This time of year always seems to me to be a long slog into spring. The snow and ice are gone to be replaced by rain and wind. Valentine’s Day, the last “candy holiday” as one of my grandkids calls it, is over with no more candy extravaganzas until Easter which seems far away.

What’s a romantic to do?

Some people head for warmer climates. The beach in Hawaii, a drink with a paper parasol in it and your favorite person next to you has appeal. So does a cabin on Mt. Hood with a log fire in a stone fireplace, a hot toddy and the person of your dreams. Unfortunately, most of us can’t do either. We have jobs, families, responsibilities, bills to pay and a mile-long “to do” list that never seems to get done (or is that just me?)

If you can’t travel, there are other ways to wait out what feels an endless number of weeks until the weather changes to something that doesn’t require layers of clothing and windshield wipers that work efficiently. Date night works. So does couples massage. A good romantic comedy, if that’s your kind of flick or the last week of the Portland International Film Festival, if that’s more to your taste. A Netflix subscription and binge watching “House of Cards.” No, wait, scratch that. “House of Cards” is only romantic if you’re the Macbeth family.

But staying home isn’t a bad idea, cuddled up on the loveseat after a nice home cooked dinner. A fire, even if it’s just a candle or two, a bit of background music, maybe a game. Or just the two of you talking over your week. Creature comforts to get through this last bit of winter.

And dessert–there has to be dessert. Here’s one idea that’s easy, yummy and hints at the good weather and luscious fruits to come in a few months. Oh, and it’s chocolate. Of course.

chocolate box

All you do is take three high quality chocolate bars–I love Moonstruck but use your favorite. Cut one carefully in half and construct the box as shown using a bit of icing to hold the walls together, just the way you’d build the walls of a gingerbread house. Fill your chocolate container part way with sweetened sour cream or vanilla yogurt (it will not only provide a dip for your fruit but help hold the box together). Top with the fresh raspberries now beginning to appear in stores. Garnish with mint leaves. Use fondue forks or bamboo skewers to dip the fruit in the yoghurt or sour cream and enjoy!

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