Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the epitome of Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day is the first since 1990 or so that I did not dress in black. I hate Valentine's Day, despite being happily mated to the love of my life--I just resent manufactured holidays that encourage consumerism. This year I am working from home and no longer shop at chain stores or big box stores that will assault me with pink and red advertisements and the stink of cheap chocolate. Also, since I work from home, there's no real reason for me to get dressed at all unless I feel like it; on sewing days I wear workout clothes since I'm crawling around on the floor a lot. Today I have on stretchy jeans and a pale pink hoodie with some kind of Chinese dragon stenciled on it.

But I digress. Calendar dates mean little to me and the Sparring Partner in terms of romantic occasions; in fact the last two years we forget our own anniversary. Holidays and birthdays, if we observe them, are excuses for me to make fancy desserts.

Which brings me to the subject of this post.

I overbought on baking ingredients at Christmastime. So I had a nice block of Callebaut chocolate waiting around in the pantry. I decided to make molten chocolate cakes for our Valentine's treat. (I could also mention we had some excellent grass-fed ribeye steaks from our freezer, but that would be bragging.) I like molten chocolate cakes; they're easy, they're tasty, they are relatively low in sugar and contain almost no flour, plus they make smallish individual servings so we're not gorging on desserts for the rest of the week. (I'm about to go on my early-spring reduction plan so this is important.)

I'm chopping up the chocolate brick, on my wooden cutting board with my butcher knife. It's a very nice butcher knife--Japanese steel; the Boy got it for me as a Valentine's Day gift, coincidentally, the first year that I lived here. I love the knife. He keeps it sharp for me. I was abusing it by using it on the cutting board.

About halfway through the chopping process I noticed I'd broken the tip off the knife.

I still don't know how it happened. I figure I stabbed the blade down into the hardwood board and torqued it just right. The tip of the blade must've been brittle from sharpening. I inspected the larger pieces of chocolate, and I could see on how the first few breaks the tip of the knife is still pointed; on the last few the impression of the blade shows the broken profile.

This makes me very sad because a) I've damaged my pretty knife and b) I have a pile of obscenely expensive chocolate that may have a tiny triangle of razor-sharp steel hidden inside.

I got my magnetic tool retriever and raked it through all the shavings of chocolate, listening for a tiny cling! of metal grabbing metal. Nothing.

I examined every large chunk of chocolate and smoothed my fingers over the finer shavings, nose almost touching the cutting board, looking for a shine or waiting for a snag on my fingertips. Nothing.

I have no idea where the tip of that blade went. I figure in order for it to break off it had to be embedded pretty good in the wood, so maybe it's still there.

At any rate we savoured those molten chocolate cakes very slowly and thoroughly, waiting for the bite of pain.

And if that's not a metaphor for love I don't know what is.


Freyalyn said...

You're getting a bit deep here! Very thoughtful.

Shirley, surely said...

I love this! Did you get a new knife, but keep this one, if only for the memory/story?

Holly said...

Oh no, the knife is still perfectly usable, and eventually the broken tip will be tapered off by repeated sharpenings. The broken bit was maybe 3/16 of an inch long.