Thirsty Jane NEVER goes out on V-day. Being a competent mixologist and chef, I use V-day as an opportunity to go “whole hog.” This year, I opted for simplicity, though. I turned to tried and true recipes with a few tweaks along the way. To start, I experimented, whipping up the Thirsty Valentine. 3 parts genever, 2 parts apple liqueur, 1 part lemon juice. Genever is the “Dutch Courage,” the precursor to English gin. Unlike English dry gin, genever has a malt wine part which makes it seem like the illegitimate child of a whiskey and gin. In other words, sinfully delish! Dinner consisted of steamed beans, mashed potatoes and my guy’s fave: Pork loin chops in a creamy colvados sauce. Basically, that’s seared pork chops in a sauce made of sauteed apples with cream, apple jack brandy and white wine. What is NOT to love in that, I ask you? We paired that with a fabulous 2008 Tori Mor Oregon Pinot Noir. So simple, so delicious. I did go all out for dessert this year with Le Negre, a French flourless chocolate cake, served here with Tori Mor vintage port and a decadent Chambord sauce. We finished the evening with a New York Times crossword. Yes, in ink. Cheers to the simple life with someone you love!