Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day -- The Memory

I am not a romantic person by nature. Anything that I do which remotely resembles a romantic advance or moment comes with a lot of effort.

The other night, Chris gave me a huge compliment--one that I really appreciate, but ast the same time it also scares me! She indicated that our Valentines Day was probably the most romantic thing that I have ever done.

We decided that since she had been away the previous week, to forgo the overly expensive, but nice Valentine's Day dinner at a local restaurant and I would cook her favorite dinner.

Well, as it turned out, I really got into the whole idea of making this a special evening at home and since she was out doing her usual Monday evening time at Nicole and Mike's, I actually had the opportunity to "set" a mood before she got home.

And so, the picture is of the table set and ready as she walked through the door. The salad course on the plates and the wine in the glasses.  We chose a 1999 Parador Red wine, which is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo that we found during our Napa Valley vacation last year.   It was fabulous.

The table was simple but elegant on Wedgwood china and our best silver. The dinner simple--baked salmon and vegetables with a cheese cake dessert accompanied by a brand port we have had for a few years.

The chef (me) had everything timed to begin upon Chris' arrival at the door. The candles were lit around the house, soft music was playing and once we were ready, the salmon was placed in the already preheated oven.  Coffee was also served as an after dinner drink.

We enjoyed a leisurely salad course as the salmon baked. Catching up on the events of the day and the past week all the while the stress fell from her shoulders and soon, before long, my wife once again emerged finally back at least for a moment, into our lives unencumbered by everything else clamoring for her attention. The salmon was perfectly seasoned with dill and lemon pepper and cooled to perfection. Most importantly, it was served still hot--fresh from the oven. The vegetable medley complimented the fish and the cheesecake was not too sweet, and so it complimented the Port and the rest of the dinner.

We savored the meal, the conversation, and the time together. The evening was perfect.  I'm not sure we will ever again be able to face the noise and bustle of restaurant Valentines Day.

Why did Chris' compliment scare me? I may have raised the bar too high and may never be able to do anything which can even compare to Monday night again, let alone exceed it.  I should have managed expectations better.

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