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Happy Valentine’s Day to all!  My heart is cold–or rather the beef heart in my freezer is. Back in the day, some of my friends thought Cold as Ice should have been my theme song. Oh, they didn’t know me and of course neither did I. Today, though, I am fairly accused of being cold-hearted at least towards the animal whose heart was just on my kitchen table so I could take this photo.  Either that or being in on the  nose-to-tail cookery bandwagon or the Paleo schtick or whatever other trend goes with hunks of organs in one’s house. I can assume vegetarians and many meat-eaters alike might not appreciate this photo of a beef heart, purchased by my husband, thankfully not as my Valentine’s present from Deer Run Farm of Amelia at a Farmer’s Market here in town. It was not purchased with a photo shoot in mind. He wants to eat more organ meat, or at least have it in the freezer. FYI, the liver didn’t want to be a part of the photo shoot. Chicken, I guess. Ha! It is impressively heart-shaped, I have to admit.

Heart be still.

My life has evolved in the last couple of years to the point where Sunday night I was at The Virginia Historical Society for the inaugural Elby’s, Richmond Magazine’s very fun bash to honor the cuisine scene in town, and had the chance to hear Caleb Shriver, chef at Aziza’s and winner of Rising Culinary Star and Tim Bereika, acclaimed chef at Secco Wine Bar which won the Wine Program award, talk about pizza crusts and how to cook the beef heart that has been sitting in our freezer for a bit. Would not have guessed I’d been in on that conversation two years ago, gotta say. And just so you know, they both said to “corn it,” as in spice it and slow cook it like corned beef.  In my heart of hearts, I might be able to stomach that. I’ll let you know.


Now and again it becomes painfully obvious that I shouldn’t be allowed around food. Or I shouldn’t be responsible for food that people expect to eat. Or I shouldn’t have dropped the lovingly hand-crafted gluten-free pizza dough that I had carefully topped with homemade pesto (not so lovingly prepared–more like panicked pesto since the basil took a turn for the worse after I got it from the South of the James Market), chicken, mozzarella, and tomato onto the oven floor.

Pizza from Aziza's is much better than mine, but you knew that already.

Good thing friends who like blackened chicken showed up soon after because we had some. Blackened oven, too. Blackened mozzarella just hasn’t caught on yet.

I could not get a job at Aziza’s, where Greg Boone makes some of my favorite pizza ever. Lucky for me, I’ll get to taste some next Saturday when we do our next Real Richmond Shockoe Bottom/Church Hill food tour. It works out much better for all concerned–especially the people eating–if I’m allowed around food only when talented people prepare and serve it. Otherwise things get a little messy.

I spilled milk every night of my childhood and though that isn’t a crying shame, I think it set the tone for my relationship with food and drink. I’m a kitchen clutz.

I’m back!