This week's episode of The Delicious Miss Dahl focusses on food for romance, from early courting when you're so nervous and excited that all you can manage is nibblies, to 'we know each other so well we can eat like pigs and then undo our pants and let it all hang out' type of meal. In other words, for married people.
I just have to tell a story about a 'romantic' dinner of mine. About two years ago my husband arranged a date night at home. We even dressed up. After our daughter went to bed he put out wild boar pâté, cheeses and breads, some good red wine and began making a really nice dinner of Coq au Vin. While I was eating the hors d'oevres I noticed my stomach felt a bit funny but I didn't say anything so as not to be a date night downer. Then we had the chicken which was really lovely. After that we were sitting on the couch with our wine and he says 'Uh, I don't feel so good.' I admitted I felt raunchy, too, and thus began an EPIC barf-fest which went into the night and well into the next day. We were both so sick and so weak, our bodies had never betrayed us in such a way but really they were just trying to rid us of the utter evil that had hijacked our tasty dinner. It was the worst. With our family being back in Canada there was no one to call and our daughter, only two years old at the time, had to fend for herself all morning (though I did manage to feed her of course, but no pâté or brie!).
On that note, let's look at some food!
Scallops with a garlic and chili marinade served with crushed minty peas - get the recipe here
Rhubard and Rosewater Eton Mess - meringue topped with toasted almonds and candied rose petals (which Sophie Dahl was utterly embarrassed to have on hand!)
Cheese souffle buckwheat blinis with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon - get the recipe here
A romantic trip to the cemetery! Actually, this particular one was really beautiful and full of 'love stories'. Sophie pointed out the tombstone of Norman Warne, Beatrix Potter's publisher and secret fiance. Her parents disapproved of him and packed her off to the Lake District and told her that if she still had strong feelings for him upon return then they could think about it. And then he died suddenly while she was still away.
If you are planning to cook for someone special, I sincerely wish you a more successful dinner than mine!