn’t come out as shiny as I would have liked, which was mean because it looked shiny as I was applying it. What a royal tease. Overall, the cookies tasted fine. They just weren’t as purty as I would have liked.

After we shoved dinner and dessert down our throats, we decided to shove ourselves down Madelyn’s throat. She’d been upstairs sleeping (a romantic dinner AND no babysitter?! Score! for having a date night at home!) and, really, what’s Valentine’s Day without our itty bitty Valentine? Our own baby Cupid? But, with no bows and arrows because we’re Jewish and don’t own weapons.

Madelyn joined us, took a visual — VISUAL! — liking to the sugar cookies, and we exchanged some presents. We said we weren’t doing gifts this year because Madelyn was our gift {cheesy “awwww”}, but my rebel husband decided it would be acceptable to surprise me with an a.dor.a.ble and so-Alison, petite heart necklace (thanks, Krystal!). I girl-squealed at that one.

A few weeks ago, Madelyn and I made a ceramic hand and foot print keepsake. It was ready for pick-up only last week, so I held onto it to show Bryan on Valentine’s Day and he adored the finished product of Madelyn’s little prints. We can’t wait to display it in her room to look back on as she grows.

Shortly after our mini gift exchange and before we settled onto the couch for a usual night of iPhones in our laps and eyes on the Food Network, we put Madelyn back to sleep and our little baby Valentine looked so peaceful and beautiful in her crib as she slept, probably dreaming of filet mignon and actually-good royal icing.