Had a belated Valentine’s lunch with my husband today at Dancing Geisha. Hadn’t been and love trying new restaurants. Groupon turned me onto this one and today seemed a good day to visit. Food wasn’t bad–shrimp vinadloo set my mouth afire. And who knew Gobi Manchurian–fried cauliflower, really–could be so delicious? A basket of lightly charred naan was another nice touch. But I wouldn’t go back–food wasn’t over-the-top spectacular and there are too many other places to try.
My favorite food moment today, though, wasn’t the trendy downtown Indian restaurant. Also wasn’t the hastily thrown-together meatloaf that had to finish in the microwave so we could make 6 p.m. soccer practice. It was the wander past the marked down Valentine’s candy at the grocery stotre. I bought a bag of conversation hearts on the cheap for two reasons. For someone who loves candy, conversation hearts–really nothing more than solid rocks of colored sugar–are perfection. Beyond the sugar high I was seeking was the second reason: Buying a bag of Brach’s brought my grandpa to mind. He died years ago, but one memory I’ll always carry is his stash of out-of-season candy. He kept it in a round metal biscuit tin on the third of fourth step of their big white house, then in the hallway closet just off the kitchen when they moved to the smaller red house. You were sure to find Christmas ribbon candy in February, Valentine hearts in March, and fun-size Halloween candy in December. Bemused, I realized I have been carrying this tradition on for a while now. My pantry has a section with oversize pumpkin marshmallows (who knew they sold pumpkin marshmallows?), ribbon candy, Christmas tree Peeps®, and bulk candy corn. To that I add, in honor of Grandpa Bob, a bag of sugary, jawbreaker-solid conversation candy hearts. How sweet is that?