Some buy flowers, chocolate, a trinket, perhaps. I show my love with cheese.
It was not always this way. Indeed, the rubbery, insipid stuff consumed during my 1980s suburban childhood, and the low-fat abomination I favoured during my calorie-conscious college years, would have been as pathetic a token of affection as the free plastic mugs sometimes on offer at 7-11.
There were missteps as well, most notably the palate-burning (pavement-eating?) hockey puck of goats milk--aka the cheese of mass destruction--which I proudly brought home from Borough for our first holidays together. The problems of odiferousness have not been entirely overcome, though I have found that expensive hand wash does much to counter the smell of barn.
But it could only have been love that induced me to share my astounding cheese course at Gordon Ramsay. And while I've never had lobster or caviar, I can't imagine anything more perfectly decadent (or romantic, excepting the stinky fingers) than a midnight feast for two of Munster, duck terrine and late-harvest Alsace gewurtztramminer.
So, to the man with an unerring palate, who changed my life in more ways than one when he stood with me in front of the glass counter at the Oxford Cheese Company, happy birthday. I hope that my adventures in the land of 246 cheeses always bring me back to you. I won't arrive empty-handed.