Preparing Dinner

Hate shopping? Recast it as a key component of your V-Day experience. Food shopping can be irritating, but it can also be hilarious. Products and the places that sell them are as much about people as they are about the sale. Buy one item from an unusual place – an old-world Italian butcher, a remote farmers market, or even a bodega known for its terrifying one-eyed cat. Learn something about where that fennel came from or meet the grandmother who hand-kneaded your mozzarella. Stuck with a big grocery store? That’s fine. Take in the scene. Was there a fight between soccer moms at the checkout line? Find your story, find your characters. You can utilize them to later warm-up conversation, so your date will be laughing over that first glass of wine.
Step 5. Clean House, Set the Stage
I don’t keep an immaculate house. I’m not at Hoarders degrees of slobbery or anything, but my place will probably be your standard takes a cleaning” scenario. So here’s my secret: throw all your crap in a closet, clean the surfaces in your kitchen and bathrooms, and scrub the spot where you’ll actually be consuming food. And clear enough surface space for the plates, several candles and that damn vase of flowers.
Step 6. Game Day: Getting This Thing Done
Here is a quick run-down of prepping, presenting and cooking.
1) 2 Hours Prior: Set the table, including flowers. Select music, hide anything embarrassing. Clean any portion of bathroom that missed the original pass.
2) 90 Minutes Prior: Clean and cut veggies and marinate meats. Place everything in separate plates or bowls. Store in fridge.
3) 60 Minutes Prior: All dishes that are looking time to cook should be in the oven, or simmering on the stove. Open wine. Organize your cheese and fruit plate (oh, did I mention it makes sense to acquire a cheese and fruit plate? You need to) in a fashion that appears to be you’ve done it before.
4) around 30 minutes Prior: Saute your onions, garlic and any veggies. A secret weapon when she arrives could be the disarming and seductive smell of something delicious cooking.
5) quarter-hour Prior: Have a beer or glass of wine. Relax. Lower heat on any open burners. Change your shirt.
6) Buzzer Rings! She’s here and she’s all smiles and raven-red lipstick. She’s gorgeous! Let her get settled and open the sparkling wine. Down the hatch!
7) Close Out The Cooking: The goal is to have the heavy work done before her arrival, but save handful of the dynamic cooking for when she’s there (and can witness your heroism). And yes it can be done to let her help if she wants, by stirring a sauce or dressing a salad. If she really wants to have significantly more involved really, let her. Take advantage of the scene you made. Tell her about all the crazy people you met/witnessed along your meal journey.
8) Food’s Ready: It’s fun to possess a steak quickly the grill and throw it on a plate. Fish too. But most food should stay warm and rest before being devoured. Eat your salad and soup. Serve and present Then. Begin to enjoy this – the hard part is finished.
9) Eat, Drink, Be Merry: You’ll be able to figure out others from here. Don’t rush dessert, have more wine significantly, show her your stamp collection, see where it goes. Usually do not rush into cleaning anything. Though she offers to clear the table Even, nothing says I hate romance” like scrubbing dishes.
10) NEXT TIME, Her house. She’ll host next time, because tonight you’re a genuine romantic hero.
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