Monday, February 09, 2015

"Date Night In" with a Personal Chef: Part 1 (The Set-up)

For Christmas our daughter gave a most wonderful, creative gift: a personal chef to come to our home and teach my husband and me a special dish to make, as a special "date night in."

Originally scheduled for January 10th, we had to move it to February 7th, which I liked better because it became our Valentine celebration.   We have a Valentine birthday boy who turns 13 this coming weekend, and we have special plans for him.

Saturday morning I gave the kitchen a final cleaning, with hubs doing magic on the cooktop with a scrub pad. It's funny the white-glove treatment you'll give your stove, fridge, counters, and sink when a professional chef is coming.  It might behoove me to invite him more often, if for no other reason.

But table decorating is where the fun is.   I edited a bouquet from a tall vase in the kitchen, and made a small one as our "centerpiece." Candles in low votives, red cloth napkins scrunched into heart shapes, two rose wine glasses, a chocolate colored tablecloth, and some bright white plates completed the look I was going for. Big question I had was whether to sit across from each other at a table meant for six (or 10) to stare into each other's eyes (riiiiiggghhht) or to cozy up in the corner where I could touch him and take close-up pictures.

You wouldn't believe how big a deal this was to me. Normally I make quick decisions, but when it comes to seating arrangements, I take forever. Pretty bad when your guest list has just two on it.

Yes, these napkins are embroidered with poinsettias, not exactly Valentine-ish, unless you're a Christmas bride like I was. In that case, poinsettias remind me of our romantic wedding, so it works.

Sarah swooped in an hour before the chef arrived to collect her little bro for an overnighter that included a tour of our old neighborhood, game night with all the sibs, and church with her the next day.

Before she left, I asked her to please give me her opinion on the seating: across from each other like so, or next to each other like so? (I slid the setting over.) She burst out laughing. "Really, Mom?  That's a big decision? It took you all of what--two seconds to move that stuff?"

Okay, so I'm a silly, fussy, hopeless romantic and I love to be as close to my man as possible on a date, so the cozy corner arrangement won out.  Daughter snapped a few pictures (one of which was clearly photobombed by that rascally Valentine baby) , handed us the envelope of money to pay "Chef Steven" (not OUR Stephen), told us not to open it, and then they were off.

To be continued with The Meal.


Joyce said...

I think you made the right call on seating : ) When I host a dinner party, no matter the size-could be two, could be ten, I am easily distracted by small details too. And I totally relate to cleaning for the cook! Sounds like fun-a wonderfully, thoughtful gift. You know it wasn't done at the last minute, which rates high in my book.

Preeti Harris said...

OMG, you guys are adorable together. I completely understand - I am the same way. Completely, hopelessly romantically in love. Is there any other way?
Hope the celebration continues forever.

Susan Kane said...

What a delightful, thoughtful gift! I look forward to part 2.
And, you two are a lovely couple.