The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Preparations!!

I thought I'd try my hand at creating a very special Valentine's Day for my sweetie and my parents, by putting together a simple, beautiful dinner for the four of us.  I'd do all/most of the work beforehand, and let our young men serve us at the actual meal time.  They'll be nourished by pizza, so they won't have to eat the "gourmet" meal I've planned.  :)

So, things started the day before Valentine's Day.  I put together a double recipe for Scotch shortbread cookies, covered the dough and refrigerated it.  Not having made it in a long time, I forgot that once cold--the recipe does say to refrigerate the dough for several hours--the dough becomes rock-solid and requires at least two hours of counter time before getting rolled.  So, the dough stayed in the fridge overnight, to be completed on Valentine's Day along with everything else.  :/

Scotch shortbread cookie dough

Then I thought I'd make the dressing for our salad course:  orange poppyseed dressing.  Oops, I forgot to buy poppy seeds.  Off to the store I drove, in and out and home again.  I followed the recipe, using grapeseed oil instead of "light olive oil," but it didn't emulsify like it should have and like it showed in the image on the blog where I found the recipe.

I put it in my Bosch blender, thinking the higher wattage would do the trick.  Nope--still as thin as water.  The taste was a little off, too--too much vinegar.  At least I got some great photos throughout the process.  :)

Orange peel

So, I went ahead and made a second batch, using evoo and my Bosch blender, even going so far as to add the oil last, in a steady stream as most emulsifying recipes call for.

Still no good.  At least it tasted good.  Some research on the internet helped me see that both mustard (already added) and egg yolk help the emulsifying process, so I added an egg yolk (only with farm fresh eggs!).  Barely a difference.  In went another yolk, then its white.  A bit creamier, which was good, but still no go.  I went ahead and added the poppy seeds, stirring it all up, and by this time I needed a quart-sized canning jar to fit it all into.  More internet research--looking up various poppyseed dressing recipes--formulated my decision to add simple mayonnaise to the recipe.  Finally--good consistency, and the taste held up.

Four hours later, and almost dinnertime.  And a sinkful of dishes.  Ack.

Thomas (16) gently led me out of the kitchen and cleaned up the entire mess for me.  (I love that young man!)  And Fernando took me out to Chipotle for dinner, to use a coupon that would expire in a few days.  :)

Back home, I decided I couldn't get into much trouble getting the dining room ready for our special evening.  Fernando had given me roses (25 for our 25 years of marriage!), and those went on my little sewing table in the corner.

I set out plates, glasses, and silverware, then put cloth napkins into rings--no fancy folds--and placed one on each plate.  My candle holder went in the middle, with tealights ready to be lit.

The snowflake tablecloth and napkins are blue--my favorite color but not the best for Valentine's Day.  I think pink will complement the table well, so I'll do something with that color and let you know how it turns out.

I'm trusting the Lord that the rest of the meal will come together easily and without incident!  And those pictures (and their story) will come soon.  :)

Back to life,

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