Cooking with family and friends has increased my family’s sense of community and ‘family’, and the depth of the expression of our love, and today I added a gorgeous Italian chocolate biscuit Baci D’Alassio to my recipe file, the 17th so far. Since my memory has become dysfunctional, cooking together has become more of a regular event, rather than me cooking and everyone turning up to eat. It is such a beautiful way to spend time together, as the laughter and learning and love that takes place is priceless. I want to say Happy Valentine’s Day to my husband, Happy 14th Anniversary to my husband and boys (we became a legally united family that day!), and happy birthday to my girlfriend Karen who I am catching up with soon. No doubt there are countless others who are dishing out buckets of romance to each other, and I hope they are celebrating it with food that is prepared with love. We rarely go out on this day, as the restaurants fill up their tables and plates with too much commercialism, and not enough love, and three times the price of a meal and glass of champagne! It is one of the few things that still annoys me, and was something I refused to do when I was cooking for a living. I refused to triple my prices just because someone wanted to get married, and provided wedding cakes, food and wine, and flowers at reasonable prices. My brides were one of the best parts of my business, and I really miss being part of creating an extraordinary event, especially cooking the food for their special day. The sharing of food provides such a beautiful forum for celebrating friendship and love, and I love the Slow Food movement for just this reason, and wish all the fast food outlets would simply move away! I know this is a pipe dream, but at least I can refuse to eat in them, and still be part of creating my own Slow Food at home. I did have a blog about nurses almost ready for today, but thought it should wait as felt for sure today’s blog needed be about love and food and family and friendship. Enjoy your day, whatever it brings, and forgive all the wonderful men (or women!) who might forget to bring home chocolates and flowers! Open your heart, pray, eat and love.