oysters, foie gras, and caviar to carry you to Valentine's Day ecstasy
is like waiting for Santa to come down the chimney on Christmas Eve.
Worse: If you're not used to eating these rich, luxe comestibles, you
may find them working their way through your gastrointestinal tract
faster than fat Santa free-falling down that chute. Sorry, but the
truth isn't always pretty.
On the other hand, that's not to say
that you can't have a romantic dinner. Dim the lights. Put on music.
Cook a light, satisfying meal that finishes with a decadent dessert.
Then cap things off with fragrant, stimulating sambuca liqueur, with
its' full, round, intoxicating star anise flavor. There are lots of
distinctive brands on the market, but bang-for-the-buck I like Sambuca Averna
-- especially their Liquirizia flavor, which adds a zesty licorice kick
to the star anise. Averna likewise makes a basic sambuca, as well as
one laced with citrus. The bottles retail for $28.99.
sambuca neat or on the rocks -- adding ice spins the transparent spirit
into pearly opalescence, and as it does so you can quote this line from
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"Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy."
I can't emphasize enough how much more effective this will be than a dozen Malpeques.