A Valentine’s Haiku

February 14, 2010 § 1 Comment

Each February, Jacob’s high school, the one he started with a group of friends and family at the age of 17 because he didn’t like his educational choices at the time, and where he now works, puts on a tremendously elegant Valentine’s Day fundraiser supper. This event is the major fundraiser for the high school, where a large portion of the fundraising is done by the students and the parents. Now that’s what I call initiative.

The Valentine’s day supper is a special event I look forward to each year – I get to dress up in my city clothes (I was once a city girl, you know), leave the kids with a sitter, and go out with Jacob and a couple of our friends who usually come down from Chicago. I’ve been to this event for eight years, and I think this one was the best one yet. They just get better and better at it all the time.

But wait, there’s more. It’s a five-course meal prepared by the students and parents and one or more chefs. For twelve years this chef was Jane Siemon, the wife of the Organic Valley CEO (or CIEIO, as he likes to call himself – everyone recognized the reference to the “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” right?). Organic Valley, though I can’t imagine you don’t know, is my hometown organic dairy cooperative giant, and nearly the only place I buy my dairy from. Jane is also the major force at the high-school, carrying the entire nutrition/cooking education curriculum, since all kids in our school have a three-week long cooking class for four years. How is that for fighting childhood obesity, Ms. Obama?

This year, however, Jane was ready to move on, and instead entered two of the Organic Valley chefs and a chef from the Waldorf elementary school from across the yard. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was every bit as good as under Jane. We had this amazing pear-celeriac puree soup (I didn’t know I could expect that much of celeriac, or, for that matter, pear), a fabulous roasted-sweet-potatoes-garlic-walnut-olive-feta fettuccine (others had pork roulade with berry wine reduction), an elegant salad, a chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce, and unlimited amounts of Prairie Fume (a fabulous local Wisconsin white wine from down the road that we drank at my wedding instead of the conformist champagne) and a red whose name I can’t recall. What can I say! So very delicious. Done with such finesse. Such subtle yet unforgettable blend of flavors. *Sigh*. I wish I could cook like that.

(By the way, one of the appetizers was Jane’s amazing chicken liver pate, made with Jane’s chickens I actually helped butcher this past fall,  which was the day when I finally learned how to kill them as well, having been merely a master gutter for the first six years of my chicken butchering experience. This is just to show you just how things are interconnected in a small town, and also to brag that I kinda sorta know how to kill chickens).

Anyhow, the dinner and the company were marvelous enough, but what moved me most of all were a series of haiku love poems written by the students in the Spanish class and then translated back into English, printed on cute little pieces of paper, and placed near the guests’ play settings. Some were very, very good, but the one nearest to my plate, providentially, had a poem that couldn’t have described mine and Jacob’s marriage more perfectly. Here it is:

My love for you

Is very cheap but

So so true.

Beats fortune cookies, hands down.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! And be sure to treat your Valentine (or yourself, heck) to one of those decadent desserts.

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§ One Response to A Valentine’s Haiku

  • colleen says:

    OHHHHHHH the valentines dinner.I thought of it longingly this year. We are in Asheville so we missed it. The first time since we moved to Viroqua ten years ago. I love this event.

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