Several months ago, I found out that the Cub Scout winter camp-out would be on Valentine’s weekend. My husband seemed to take it harder than I did – maybe the dread of winter camping in Maine played a role or maybe it was his image of the Valentine romantic ideal – either way, he was really concerned about my being alone on the holiday. Although I appreciated the concern, I had thoughts of curling up with a good book or binge-watching HGTV or re-painting the stair risers. Thirty-four hours of alone-time is really not that hard to fill and we could celebrate Valentine’s Day on Sunday when they returned.
Then the local meteorologist started to see signs of a serious weather event and Blizzard Neptune was born. Twelve to twenty-four inches of snow, 50 mph winds, negative temps – doesn’t sound like ideal camping conditions. Mainers are tough so the camp-out must go on! Bags were packed and they took out Friday evening.
I started getting texts of happy kids. The facility was nice and warm. Lots of snacks. Fun plans for Saturday. Then dawn arrived and the leaders said “feel free to leave early…the camp site does have a tendency to lose electricity at winds over 25 mph…no one wants to be stuck there”. So by 3pm Saturday, I got a text that (all) the guys were on their way home.
I was not planning a big dinner for myself. Maybe some hummus and pita chips. Nice glass of wine. But my Valentines were on their way home! I quickly looked through the refrigerator and freezer. A nice jalapeño tilapia pasta dish started taking shape. And then I got to dessert. Valentine’s dinner had to have a special dessert!
Thankfully I had a frozen puff pastry in the freezer and some beautiful strawberries. A simple Strawberry Tart with a balsamic honey glaze would be perfect.
Even though it looked and tasted really good, I had some issues during the cooking. I put it in the oven just as we sat down for dinner. Unfortunately, halfway through dinner I started smelling smoke. The glaze had dripped off the cookie sheet and into the oven. Burnt sugar is not a pleasant accompaniment to a nice dinner. My guys were very kind (or well trained to expect burnt offerings). Thankfully the tart was fine so I quickly moved it to a pan with a lip and let it finish cooking.