Our culture has instilled in us the idea of celebrating loved ones with a nice meal. We often make someone’s favorite meal when they come home to visit. We dine at the same restaurant year after year to celebrate an anniversary.

We propose over dinner. Apologize with sweets. Or show our kindness for one another with food after a loved one’s departure from Earth.

It’s no wonder Valentine’s Day is associated with food, chocolate and bubbly. Although some consider it a cash cow for restaurants and the greeting card industry, I like to think of it as my yearly opportunity to show people I care about how much they really mean to me. Words of thanks or love can often go unsaid in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Valentine’s Day at my house often entails a glass of Champagne from the flutes given to us at our wedding. It’s a set I get out only for a New Year’s toast and on Valentine’s Day.

Then I serve up a big bowl of spaghetti. I make a homemade sauce from a recipe that has been passed down for generations. It’s the same recipe I made to impress my now husband when we first started dating. Some say it’s what won his heart.

We share so much over bowls of food. Whether sweet, spicy, robust or complex, heaping bowls of a desired dish do something to warm the heart. Our feature this month on some of Tulsa’s tastiest bowls begins on p. 55. I encourage you to grab a friend or your sweetie and try some of these dishes. You’re sure to fall in love all over again.

Also this month we speak to Jim Halsey and Minisa Crumbo, Tulsans who have been together for 40 years and who allow each other to truly be themselves. She’s an acclaimed artist. He’s a music empresario. Read more about this couple on p. 50.

Marcello Angelini came to Tulsa 25 years ago to lead Tulsa Ballet as its new artistic director. Through his leadership, the dance company has become an international powerhouse. Alicia Chesser’s impeccable story on p. 52 tells us more about the man, his career and his accomplishments.

Plus, we touch base with the good-hearted souls at Reading Partners Tulsa, the local chapter of the national organization whose mission is to improve reading proficiency to elementary students. Of course, Tulsa has excelled in attracting and retaining volunteers to read with students. On p. 67 we catch up with some longtime volunteers and partners whose love of learning and teaching carries through to the youngest readers.

Thank you for reading TulsaPeople. I love this issue. I hope you love it, too.

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