Firstly, a very Happy Valentines Day to all my lady readers.
Synaptoman loves YOU.
I started writing a self-help book a few years ago titled, “The All-South African, Male-Chauvinist Cookbook”. My wife sneaked a peek at my only draft, and threw it into my braai fire in a fit of rage.
One of the “recipes” was a Romantic Valentines Day Menu, and I do remember roughly how it went, so here goes.
Setting the Mood
Forget candles, hearts and sentimental stuff. A woman appreciates an honest approach, and good (bright) lighting is a must if she is to appreciate your fine culinary skills. Mood music should be something that you like, and if the meal clashes with a big game, you may have the TV on, with the sound at a reasonable volume which can be heard from both the cooking and dining areas.
Beer should be served well chilled, and seeing that this a special occasion, may even be poured into a frosted glass. Ask the lady to pre-chill these in the freezer the day before. After she has served the pre-dinner drinks, the preparation should commence.
This is the corner-stone of a successful meal. While you go outside with your “pre-dinner drink” to start the braai fire, ask the lady to start peeling some vegetables and dicing them. Anything will do, but I like baby marrows, carrots, green beans, brinjal, onions, tomato, green peppers and mushrooms. If she hasn’t remembered to buy all of these things, send her off to the supermarket, or make do with what you have. Make sure that she understands the instructions. Make a parcel out of some aluminium foil, pop the veggies in. Add a liberal sprinkling of Olive Oil and a dash of Mixed Herbs. Close the parcel tightly so that the oil doesn’t run out onto the kitchen floor (shit, that shouldn’t have happened !!). After the lady has finished mopping the floor, cleaning up the peels etc. another round of pre-dinner drinks can be poured.
The Main Course
Bear in mind that this is a special occasion, so something different is in order. Order a kilo of Queen Prawns from Uncle Pat Oysters & Seafood in Knysna. If you ask them very nicely, they will even defrost, and de-vein them for you. Get the old cast-iron wok out, and after the lady has cleaned it thoroughly, pop it directly onto the coals. Send her back to the kitchen to bring the veggie parcel (and some more pre-dinner drinks) and also place this (the parcel, you idiot, not the drink) directly onto the coals. You will also need some butter and crushed garlic (Sorry dear, back to the kitchen again.)
When the butter is sizzling and the garlic is starting to burn, place the prawns in the wok. When pink on the one side, turn and repeat on the other. At this stage it is time for some lemon juice. (Really, I promise, this is the last time back to the kitchen, dear).
After she has set the table, serve the prawns and veggies and sit back and enjoy the compliments.
After Dinner Entertainment.
If the mood takes you, you could even demonstrate that little “Mating Dance” I taught you in Chapter 4. Good Luck.