By Katherin Scott
Simply put, romance is pretense. It is pretending that everything is not only alright, but that it is absolutely perfect – if only for a little while.
Romance is not food. Romance is attitude. Romance is atmosphere. Romance is using details to create a mirage.
A spaghetti and meatballs meal can be just as romantic as grilled steak with vintage wine.
Ideally, serve what your sweetie likes best, but if you don’t know what that may be, or if you find it too difficult to prepare, don’t be concerned. Ultimately, YOU are the treat for the evening!
Here are a few culinary suggestions:
A) Enchanting Chicken Rendezvous – 60 minutes
Appetizer: Crusty bread and dipping oil, served with a plate of cheese
Entree: Lemon Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, Buttery Pasta
Dessert: Warmed peach halves with cinnamon and Cool Whip
B) Starry-Night Salmon – 45 minutes
Appetizer: Honeyed Strawberries, served with a plate of cheese
Entree: Roasted Salmon, Baked Asparagus, Buttered Baked Potato
Dessert: Individual Rice Pudding Cups
C) Passionate Pork Prelude – 70 minutes
Appetizer: Mozzarella Tomato Salad on a bed of lettuce
Entree: Gravy Pork Chops Nestled in Rice, Hot Green Beans
Dessert: Drizzled Honey Sundaes
MAKE IT FASTER:
Leave off the appetizer. Do prep work the day before.
Substitute with something easier; i.e., instead of a Mozzarella Tomato Salad appetizer, substitute purchased, pre-cut fruit and dip.
Get all the ingredients out before you start. Do all the chopping at once.
MAKE IT SPECIAL:
Use formal setting for silverware – (Left side of plate: Napkin, outside salad fork, inside dinner fork. Across top of plate: Desert spoon or fork, lying horizontally. Right side of plate: Outside spoon, inside knife or knives w/sharp edge pointed in.)
Use cloth napkins. Spread a table cloth or place mats.
When serving the appetizer and dessert, put a “charger” dinner plate underneath each person’s serving dish.
Put on soft music. Light a candle or two. Dim the lights if you can. Serve your food in courses.
Eat in a different place – outside, in front of a fireplace. Turn off the telephones!
MAKE IT GOURMET:
Stir up a “sparkler” to serve with the appetizer (1 part juice, 1 part Sprite or 7-Up, ice).
Serve crescent rolls with cinnamon orange butter (cream together1/2 C butter or margarine at room temperature, 2 Tbsp orange juice, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon).
Use soup as a starter course. Use garnishes: parsley for the entree, raspberries for the dessert, etc.
And to top it off, lay a single rose on his or her plate.
This is a night for memories. Dress up. Don’t spoil the mood by being practical. Conversation is a key element. Talk about good things. Talk about wishes. Talk about dreams and plans for the future.
This is your special night, and you both deserve it. Who knows where the night may end? Salud!