Thursday, February 8, 2018

Food Valentines that Missed: The Yam, the Herring and the Abused Cow

In addition to writing about college professors and clinical research studies and the latest innovations in fireplace design, I also write about food. I write about chefs and restaurants and trends and recipes, and I never get tired of it, although I sometimes get very, very hungry.

This Valentine's Day, I went off searching for some vintage Valentines that might be fun to share. I found a blonde mermaid insisting that there was “nothing fishy” about her love; sledding kids declaring there was “snow doubt” that they wanted the recipient to be their valentine; a pony-tailed teen, lying prone, telephone in hand, somehow rhyming “yak” and “it’s a fact” that she wants U to be her valentine. I was in heaven.

Then I found the food valentines, but the really odd ones -- clearly made the day the office staff went out for lunch and had too many cocktails, or perhaps when one of them just snapped at all the unmanageable rhymes for garrulous adolescents. Perhaps the artist was simply a victim of her own success. One day, feeling hungry, she came up with giant, romantic fruits, declaring they’d be “a peach of a pair.” She followed that up with a bowl of salty snacks and the line, “I’ll pop a corny question and ask you to be my valentine.”

Perhaps those cards were huge hits. The public loved them. The boss demanded more food-related valentines. The artist was stuck. Then, in a fit of desperation, she created this:
 An orange-fleshed tuber in a valentine?  Hey, it worked with the bowl of popcorn. For those who think Mr. Yam is wielding spud privilege with a menacing cane/weapon, I will state that I believe it's more of a walking stick/accessory. This yam is probably best buds with Mr. Peanut.  When he isn’t sweet-talking lady yams, he and Mr. P. probably take long strolls down the boulevard, stunted arm in stunted arm.  I imagine the yam has been saving up for a monocle.

But back to our desperate artist. The boss accepted the yam-entine, grudgingly, so now where should she turn? Why, to Omega-rich oily fish, of course:
 Our love can be pickled, our love can be smoked, but it will last forever, said this genius card.

By this point, I imagine that the boss was getting angry. No one wants a valentine like this, he shouted.  Go back, literally, to the drawing board. And then, our artist created it:  a valentine that combines cruelty, red meat and love in a perfect trifecta of Valentine’s devotion:
Did the boss fall for it?  I like to think that the artist was carried around the office on the shoulders of her adulatory co-workers, and that she eventually took over the company and sold it to the Japanese in 1965 for one million dollars.

Or something like that. Happy Valentine's Day, by the way.