With apologies to Lorenz Hart, "My funny valentines, they make me smile with my heart."
Rick and I were able to see the Toddler Twosome on Valentine's Day and what a joy it was. (Although after that, I was exhausted but it took awhile for me to get to sleep because I kept thinking that neither the kids nor their mom were masked -- and while I kept distance, as you can see, Rick was pretty close. Masked but close. Things like that totally freak me out these days!)
They came around six, having already eaten. We hadn't. And they were wired to play!
That's Rick, under that pile!
And in that one!
He was going to teach the oldest of the two -- almost four -- backgammon. It was really more of a counting game! But he was a very good counter!
The littlest was very into the fridge magnets and identifying all the players in the many photos.
Meanwhile, mom and the newest foster dog were keeping tabs on everything!
There were lots of smiles...
...Lots of teeth!
After they left, we ate a very late dinner -- shrimp and grits (my favorite!) and a wonderful bottle of wine.
I made a Pavlova for dessert. I've done this recipe before and for whatever reason, I couldn't quite get the peaks to be stiff after I added the sugar but it didn't matter. It was delicious. So easy and such a nice presentation. There's another I like too, but I couldn't find it! (Nigella Lawson's and Ina's, too. All good!)
Here's how -- if you want more details, let me know. Beat 4 large or XL egg whites to soft peaks and add 1 c. sugar (preferably superfine) spoon by spoon, whipping in. It should get to stiff peaks and mine didn't. Maybe there was a speck of yolk in the whites I didn't see.) Add 1 T. of cornstarch and 1 1/2 t. of cream of tarter and whip, whip, whip! Bake at 230 F for 80 minutes on parchment and let it stay in the oven at least two or three hours. It could stay in overnight if you want. Top with whipped cream gently sweetened with powdered sugar and your fave combo of fruit. I like the raspberry/blueberry combo -- the tartness of the fruit balances the sweet of the meringue. But I've done it with strawberries, peaches and kiwi, too. Eat fairly soon after, before the whipped cream deflates. NOTE: Meringue is not the best choice for a humid day!)