Romancing the Fire Pit

Romantic Fire This week three of my friends informed me that they had decided to end their (very) long term relationships. Two of the break-ups were a complete shock. They seemed like such happy couples.

When things like this happen, it tends to make people who are happy couples pause for a moment and wonder if they too only seem like a happy couple.

I needed a date night with my husband and nothing says romance like a roaring fire out in the middle of suburbia (with the obligatory pack of hotdogs nearby so that we can say “Why yes, officer, this is a cooking fire.”)

I am a big believer that, if you have the room, you should have a fire pit of some kind in your garden. They are wonderful for summer time evening enjoyment of your yard.

Jens Jensen, who was the landscape complement to Frank Lloyd Wright, called them Council Rings. To him, they were not just fire pits but gathering places. He wrote of them:

It is really democratic in its conception. Here one is no more than the other. Its makeup is one of strength and friendship. The friendly fire on the hearth in the center is more inviting.

Yeah, my husband and I needed a little of that. So I set about preparing for a nice romantic evening.

First order was the food. While fires are romantic, cooking over them is not, unless it involves a stick and marshmallows. Everything else just sort of takes away from the romance of being around a fire. I chose to make Cheese Snips and Apulian Lamb & Fennel Stew (Both recipes are available in The Best American Recipes 2003-2004 cookbook) in my kitchen to bring out for dinner.

Both items were chosen for romance factor. Cheese Snips are spicy, yummy little finger foods that are easy to feed to one another and stews are great for fireside romance. One pot, one dish, one utensil and easy to keep warm by the fire. You can hold the bowl in your lap while cuddling and there is no awkward balancing of a plate while cutting food nor the romance killing formality of a needed table.

I also bought a bottle of Apple Wine from Quarry Hill (a local Ohio wine). This is a wine made with a combination of both apple and grape juice. It is a nice, sweet white wine. It is served chilled but the coolness of the wine offsets the heat of the fire and food.

I had my husband drag the bench over by the fire pit. It is a whole lot easier to snuggle on a bench than it is in two chairs.

And music. I love to have a soundtrack for what ever I am doing, especially when it involves love, sex and romance. My musical choices for a romantic garden evening by a fire pit include:

As Is – Ani Difranco
She’s Every Woman – Garth Brooks
Holding Out For a Hero – Jennifer Saunders
Power of Two – Indigo Girls (this was my wedding dance song)
Steal My Kisses – Ben Harper
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy – Revolting Cocks
Collide – Howie Day
Tango Flaminco – Jesse Cook
Besame Mucho – Cesaria Evora

It is a very eclectic mix but they are chosen for a particular romantic reason – dancing. Ladies, if your man doesn’t dance, this is your chance. When they say “Dance like nobody is watching”, right at that moment, nobody is watching. The firelight is enough to see the ground but not so much that the neighbors can see you (unless they are so inconsiderate as to leave their back floodlight on, in which case, dance anyway. They are probably too busy watching TV to notice you).

My husband does not dance, but during times like this, when it is just us, I can coax him out. A little slow dancing, a little fast dancing with just a tad bit of dirty dancing. Go ahead, twirl, rock, grind, twist and shimmy. Have some fun, because romance is suppose to be fun.

And when you take a break from dancing, you cuddle on the bench and watch the firelight while fireflies and stars twinkle overhead.

As equals, as friends, as a happy couple who is strong in the knowledge that they really are a happy couple.

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