Valentine's Plan B
Hey, Valentine, there's been a change in plans. Over the past 24 hours, much of the country has been walloped by dastardly weather -- a buffet of tornados, blizzard conditions, nonstop snow and the dreaded wintry mix, which means Valentine's Day could be a white-out, slippery ride or simply a big mess.
Don't let Mother Nature take the fizzle out of your romantic plans, she says, putting on her boots; we've got a love parade to catch, and it's happening, snow or shine.
Below, a variety of home-spun Valentine's menu options to match the possible scenarios that may now apply, given the weather conditions and change in plans. It's a Valentines' Plan B-a-rama. Come on, let's get busy, before the snow in upstate New York starts to fall again.
Snow Day, minus kids, and you want a kitchen project:
You've got all day to let yeast rise, so how about some bread? Consider kneading on a few loaves of whole-wheat raisin-walnut bread or Buttermilk Honey bread. Keep one for the house and give the second loaf to your sweetie, a snowed-in neighbor or someone in need of some cheer.
Snow Day, with kids, and you NEED a kitchen project:
Spiced hot chocolate for a post-sledding warming up or for later tonight when you and your sweetheart can curl up together
You're broke and need to pull off a romantic dinner for less than 10 bucks:
A steaming hot bowl of Asian noodles always wins my heart, and one of my favorite go-to suppers is vegetarian fried rice, made with the veggies I've got on hand. Wash it down with a sip of white wine or your favorite beer.
One of the most heady meatless dishes I know is roastedcauliflower, Sicilian-style, redolent with raisins, pinenuts, lots of garlic (with or without anchovies, depending on your preferences).
When asked what he'd like for his Valentine's supper, one of Mr. Groom's top three choices included meatloaf, which makes him a very cheap date indeed.
You've got a few more bucks to spare and can swing a home-cooked affair for $20 :
A few extra bucks in my pocket means a seafood dinner. I might opt for a batch of sizzled clams with udon noodles, Mister Groom's favorite, chile shrimp, or if I knew a few others were joining the fun, a big pan of seafood paella.
Now if you really want to impress your Valentine on a low budget, pull out your whisk and literally whip up a blue cheese soufflÃ©
You want a sugar high and nothing else:
Totally last minute, I forgot it was Valentine's Day and I'm an ass, let me make it up to you, sweetheart (aka dishes that take less than 45 minutes to prepare, start to finish)
Breakfast for dinner in bed with a frittata, made in a cast-iron skillet, the aforementioned chile shrimp (see the $20 category above), a bowl of hummus to share and eat with your hands, a grilled cheese sandwich with red onion and a strong mustard (argue that it's better than fondue) and plenty of red wine.
Happy Valentine's Day!
P.S. At 1:20 this afternoon, I'm asking Washington Post Radio host Sam Litzinger if he'll be my Valentine. From what I understand, his dog, Ella Fitzgerald, is first in line.
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