Saturday 14 February
We like to cook something indulgent for Valentine's Day, and judging from past blogs, it's usually veal or lamb. This year we went for the latter, and took care to shop in advance: Charles Bare has huge legs of lamb for $4.99/lb., but they're always frozen solid, and take a week to defrost.
Holt took knife in hand and butterflied juicy lobes from the leg, as well as setting aside the shank for braising and bones to roast for Scotch broth. The lobes went in to broil-roast in our favorite Julia method and marinade, and when they came out to rest, we threw in a tray of asparagus to roast as a side.
A little rummaging in the cellar turned up a wine we've declared perfect for lamb: the last of the case of 2007 Strewn Cabernet Franc we acquired in Canada - in fact, on Holt's birthday in 2008.
Oh, and dessert. For Valentine's Day, Holt gets Barbara flowers, and Barbara gets Holt chocolates, traditionally dark chocolate hearts from around the corner at Graeter's. But Graeter's has now sold out its candy recipes to some outside jobber, raising the price and plummeting the quality. So Barbara had to drive out to Aglamesis Brothers, where they still keep to traditional ways, to get Holt his perfect hearts. They made our dessert, along with the remains of all the Graeters' in the freezer (vanilla, coconut chip, and egg nog) - at least their ice cream is still all right.