April 17, 2024

A Romantic Dinner–and a Sprinkle of Cheese

Women are impressed by lots of stuff, but none more than the romantic dinner. Nobody knows what causes this reaction. Scientific studies suggest that women’s brains become disabled in the face of evidence suggesting that men can actually cook. It’s also well known that women will stare in slack-jawed disbelief when confronted with the notion that men are capable of being romantic.

Thus it’s plain to see when these two factors are combined a woman will become completely helpless–a condition that usually occurs only when there’s a tire to be changed or a spider crawling up the living room wall. As a service to those of you who are capable of appreciating a helpless woman in other circumstances, I offer the following advice for rendering your woman completely helpless and adoring: the romantic dinner.

First and foremost, CLEAN THE HOUSE. No woman can relax in a dirty house. Bring in the garden hose and give everything a thorough wash. If the cat complains, too bad! In severe cases it may be necessary to use a pressure washer. Allow sufficient time for everything to dry before the dinner date. A big sofa may take more than a week, so preplanning is important here.

Next, be sure to clean up or hide any “contraband.” You know the stuff I mean: empties, old cigar butts, fast food wrappers, empty potato chip bags, discarded lottery tickets, the last three years of the daily paper, extra Playboy magazines, excess doggie toys, aging fish bait, a half-fermented jug of dandelion wine, used racing forms, car parts you’ve been meaning to rebuild, any of the stuff that women think is “yucky” or “dumb.”

In your clean up, pay special attention to the pictures hanging on the walls. That portrait of Elvis looks better when you’ve removed all the lint from the black velvet. Don’t forget to dust the lava lamp and be sure to polish up the brass spittoon.

Now it’s time to plan the menu. I know, you hoped you could get off with sprinkling a bit of parsley on a couple of Hungry Man dinners, but this evening is too important to take foolish shortcuts. What’s the use of going to all this trouble if you’re not going to go all the way?

Think of the most romantic food you can imagine. That’s right, a nice juicy steak! What a treat! But who can afford to buy steak at today’s prices? Here’s where creative planning comes into play. Go to the store and get some quality hamburger meat. Put it on a big platter and moosh it around until it’s shaped like a nice T-bone. Go out in the back yard and get an appropriately shaped bone from the dog run and, after carefully washing it off, press it into the hamburger meat. When this thing is cooked it’ll look (and hopefully taste) just like the finest prime beef. If you’re in doubt, just grill it two or three times longer. After all, blackened food is very fashionable these days. If it still looks funny, sprinkle some shredded cheese on top. That makes anything seem elegant, especially if you announce it as “filet de boeuf.”

Of course, you’re going to need some vegetables. Only heathens don’t eat vegetables. Here’s a simple idea that will work like a charm. Dump a can of mixed vegetables in a pot and add a can of undiluted cream of mushroom soup. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top, announce it as “vegetable melange ala sauce.” You’re sure to make a big hit.

One of the marks of an accomplished cook is skill in presentation. Your salad course gives you a chance to show off your creativity. Here’s an idea that’s sure to impress her. Tear up a head of lettuce into a big bowl. Just before bringing it to the table drench it with a couple of good slugs of bourbon, then throw in a lighted match. She won’t be expecting “salade flambe.” Don’t forget a sprinkle of shredded cheese. (NOTE: before preparing this dish, be sure your fire insurance is paid up).

At this point you’re probably wondering, but what about the wine? Don’t worry. I’ve got it handled. A guy could spend years studying and still not know enough to pick out the right wine for a dinner like this. Do you go for a Chardonnay, Petit Syrah, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Mersault, Merlot, Cabernet, Cordon Bleu or Carte Blanche?

No sweat. Get a big bottle of ginger ale. Add a squirt of red food coloring and tell her it’s pink champagne. Don’t forget the shredded cheese.

Now for the piece de resistance, dessert! By this time, you’ve just about emptied your bag of culinary tricks. It’s becoming harder to dream up innovative and exciting ways to serve your romantic dinner. What you need here is a BIG FINISH–a really memorable performance that will tattoo this night into her memory for weeks. I can think of only one thing that qualifies: the good old WHIPPED CREAM PIE! This is definitely your best bet for finishing off your romantic dinner in a way she’ll remember forever! Just don’t forget a sprinkle of cheese.

See ya around,


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