A beautifully decorated table, set
for one. Bring out your finest crystal champagne glass and one of your
grandmother's priceless dinner plates. Shine up the inherited sterling
silver cutlery and ensure that a precious vase is filled with your favourite
flowers with a tapered white candle settled between them.
Next, find a picture of the real
man of your dreams. Here I'm talking the beautiful Brad Pitt girls (hey,
Jennifer isn't the jealous type) or Mel Gibson, that fecund tyke who
just gets cuter as the years go by. Put the photograph/newspaper picture/magazine
image in a nice frame and place it next to the vase of flowers.
Now choose music befitting the photograph.
Choose songs that you dream of having him sing to you. You'll be dreaming
about it later as you fall into a contented slumber after your fabulous
dinner, so it is an important part of the procedure. Perhaps a little
Ronan Keating or James Taylor but for God's sake, steer clear of Pavarotti
and his rendition of "O Solo Mio" or Roy Orbison's "Love
Hurts." This is your night and you're going to make it as romantic
and blissful as you can!
Your meal must be a masculine masterpiece,
as a real man will be the only thing missing from the event.
So, let's opt for a first course.
Buy about 8 fresh mussels and soak
in cold water for about an hour. Then drain and scrub them under fresh
running water to rid them of any grit. Pop them into a saucepan and
allow them to steam in a little water for about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss
any that don't open. Remove the mussels from the juice, add two cloves
of finely crushed garlic and a cup of good dry white wine. Bring to
the boil and simmer for a few minutes until the garlic has flavoured
the wine and mussel juices. Add about a 100 ml (1/2 cup) of fresh cream
and a teaspoon full of chopped parsley. Return the mussels to the cream
and wine sauce, season with a little salt and black pepper and simmer
for a minute or two before you eat. Have some good Italian bread to
soak up that delicious sauce.
Next, a beefy roll of something
might serve as a main?
Ask your butcher to cut you a smallish
sirloin roast, about a kilo [2 1/2 pounds], explaining that you want
to stuff it. (Excuse the use of words dears, but this happens when gals
go solo!) Also ask him to provide you with 6 or 7 meaty beef bones.
Place the sirloin on a chopping
Take 150g (5 ounces) of unsalted
butter and mix in a teaspoon of crushed black peppercorns, a teaspoon
of whole green peppercorns (the soft ones in brine) and about a half
teaspoon of salt. Mix well and spread on the meat. Roll the sirloin
up and secure with string. Pat the entire roast with cracked blacked
pepper and place on top of the beef bones in a roasting pan with a little
water. The butter in the roast will give enough fat for basting. Roast
for about 1 1/2 hours if you enjoy your meat rare. Well, tonight meat
will be rare won't it, but gal, you won't be going hungry!
Accompany the roast with whatever
vegetables tickle your fancy. Carrots make sense, and cubed potatoes,
lightly poached in boiling water then sautéed with onion in a
little olive oil.
Dessert. Now we can really fantasize!
How about two little plump baked peaches and mixed berries served with
your favourite vanilla ice-cream?
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees
Peel and halve two ripe peaches
and place cut side up in an oven proof dish carefully laying a selection
of fresh or frozen berries around them. Take 100g (3 ounces) of good
mascarpone cheese, 50ml ( 1 1/2 ounces)of soft brown sugar, and a pinch
of cinnamon and mix well. Spoon this mixture over the fruit and sprinkle
over the almonds.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and serve
hot with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.
By now, you should have enjoyed
at least two glasses of superb champagne, eaten a delicious meal whilst
gazing at the hunkiest man you've ever seen, and listened to some angelic
voice promising to always love you. And you didn't even have to cook
Cheers to a solo Valentine's Day!