Madam, if you’re looking for advice on what to cook your lover to snare his, um, heart, then you’ve come to the right place.
Now, I understand that for many people, the prospect of V.Day is one of utter terror. Not for me. I see The Big V. as an opportunity to guilt-trip the current suitor into dinner à deux (made entirely by me, naturellement). And the very fact that said suitor has entered into the contractual V.Day dinner, means that, by relationship law, he must eat whatever I choose to cook.
But this year, the chap in question was something of a newbie and as such, I thought it best not to hit him with my finest offally delights and suet-laced puddings on what was to be only our second sit-down meal together.
So, how did a glistening, bejewelled dome of the finest pigs’ lesser-used bits come to be sitting on his plate? Surprisingly (and no-one was more surprised than me to hear this), he asked for it. That’s right, the man that, several weeks ago, looked at me as if I was quite clearly deranged when I excitedly asked whether he’d like to see what I had recently stashed in my chest freezer, actually asked if I’d be making him brawn.
Brownie points scored: about a million.
But it gets even better than that. Our V.Day dinner (which was actually lunch) consisted of the following:
– Coppa di testa (brawn made in the Italian style*)
– Pickled sprouts (which I had been doing my best to ignore for weeks)
– Sweet pickled pears
– Apple and toasted hazelnut salad
– A wonderful goat’s cheese from Cothi Valley Goats
– Chilli and herb goat’s yoghurt-cheese, which I made using unpasteurised milk, again from Cothi Valley Goats
– A large sourdough loaf
The one thing that my lunch date asked if he could take home? Correctamundo.
Another million Brownie points to that man.
*Adapted from a recipe by Anna Del Conte in Risotto with Nettles.