Valentine be mine...

What is it about Valentines Day that fills me with anxiety?

Could it be my earliest memories, dressed in my all girls school uniform,
waiting with my friends, with the hope of my name being called out by a prefect
flapping a Valentines envelope for all to see?
Alas, my name was never called out and for years I had to stand there filled
with humiliation and shame.

The fact that the Valentines were from the boy’s school across the road was
of no conscience. The indignity remained.

Years later I am still filled with dread when the 14th of February creeps along.
But for very different reasons.

This time
I make the Valentine!

I create the most delightfully indulgent meals, for romantic couples to savor,
as they look lovingly into each others eyes, on this, the most romantic night
of the year.

I know just what to serve to awaken even the most jaded of palates, keeping
flavours intense, fresh, and aromatic using known (and legal)  aphrodisiacs to
infuse all dishes with the spirit of love.

I spend hours on the perfect alchemy to incite, delight and ultimately deliver
(if you know what I mean..)

Keep it light is my motto. 

No heavy, pallet numbing dishes, to drag you down.

Instead I prefer smaller, flavor infused portions such as oysters topped with
caviar on a bed of rose petal infused ice shards, prawns dipped in a tempura
batter served with an aromatic lemon grass and ginger dipping sauce, fillet
medallions with a chocolate and chili sauce. All accompanied by champagne or as
we call it in South Africa, Method de Champinoise. The only wine that can
accompany every course with class. 

And then the pierce de la rĂ©sistance, the dessert…

Who can resist a trio of bite sized chocolate inspired treats. Chocolate and
nutmeg Brulee, chocolate and Kahlua mousse, and chocolate and pecan nut
brownie. Or my all time favorite, a strawberry bavoise  topped with a heart
shaped meringue, dipped in yes, you got it, chocolate.

Every dish is infused with aphrodisiacs. And it is not as hard or as difficult
as it may seem to get your loved ones motor running.

Avocado, asparagus, smoked salmon, chili, ginger, chocolate, oysters,
strawberries. The list is endless and ingredients are available at your local

All it takes is a little time, a little reading and a heap of good intentions
to set the night on fire.

When the last couple is served, and I breathe out a sigh of relief, it is with
the knowledge that my work here is done.  

And on this night I can sleep in peace, the remnants of my heart sore youth
long forgotten, in my lover arms. 

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