A Valentine’s Feast


Around here, we aren’t too concerned with celebrating love on just one day out of all the others. But, it occurred to me while I was at Jones’ and Hy-Vee today, picking up a few groceries, and watching all the young men scramble for their bouquets and squint undecidedly at the bags of candy, that it would be nice to make a special feast for my love and I to share.

I picked up a Mr. Smith’s salted baguette (I know, I know–I just made two loaves of bread), and a few other special goodies at the market, and tonight made the following feast:

Bias-cut slices of the salted baguette, rubbed with Vito’s fantastic elephant garlic, then drizzled with olive oil. Put on an oven rack to toast. One thing I will say about both Vito’s garlic and Mr. Smith’s baguette–they both significantly raise the standard of living here in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Then, I boiled some water in the tea kettle and soaked some dried tomatoes from last year’s garden. On top of the steeping tomatoes, I placed a shallow dish with three basil cubes from the freezer (I make these in my metal tray from all the basil left in the garden at the end of the season pureed with olive oil, and then use them one or two at a time for making pesto and adding to soup).

When the basil cubes were sufficiently melted from the water’s heat, I added the aforementioned clove of garlic, minced, and some gorgonzola cheese I had in the fridge–then mashed it all together. Into a little glass dish I layered slices of fresh mozzarella from Wisconsin.

I cracked open a little tub of hummus (yep–store-bought–sorry!), and a jar of pickled herring and onions in wine sauce (I didn’t catch, filet, and pickle these either). Then I sliced sections of red and yellow roasted peppers and layered them on a plate. Drained the tomatoes, now plump, and sprinkled them with a little salt and olive oil.

Add two goblets of wine, two hungry lovers, and commence to feasting!

(I would have provided a picture of all the little glass dishes full of delectable treats, but we were hungry, so we just ate.)

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