Friday, February 09, 2007

I Think A Little Romance Is Needed!

I also think I must have gotten out of the wrong side of the bed this morning! Although, that would be a bit difficult to achieve...I can't even get that king-size bed is up against one wall! Nothing is going right for me today and I'm in a cranky mood! My computer is on a 'go-slow'. My car is making noises it shouldn't be making, expensive-sounding noises, and unless I win the lotto tonight, I will have to take up walking everywhere soon! One way to stay fit and slim, I guess, although I can think of more enjoyable ways! To top things off, I've only got from today until next Wednesday, 14th February, to find a romantic soul-mate to share St. Valentine's Day with me! I think I'm going to have to place an 'Application Form' in the local paper. But as my luck would have it...the next addition doesn't come out until Thursday 15th!

I could list here all the many attributes that I seek in a suitable contender but there are too many to mention because I must leave room for the recipes shown in picture form above. There must be a caring, intelligent, honest, good-humoured, passionate, loyal, generous of spirit, oft-times insane kindred soul out there looking for me. One who enjoys wine, good food and the company of a good woman...don't you think? I might have to climb up on my roof to keep a clear eye out for him. I'd hate to think he's gotten himself lost! Maybe a few 'coo-ees' might help him to locate me.

For those of you who have found that one special person and he or she is at your side, the recipes below might be just what the heart needs for a romantic dinner for two on St. Valentine's Day evening. Don't forget the aromatic oils, the candles, the romantic music seductively playing softly in the set the scene.

For the first course:

Moreton Bay Bugs (Balmain Bugs) Salad: Remove heads from cooked bugs by slipping a knife between head and tail, then ease out the tail. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, snip down the centre of the soft shell underneath and peel away from flesh. Slip out the vein then refrigerate flesh until ready to serve. Make a dressing with 4-6 tablespoons thickened cream, 1-2 teaspoons tomato paste, dash of sweet chilli sauce, chopped chives and fresh dill. Season the bug meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle a little fresh lemon or lime juice over the bug meat. Pile onto plates some mignonette lettuce leaves, sliced avocado, sliced mango. Splash on the dressing to taste, garnish with fresh dill and serve. Chilled Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc would be suitable with this dish.

Barbecued Butterflied Leg of Lamb:
Ask your butcher nicely to butterfly a leg of lamb for you, including the two thick pieces on either end, making a neat rectangle of lamb meat. Place in a suitable dish and add 1/2 cup olive oil, think strip of lemon peek, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup dry white wine, 2 large garlic cloves, a few springs of rosemary, 1 Spanish onion, peeled and sliced and 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Cover and marinate overnight. Thread 2 large skewers through the meat and cook in a kettle barbecue or moderately hot oven, allowing 3/4 hour for pink, juicy lamb and 1 hour for well-done. Alternatively, barbecue the meat slowly over glowing coals until cooked, turning and basting often with the marinade, either which way. When cooked, slice lamb into strips. Boil marinade hard for 5 minutes and spoon over the meat. Serve with crunchy Italian bread or sour-dough and salad. I was sharing this meal with my "Mr. Dreamy", I would probably opt for a good Cabernet Sauvignon...perhaps a Penfolds 707!

Apple Pie: (This will impress your man/ would me!) Peel, core and slice 1.5-2kg green apples, put into a large saucepan with 3/4 cup of water,(or a little less water with some brandy). Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft but not broken. Drain in a colander and leave until cold. Press out excess moisture and put apple into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar. Pastry: Sift 1 cup (125g) each plain flour and self-raising (all-purpose) flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Rub in 150g cold butter, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add 1/4 cup sugar, white or caster. Make a well in centre, break in 1 egg and add 2 teaspoons of iced water. Mix into a dough and knead lightly with little extra flour. Roll out half the pastry (not too thinly) and line a 22cm metal pie plate or 18cm flan tin (3cm deed), then fill with apple. Roll out remaining pastry and cover pie. If you like you can pile up the apples in the centre a bit. Roll out remaining pastry and voer pie. Trim away excess pastry then press edges together firmly with a fork. Brush with water or juice drained from the apples). Sprinkle with a heaped teaspoon of white sugar and bake in a moderately hot oven 200C gas, 220C electric, for about an hour. Serve just warm with vanilla ice-cream or softly whipped cream. (Save the whip for later!) You can add the flesh of a couple of passionfruit to the apples if you amount of 'passion' should go to waste on the 14th!
A suitable dessert wine would be De Bortoli's Noble One Botrytis Semillon.

Of course, champagne would be a great mood-starter for the evening...or if "he" prefers a cold beer, how about a Crown Lager or two for 'him'?

I don't have a sweet tooth in wines, so I probably wouldn't serve a dessert wine, but would save my thirst for a Grand Marnier or Frangelico, or maybe a good cognac, like Remy Martin to have with coffee.

Well, I have all that planned...all I have to do now is the most difficult part....find the suitable man to enjoy all of the above fantasy with me!


  1. Looks good enough to eat.
    Good luck with your St Valentine quest.
    Cheers Margaret

  2. Yeah....I'll need barrels of luck, I think, Margaret! ;)

    Nice to see you...thanks for popping in.

  3. nice food (photos), making me hungry, I am about to do a run to the fish and chip shop for an early dinner, I'd rather have these.

    Now, Lee, advice from a much-married person; MR RIGHT DOES NOT EXIST!

    There are, however, plenty of MR THIS WILL FIT IF I WORK HARD AT ITs...

    It's a compromise, and even today (Noel and I have been together 10 years this June), I find myself weighing up the positive and negative balances; so far, here we still are - I think on balance we have about 95% compatability, I've settled for less...

    On the other hand, there are days when, if I could wrinkle my nose, I'd be back in the days I had on my own - see, the grass is always greener...

    Which is better? A partner who ignores Valentines Day altogether (nothing in all of the 10 years so far) - or the freedom to imagine and play at will?

    Sadly, at my age, I am settling for the former, and can get quite despondent when I think 'is this it?'

    My sister is alone, she dates though, quite frequently, I don't know how she does it, she is only 2 years younger but she is still out there, looking around - she is quite attractive and she goes dancing, rock and roll, and swing, depending on the current 'romance'.

    It sounds as though you do have some wonderful friends, do they ever nag you that you need to get 'out and about' more?


  4. Yes...I do get nagged by a couple of friends, but most of my friends know what I'm like and no amount of nagging will work with me...I just dig my heels in deeper and more firmly. I'm not one for going 'out and about'...never have been. I've always been a believer of 'if I'm supposed to meet someone, I will, wherever...'. Don't worry, Della...I've been 'out and about' a fair bit! lol If you get my drift and I have been married twice! I'm just not into dating...never have been really...I'm weird, I know! ;)

    I am my own worst enemy....I won't settle for 'second-best'...and find it very difficult to compromise....impossible, almost!

    I think I'm best to stay with my 'freedom and fantasise at will'....I've had lots of practice! lol

    Fortunately, none of my friends has ever tried to match-make me or set me up on a blind-date or whatever....they know better! ;)

    So, "Mr This Will Fit If I Work Hard At It"...will just not do! As I said, I am my own worst enemy. I always seem to be traveling down a one-way street.

    Oh...I love fish and chips, by the way!

  5. Oh Lee, you sound so much like me it's not funny. I won't settle for Mr Will Fit if I Work Hard at it, either. I, too, have been married twice and I'm certainly not keen to go there again!

    But, it would be nice to have a companion to do things with, stay the night with sometimes,(but we each have our own homes and space)and go on trips with. Am I asking too much? I sometimes think I am, then I think, like you, if I'm meant to meet that Mr Special, then I will, no matter what I do or don't do.

    Have a nice weekend - delicious sounding recipes, especially the apple pie. Apple pie is my weakness.

  6. Yum! Unfortunately I am already married and besides there couldn't be a Lee & Lee. Think of the confusion. The lamb sounds especially nice - cooked lamb tonight (served with white beans, salad and crusty bread and a bottle of Brown Bros Patricia Cab Sav.)

  7. It would seem we are very alike, Robyn. I think the idea of spending a night together every so ofter, with that 'special' one would be the ideal way...I'm so used to my own 'ways' now I don't think I could stand living with anyone...or them with me, I guess. won't believe this...but I almost gave a white bean recipe to go with the lamb...I'm not sure why I didn't, to be honest. What a coincidence! I love lamb...and I love Cab. Sav...seems you, too, have good taste! Brown Bros. is a good label.

  8. I refer to your previous posts. One question that your post prompted me to ask is “Why are people (and men more so) afraid of losing the experience of youth?” I think this may also help explain the reluctance to express our feelings. As a child we often crave to be older and more independent but later in adult life how often do you hear the cry “Oh for the good old days”? A reluctance to move on and gain from life’s experience.
    For in youth there is so much uncertainty and second guessing, concern about what others will think or how one will be perceived. But as the years pass and experience equips us hopefully to better cope with life we feel more and more comfortable in our own skins. Hence I fee l am a far more emotional and in my youth and more confident, not to be concerned to readily express feelings.

    Another aspect of interest concerns our evolution; women’s brains are different to men’s, in the areas which control the emotions where they are larger in a women, as women evolution was shaped by more time in family nurturing that the male protector/hunter. Men are far less likely to be emotionally effected. Men maybe have an advantage of not being as likely to be affected by an emotional argument, but they have the disadvantage of forming less strong emotional ties with their friends and colleagues than do women.

    And as to “love” I like the reflection from ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Barmier which was read out at my daughters wedding.

    Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because that is what love is?

    Love is not breathless; it is not excitement; it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being ‘in love ‘which any of us convince us we are.

    Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches were found that we were one tree and not two.

    Best wishes

  9. I'm assuming here that there are two Lee's because short that assumption, it would appear you are conversing with and giving advice to yourself. :}
    In your post I was pretty sure you were describing me but I must tell you I'm happily married but the pictures of the food have got me to thinking that... oh never mind.
    btw, are you guys saying I should get Marilyn something for Valentines Day??

  10. They are wonderful words written by De Barmier, Lindsay, and so true, but one has to start the beginning is usually the best place. So, it's finding someone to join you at the beginning of a relationship that is the problem! ;) One could go on for years loving someone who knows not that you exist or doesn't feel as you do (that is a very sad situation if it occurs)...or the search for that special someone continues...or the other scenario...give up! But a heart runs by its own rules and most times is always on the look-out! Thanks for your comment..well said. :)

    Cliff...welcome back...I hope your course went well. Now as to Valentine's Day, you and Marilyn...a kiss, a cuddle, perhaps a box of chocolates or some flowers...the simple things of life...women always love receiving flowers or chocolates. A small token sometimes speaks the loudest. :)

  11. you will eventually find that special someone. Just don't give up looking. He could be just around the corner, when your least expecting him. Good luck. Love your reciepes by the way!

  12. You'll have to excuse me for a minute or two, Shelly....I'm off around the corner! ;)

    Don't forget to try those recipes, now.

  13. I'm in a down, cranky mood, too. All that food looks wonderful, though. My kingdom for a fork...

    Good luck in your Valentine's quest.:)

  14. We can't blame our moods on the full moon, Serena...but maybe we can blame them on the waning moon. We have to blame something or someone! ;)

  15. LOL. I try to rotate my list of people to blame so it's not always the usual suspects. The moon ALWAYS has something to do with it, of course.:)

  16. The moon it is then! ;)

  17. HI Lee, 2 of my favorites foods.
    Oh I just love fresh Moreton bay bugs. Havent had them since my last trip to Qld. Lamb I could eat any time Yummmmmy.

  18. They both are favourites of mine, too Jeanette...I got hungry typing out the recipes! ;)

    Thanks for popping in.

  19. Deallab is quite right, but your cooking looks great, good look with your quest anyway.

  20. Hi there, Elle...most of what I wrote was a bit 'tongue-in-cheek'...I'm not on a serious elusive Pimpernel is playing hide and seek! ;)

  21. Hi Lee ~~ Great looking recipes, and good luck with finding your dream Valentine. Whether you are serious or not !!
    Thanks for your comments, I don't have much of a vegie garden, but do like to grow things to eat. You garden sounds great, wit all those vegies and herbs. I
    bought some fresh herbs and hope to plant them tomorrow. I still have 2 Roma tomato bushes left. The others didn't bear real well, probably our hot summer. Take care,
    Love, erle.

  22. well.. i'm old enough to skip the valentines day stuff and stick to the good food! lol

  23. Lee that looked DELICIOUS!

    I wish it was a scratch and sniff picture - but that just make me want to eat the screen!

    Hmmmm... now I've got the 'bug'!

    Best I find me some and go off and cook the beasties... Cheers Lee ;-)

  24. For my Valentine's Date, I'll take someone who can cook all those yummies for me & then clean up the kitchen afterward ;)

  25. vegie garden is much I said in an earlier post my usual style of gardening is just toss things in amongst where my herbs grow and what comes up, comes up. It 's just that I had an epiphany a few weeks ago and decided I should try growing some other far only the zucchinis are growing...the broccoli seeds are still in the packet and the other ideas are still ideas!

    Deslily...never too old for a bit of fun! I think Valentine's Day is just a bit of fun and should be treated that way. The world is full of sorrow so a little light relief is welcome, I reckon...I might buy myself a "Have-a-Heart" (chocolate-coated ice-cream on a stick, in a heart-shape)...sit overlooking the valley to the mountains beyond at sunset and fantasise over my dream-lover! ;)

    Hiya had me tossed there for a moment or two! Nice to see you. Have you got your head out of the pantry yet? ;)

    G'day Smukke...that's a very good idea...why didn't I think of that!!! Now I'll have to alter my search! ;)

  26. With the criteria you have set Lee, I think you will meet Mr Right at the pearly gates, he'll be the guy deciding whether to let you in or not.

  27. You sure are full of positive confidence, Peter! With my history, I'll probably meet you down below! ;)

  28. Would that make it "A match made in hell?

  29. Well, at least a match will help light the fire if it goes out!

  30. Yeah - bloomin experimenting with another Blog that's listed under me... thought I could change it's details and it wouldn't affect ME... yeah right!!!

    Learned the hard wy lol!

    Belongum is back however - that was nice win over technology!

    Love to cook Lee - if I could fit a garage AND a kitchen in the same big room (with a desk for writing) I'd be the happiest bloke in the world! I grow my own 'greens' - herbs, salad stuff, chillis etc - so there's no end of fresh stuff to garnish it all with!

    Yummo... going to go and catch me some crabs this weekend I think... try it with that instead!

    Seeya ;-)

  31. Yes...I too, pat myself on the back when I manage a win over technology, Belongum!

    I agree about kitchens, Belongum...I have my dream my mind. I believe it should be the most important room in the house. I would most definitely have a large walk-in pantry, as well.

    Grrrrr...I envy you going crabbing. I hope you got some. I love muddies! :)

  32. Gidday Lee,
    Hey I meet at least one of those attributes that you seek in a suitable contender. You said he must be a caring, intelligent, honest, good-humoured, passionate, loyal, generous of spirit, and oft-times a insane kindred soul. I'm INSANE at least that's what Peter will tell you and he'll also tell you that I'm LOUD, but if I was LOUD then this would be typed in UPPER CASE hey not lower case, so what does Peter know?????

  33. I could hear you from here, Wazza!

  34. Wow, that food looks good! The lamb sounds heavenly and I am going to try your apple pie recipe very soon. - That crust looks perfect. Hope your Prince arrives, too.

  35. Me, too, Welsh! ;)