Friday, February 12, 2010
So Easy Even A Man Can Do It
This post is for all the guys out there, ladies, if you are reading this, please forward it to the men in your life. There are guy secrets at the end, they are only for guys to read, that's why we call them secrets.
One of the best things about Valentine's Day falling on a weekend is it provides a perfect opportunity to start the day off right, and set the tone for a "Make My Sweetheart Happy" kind of day, with breakfast in bed.
So, here's what you do. Check the refrigerator, make sure you have the basics, eggs, butter, etc. This can be done discretely, since we all check the refrigerator several times a day anyway, so she won't even know what you are doing.
Using the same logic, wander through the kitchen like you are looking for something to eat. Check for maple syrup, pancake mix, aluminum foil. Look at the package of pancake mix, make sure you have all the things to make them.
Come up with an excuse to go to the grocery store the night before, get 1/2 lb of ham in 4 thick slices. This is your chance to do the whole romantic thing: get a single red rose, with babies breath, just tell the florist at the grocery store you want a signature rose. They cost a buck or two more today than they do any other day of the year, but it still should be less than $5.
When you get home put the ham, and the rose in the BBQ grill outside, so she won't see them, (Unless it is colder than 30 degrees outside, if it is, leave them in the cab of your truck overnight, they should be safe. If it's colder than 10 degrees you will probably have to figure out an alternate plan. Be creative.
If you really feel the urge, while you are out, swing past the dollar store. Get a coffee mug with hearts on it, and a red or pink placemat.
Now your prep work is done. That was a lot of work, you should probably take a break and watch some TV. You earned it.
Now here's the hard part. Wake up before her on Sunday morning, and get out of bed. You may need to set an alarm. I know, it's your day off, but I promise, it will be worth it.
Get all your ingredients together, take a minute and decide how you are going to fit her food on a tray, so you don't have to juggle it when it's hot. Go ahead and put butter syrup, jam, cream, sugar, and other necessary condiments on the tray now so you don't have to try to remember them later.
Last bit of prep.
Take a square of aluminum foil.
fold it diagonally into a triangle,
then keep folding it into a strip about an inch wide give or take a little.
Use an empty jar, a can of stew, a big drinking glass or anything else you can see that's about 4" across and roughly round.
Wrap the strip around it and roll the ends up tight.
Slide it off the jar, and pinch one side into a point. Pull the other side in and pinch it. Form it into a heart, it doesn't have to be perfect.
Now it's food time. Start with the ham.
Cut the slices diagonally,
Flip one side over and turn it around 180 degrees.
Slide the two halves together and voila!
Set these aside for a minute.
Mix up the pancake mix, following the very easy directions on the package or if you have a round waffle iron follow the directions for waffles.
To make heart shaped Pancakes, use a pyrex measuring cup with a pouring spout. Pour out a heart outline, then fill in the blank space in the middle.
Heart shaped waffles are a little harder, but not too bad.
My waffle iron uses 2/3 C of batter for a full waffle. I used 1/2 cup for these so there would be gaps.
Put a spoonfull over each of the divider bars, then put the rest in the center.
Spread it out a little with the back of the spoon.
Bake them like normal (until no more steam is coming out,)
When you break them apart they should make hearts.
Put the warm waffles or pancakes on a plate in the oven set to 'warm' to keep the warm while you finish.
Get your frying pan or griddle hot, spray the pan and the inside of your foil heart shape with cooking spray, the set the foil heart on the griddle.
If you are feeling brave, you can make more than one heart and cook several eggs at the same time. Just use one egg per heart ring. More than that and the weight will break through the foil.
Go ahead and throw the ham onto the griddle around the edges of the heart.
Crack an egg into a small bowl, stir it a little with a fork, and pour it into the heart ring. It helps to put one hand on the ring, to hold it in place and kind of hold it down while you pour. Don't push too hard, it will bend.
A bowl, inverted, over the top will hold the heat in and cook the top of the egg, so it doesn't run all over when you try to flip it.
OK, I'm busted, I cooked my first egg before I threw the ham on the griddle.
Run a butter knife around the inside of the heart before you try to lift it off, so the egg doesn't stick too it. But don't push down too hard, it will scratch the surface of the griddle.
Lift the foil, flip the egg,
and trim the edges a little with the edge of your pancake flipper.
Now you just have to put the food on the plates, decorate it with whatever little floofie food you can find to make it all fancy-schmancy, and you are all set.
SOME GUY SECRETS:
1) If she did this, all the edges would be perfect, the hearts would all be the same size, and she would cover the waffles with strawberries and dust them with powdered sugar. You don't have to be as good at that kind of stuff as she is, she doesn't expect it. If your edges aren't perfect, she isn't going to critique them before she eats it. I promise.
2) Clean up as you go, and then, sneak off and finish cleaning up while she is eating. She will be as impressed by you doing the dishes as she is by you cooking for her, in fact, if you don't feel like cooking, just doing the dishes today, without any discussion will get you almost as many brownie points.
3) A single red rose, on a tray of food, costs a lot less than a dozen roses, and will mean a lot more.
4) Make extra pancake batter. There will be some mistakes at first, and that way you will have something to eat too.
Posted by Troy at 9:00 PM