I’m a little romantic about food. I’m sure that comes as a not-surprise-at-all to many of you who have been reading me for years. Food is how I show people I care. For instance, I am not now and have never been a fan of spaghetti with meat sauce. It’s just not my thing.
So, when snowed in for Valentine’s Day, from the myriad options my well stocked pantry and freezer offered me — salmon, shrimp, various delicious chicken, beef, or pork dishes? Check, check, check.
I opted to make a giant, bubbling pot of meat sauce and an even bigger pot of spaghetti because it is one of my husband’s favorite dishes. The poor guy doesn’t get to eat it often, both because of the variety of foods I make to fulfill my duties as a recipe developer and because it is one of the few foods that makes me wrinkle my nose.
But I made it exactly as he loved it that day.
Loads of ground beef were browned with garlic, onion and various herbs and spices. Into the pot over the ground beef went a jar of the spaghetti sauce I had made from the summer’s bountiful tomatoes. Slow-simmering took place and all of this equaled one very happy husband and five very happy boys. The dish is still not my thing, but I was happy, too, because of the beaming faces at the table.
Thankfully, not all of my husband’s favorite dishes are a point of divergence for us. One dish that makes him swoon also happens to make my heart go pitter pat: poached pears. Not just any poached pears are the stuff of our dreams, though.
Our affection for the dish is mostly directed at a style of poached pears that he refers to as “that honey treatment.” The ripe but firm pears are peeled and simmered in a mixture of white wine, honey, lemon juice, cardamom and saffron.