My dad can appreciate well-crafted food. While he doesn’t go out of his way to sit himself before any fragile souffles or dainty gelees, he can certainly respect the art of the dish. The same goes for beverages, except his beer habits reflect more of a meat-and-potatoes attitude. The pint of beer he likes the best is always the one he made himself (starting, for the fun of it, in the early 80’s) or something ‘easy’ from Trader Joe’s. A bottle of Jack Daniels in the cupboard usually means it’s the holiday season.
February is the great month for cultivating desires and ironing out wishlists. In many parts of the world you’re sequestered indoors by inhospitable climate, watching the weather assault your windows. In Southern California we may be enjoying milder conditions but there is a lot of thumb twiddling and staying home as we plan the events of the year to come.
February has me checking flight costs, plotting routes, compiling itineraries, and jotting down restaurants I can’t wait to visit. Right now I’m yearning for moules frites and a dubbel in Antwerp, and prosciutto and cheese in Parma. Tell me you don’t want to spend the rest of your day dreaming of drinking your way through the Trappist Brouwerijen, or dining your way through Emilia-Romagna? I don’t want to dream it, I want to live it. For now, close your eyes, take a sip, and soak in the beer of Belgium and the bitters of Italy.