We had our little Valentine's Day celebration a day early, for it was Caro's day off, and she would be here for dinner---indeed, she COOKED most of it, including a gorgeous 9x13 of "shells,"
stuffed with ricotta, spinach, and herbs, and topped with a sausage marinara and mozzarella. Mario would have been PEA-GREEN with envy.
And speaking of Green, Sweetpea and I "did crafts" for the better part of the day, and we somehow ended up with the Spring-iest collection of decor: Yellow hearts, with everybody's faces drawn on, and all strung on a pretty green satin ribbon across the bookcase. A couple of dozen pipe-cleaner hearts in assorted colors were linked sorta drunkenly across the top of the kitchen pass-through, and a long rectangular paper-doily was festooned with a dump-truck, drawn and colored and with a neat yellow construction-paper tailgate and five little wheely-pastas Elmered across the bottom, like the track-treads of a tank.
The table was set with Fifties square Melmac plates and salad bowls, in several shades of green---one guess as to who chose the "china." Our only concession to the REDS of the holiday was the thin red vinyl cloth which started life as a big "door-cover" for Christmas, and has been clipped and snipped and re-shaped many times and pressed into use for whatever holiday or birthday requires RED. Caro supplied some pretty heart-covered plates and napkins for the desserts.
We had a lovely big bowl of Romaine salad, with a tangy vinaigrette and homemade croutons, and a bowl of low-cooked snap beans---the salad missed its moment in camera range, and the beans turned out a Safeway-canned-bean blue in the picture.
There was also a little pot of "geddi," made with a McCormick packet and a can of Hunt's sauce, for those with simpler taste,
and a beautiful bowl of marinated mushrooms with olives, grape tomatoes and little cubes of Fontanella. The tiny mince of celery, onion and green pepper in the dressing made a delightful crunch.
A quick shot of my plate---I don't stop for inconsequential things like focus and distance, etc.
Desserts were Red Velvet cookies, a little white-on-white cake, some just-from-the-oven pink-frosted sugar cookies, a pan of FF brownies and some of those crispy chocolate-covered Keebler finger-stacks, The little cookie stand was arranged by Sweetpea.
We're in the midst of a gentle, drifting-down white-out, with all the bushes and lawn and trees getting frosted over as thickly as dipped pretzels, and I wish you all a warm bright SWEET Valentine's Day!