Okay, let's get started with my two biggest pet peeves:
1. Valentine's Day is a "Hallmark Holiday".
2. It's Valentine's Day! The only way to show love is to be taken hostage by commercialism.
Okay, first off, Valentine's Day is far from a Hallmark Holiday because last I checked, Hallmark wasn't in business selling ye olde cardes in the 15th century. That's right, kids, Chaucer is credited for choosing St. Valentine as the patron of marriag, which translated eventually into being the patron of love. So to be completely honest, I get really sick of people being dismissive of Valentine's Day as a "Hallmark Holiday" because really, it's a celebration of acknowledging the egregor of love and to me, you're a pretty fucking embittered person if you don't like the idea of that. And it's not just for lovahs in my opinion, I have fond memories of my girl friends and I dressing in black years ago because, fuck boys, and exchanging flowers and chocolates as well as last year going to see the movie Valentine's Day and she got me this stuffed bee with a heart headband that had this maniacal "cute" laugh which made us laugh all day.
I also get annoyed by feeling like we are held hostage that the only things that will make women happy are five dozen roses, three dozen chocolates, a stuffed animal that's bigger than my cats, a "journey" blood diamond, and a super expensive dinner where we're charged twice as much as usual for a "special" menu where you're herded like cattle. Um, that stuff for most of us sucks (and if it doesn't for you, you have a right to like whatever you like, so rock out).
Valentine's day to me is about exchanging tokens - something that is meaningful to you and your partner(s) or is a cute practical little something or whatever. We go to our favorite restaurant which has their regular menu *and* a special menu so you could get something veg, a lobster or a burger. "Deb's Special Day" has been translated into me drinking as much wine as I like, eating as much cheese, red meat and chocolate as I like and then getting to watch something I like. So far, Jow has given me a bone resin crow skull necklace that I have been coveting, a small bouquet and a nice card. For this girl, that's romance.
Still feeling unhappy about Valentine's Day? Check out Jow's suggestions.
Today's recipe comes from the current Feb 2011 issue of Martha Stewart, so you know it's good because Miss Martha doesn't mess around with her holiday issues.
Molten Bittersweet-Chocolate Cake
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Sink a fork into these warm cakes to find a puddinglike filling.
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for ramekins
1/2 cup all purpose flour, plus more for ramekins
5 1/2 bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao), chopped (1 1/4 cups)
5 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1. Butter and flour six 6-ounce (2 inch deep) ramekins.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs and sugar until pale and thick, about 4 minutes. Sift flour and salt into another bowl.
3, Fold egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Immediately fold in flour mixture. Divide batter evenly among ramekins, filling each three-quarters full. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake until just set, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool for three minutes. Turn cakes out onto plates.
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