How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Feast of St. Valentine

A quick glance at the blog shows that we've hardly kept the "cada semana" pace of late -- we have gone from one holiday to another without pausing. Fortunately, the convergence of a snow day, a Saturday, and a holiday brought us back into the kitchen ... all day. This was especially the case since Valentine's Day is definitely a day we avoid restaurants. Why struggle to get a table for food that is probably not as good as what we can make ourselves?

We started the day, of course, with some good coffee. Coffee with heart, no less: some hand-ground El Coraz√≥n from Just Coffee in Madison was the perfect start to the day. We usually eschew blends, but this blend does include Nicaraguan coffee, along with ethically-sourced coffees from Colombia and Ecuador. The blend of medium and dark roasts make this both sweet and smokey -- the perfect romantic coffee.
Coffee was served in our matching cicada-wedding mugs. It might seem peculiar to have big insects involved in our romantic day, but our wedding took place in the midst of an epic swarm, so we have a soft spot for these hard bugs.
Brunch was bacon and French toast -- made even more French by the inclusion of a bit of Courvoisier VSOP in the batter.

Soon after brunch, we began preparing dessert, since it would need time to chill. We used a mousse recipe from Boston Globe Magazine. It is in one of those articles that describes a recipe in detail, with variations following. Despite our best efforts, we missed a step this way -- using water where we should have used rum -- but it worked out OK. We discovered we did not have rum anyway -- HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AT CASA HAYES-BOH? -- but substituted bourbon, adding it where there should have been water. It worked out very well in the end. (See below.)

It being a romantic holiday, for the main course and beverage we turned to two favorites that will be familiar to regular readers oft this blog -- Intercourses and Booty Food, respectively. Both of these books are full of fun and interesting foods, as well as fun and interesting essays on love and romance.

For the main course, we selected enchiladas with asparagus, beans, and chicken. We've not made enchiladas much before. We found these to be absolutely scrumptious!
A lot of good food is not easy to photograph, and this is no exception. It looked best at this intermediate stage, before final assembly and baking.
The finished dish photographs best at a distance.
For the beverage, we worked for the first time with fresh pomegranate to make margaritas. With four feet of snow on the ground, a frozen beverage might have seemed an odd choice, but the fresh summery fruits were very welcome, and we were fortunate to be in a very warm and cozy home for the occasion.

The dessert was AMAZING and we will certainly be making this again. We were glad to be using local eggs we could trust, and we paired it with Farmer's Fizz from our favorite vineyard. We learned recently that sparkling Pinot Noir is a thing, and a thing that pairs perfectly for chocolate. So despite our loyalty to local white sparklers, we will be spending some time in the coming year looking for that wine!