Happy Valentine’s Day!

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It’s Valentine’s Day! The day on which everyone who’s part of a couple is expected to shower their beloveds with gifts and attention.  Cards, candy, wine, roses, diamonds…

Wait, why are you looking at me with that panicked expression?  Can it be that you’ve been so busy writing that you forgot to plan anything?  Now your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/partner is waiting to find out what you’re going to do tonight.  Reservations at all the most fabulous places were long ago filled up, the theaters will be packed with lovey-dovey couples who bought tickets online three days ago, the card sections in the stores have been picked over like a carcass in the desert, and there’s not an unwilted rose available anywhere.  Sure, you managed to come up with an awesome plot twist for your novel last night, but that’s hardly going to satisfy your darling on this romantic day.  So what’s a writer to do?

Never fear – the evening’s still salvageable.  Using the genre in which you’re already immersed, you can plan a lovely night that will keep you in your loved one’s good graces.  Ready?  Here we go.

If you write fantasy…

Okay, yes, stew is often the food of choice in epic fantasies, but you’re going for the romance here, so you’re better off thinking like a rich duke trying to impress the king’s daughter.  Zip down to the grocery store before the butcher case closes, and pick out two gorgeously pink salmon fillets.  Poach them in a lemon-wine mixture, and serve them with a caper vinaigrette.  (Honest to goodness, this is way, way easier than it sounds.  Takes minutes, and tastes like heaven.  But don’t make the mistake of trying to poach sashimi tuna steaks.  It’ll be a complete disaster, and unless your beloved is very forgiving, you’ll be buying jewelry or the latest game system as an apology gift the next day.)  Serve it with a light Chardonnay in pottery chalices while you watch “The Princess Bride”.  Bonus points if you use oil lamps and lute music to set the proper atmosphere.

If you write scifi…

Maybe you’re lost in the vastness of space in your work.  No problem.  You could go to Amazon and order a complete Mission Pack of freeze-dried bananas, ice cream and food sticks, but astronauts don’t eat that if they can have something else, so why on earth would you want to?  Go with an alien-looking dinner.  Spinach pasta alfredo, sauteed red cabbage and plenty of Romulan ale.  Word is that good Romulan ale results in instant drunkenness, which means your wife might have a glass then surprise you by painting herself green.  With that said,  I’d steer clear of the Star Trek movies.  People tend to have very strong feelings about which ones are good, and if you pick the wrong one, it won’t matter how good your dinner is.  Go for “The Fifth Element”, which is all about the love.   Bonus points if you call in a few favors with your frat brother who works at SpaceX and arrange an after-dinner ride on a  low earth orbit vehicle so you can gaze at the stars.

If you write mystery…

Careful.  Your darling has been listening to you mutter about the best poisons for months now, so you don’t want to frighten him by serving something you laced with cyanide in the last chapter.  You probably want to call a local place for carryout beef wellington and sauteed mushrooms.  Make sure he sees the restaurant boxes, so he can breathe a little easier.  I’d say the 1988 remake of “DOA” might be a good snuggling movie.  Yeah, it’s a sad ending, but sometimes love hurts.  Bonus points if you let him open the wine, so he knows you haven’t dosed it while he was distracted with the dinner.

If you write thrillers…

People in thrillers don’t eat much once the action gets going – there’s just not time.  Think about it.  When there’s a secret branch of the KGB hunting you for the information you didn’t realize was hidden in the clay statue you’re transporting to Rome, are you going to stop at a cafe for coffee?  No, you’re more likely to grab something wrapped in plastic when you stop to gas up your car.  Not at all sentimental.  But all is not lost.  Pop some popcorn and watch “The Bourne Identity”.  Trust me – the end of that movie is so romantic it will not matter what you ate for dinner.  Bonus points if you arrange to test-drive a Ferrari, but those points will be wiped out if you get a speeding ticket.

If you write horror…

Your loved one is probably at this point used to you being a little creepy, so go for the scare.  Grill some steaks but leave them very rare, the kind of rare that leaves blood on the plate.  And serve a dark red wine, maybe a cabernet, in scarlet glasses.  And of course, “The Skeleton Key” is the perfect love story for the day.  If you’ve seen it, well, yes, of course it’s a love story.  Who’s together at the end, after all?  I did mention this if for the horror writers, right?  Bonus points if you hang cobwebs from the ceiling fan, turn out the lights and play one of those spooky sounds CDs during dinner.

And if you write romance…

Really?  You’re writing romance and you need MY help planning your evening? 

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

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16 comments to Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Very cute, Misty 🙂 AS you saw on my FB page I’m a bit of a grinch re. Valentine’s day so I should probably be dining on “an apalling dump-heap,
    Overflowing with the most disgraceful
    assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable,
    Mangled-up in tangled-up knots!”

    🙂

  • This is hilarious, Misty. We didn’t really make plans, either … but I see Friday’s episode of Grimm in tonight’s plans. 🙂

  • LOL. I would love some poached salmon. That said, I don’t need to please anyone! I just finished distributing my Han-Solo-frozen-in-carbonite candies out to my coworkers. Only about half knew what it was. *sigh* Still, those who did know got a kick out of it. Apparently, Raven enjoyed eating his face. 🙂

    Really cute ideas, Misty!

  • Ken

    Great ideas Misty.

    She likes red Skittles, so this year I bought the HUGEST bag I could find and picked all the red ones out and bagged em up.
    As for the card, I got a blank one and did what I do best: Write 🙂

    @Scribe: Really? Only half? I weep for the generations to come…

  • Love this! Our next MW publication should be a group cookbook!

  • Misty> Tee hee. Great idea with the horror one. We’re going to his folks for dinner tonight (no, not kidding) and then coming home to watch Midnight in Paris. 🙂 We’re pretty laid back on the whole thing.

    David> An MU cookbook would be awesome! Beast could have a section all her own. Raw rabbit. Raw deer. Raw person (no, wait…)

    Scribe> You sound like the best co-worker ever! 😀

  • Scribe> Han-in-carbonite candy?? That’s so awesome!

    To be honest, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Years ago I taught preschool, and V Day was known as Hell Day, because the kids would all show up at school with tummies full of chocolate chip pancakes and cocoa, their loving mommies carrying trays of cupcakes and cookies and bags of candy for the party. By the end of the day, I was so shell-shocked I didn’t want a special dinner or any attention at all.

    Ken> That’s very sweet. If you’re not sure what to do with the rest of the Skittles, I’m fond of the yellow ones…

  • Since Scribe wants the poached salmon …

    1 lemon
    1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
    1/4 cup white wine
    1/4 cup water
    2 skinless boneless salmon filets
    1 tblsp capers, coursely shopped
    1 tblsp olive oil
    1 1/2 tsp honey
    salt and pepper

    Trim the top and bottom of the lemon, then cut it into about 8 1/4″ thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer over the bottom of a 10″ skillet. Scatter the parsley over the slices and add the wine and water.
    Lay the salmon filets skinned side down on top of the lemons. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until salmon is opaque (about 10 minutes). Remove the pan from heat. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the salmon and lemon slices to a paper-towel lined plate. Tent the salmon loosely with foil and let rest while making the vinaigrette.
    Return the pan to medium heat and simmer the liquid until reduced to 1 tblsp. Meanwhile, combine the capers, olive oil and honey. Strain the reduced liquid into the mixture, whisk to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.
    Transfer salmon to individual serving plates, discarding the lemons, and garnish with vinaigrette.

  • Julia

    Misty,

    That sounds delicious! My partner and I are officially not into Valentine’s Day, but I just might make that for dinner this week anyway. Thanks for the laughs from this post, and for the recipe.

  • My hubby knows me so well. We are gng to Home Depot and then veg in front of the TV with pizza. I love it!

  • I am my own Valentine, these days – and I bought me a new truck. Life is Good.

  • If you write Horror:
    Do nothing at all. Just wait, the horror aspects will show themselves.

  • Awesome, Misty. Next time I’m doing a recipe exchange via email, I’ll sure to include you.

    NGD

  • mudepoz

    For some reason I beta romance writers. And erotica. Unless it turns my stomach…
    My idea of romance usually includes the bed starting on fire, dogus interruptus and the like.

    Wait, yesterday was Valentines Day?
    I thought it was Westminster! My friend’s dog took a Group Three. 🙂
    The Tall Dude is used to me. He did get a card from the dogs.

  • Cindy

    Congrats to your friend. I had a couple of friends whose dogs took their breed, but that’s it.