Let’s get right to it: raw onion. But not crunchy-raw white onions that alarm you with their muscle – the vulgarity!

Rather, I mean red onion that has been shaved as thin as you can get it, that you marinate in the bottom of your salad bowl, in your dressing, while you get everything else ready.

Like this:

The texture of onion totally changes when you marinate it: it mellows it into floppy sweetness. The onion soaks up the flavour of your oil and white-wine vinegar and salt and pepper, and is all you need to transform a bowl of greens from shocking boredom – a shitty, cold, raw thing that you feel you have to choke back in the name of fiber and chlorophyll – to the yummiest part of your supper.

When we’re really in a pinch, we have this as a stand-alone meal, with tuna for protein. It’s perfect:

It’s a no-excuses supper, because we always have lettuce (I like arugula for this particular combo, but any salad greens will do) and an onion and tuna on hand (usually Unico, soaked in oil. If you’re having salad for supper, please use the tuna soaked in oil. Otherwise, by 9 p.m. you’re as starving as an inmate in a jail of your own making and by 11 p.m., you’re eating slices of bread slathered in butter and molasses. But that’s another entry).

In fact, when I was a kid, my dad used to fish the onions out of the salad and pile them on top of a buttered slice of brown bread. An onion sandwich, folded over. I screeched too, until I tried it and got addicted. We’d wash it down with the dressing at the bottom of the wooden bowl, swirled with red wine. Drinking out of the bowl! Punctuate a weeknight supper like that and what the hell have you got to complain about.

But before I conclude, two short notes on Wayne to bring Valentimes Weekend to a close.

First, how sweet was he to bring these home for me on Sunday:

They’re from my favourite shop in the neighbourhood – my favourite chocolatier in the city, actually.

Katarina brought us two perfect truffles from Delight on Friday (Quebec blue cheese, which totally works, and cinnamon, my true love), and it inspired Wayne to get a box full of my favourite flavours. There was cinnamon again (it was that good), a runny, buttery caramel that made us close our eyes while we ate because it commanded our full devotion, a coffee caramel that was sweet and dark, one spicy ginger and one unbelievably whipped and fluffy maple butter:


I love Delight’s truffles because the chocolate casing is so thin and melty – and what it’s wrapped around is so true to the flavour it’s meant to be: The maple is look-at-you-there-with-your-mouth-under-the-spigot-on-the-maple-tree maple. (They’re also organic and fair trade. Top marks – but when you’re falling into a biblical ecstasy with maple butter in your mouth, you forget the fine points.)

And if that wasn’t romantic enough, Wayne also got out four impressive tools to help me bust into the (organic) coconut I carted home last week. I was dying to smash it against a rock like a clever baboon, but that just wasn’t practical, with a baby sleeping.

So Wayne saved the day with an electric drill:

Just look at the size of his bit, dear readers.

He really is quite the man.

Once the hole was complete

we poured the water into a glass, then strained it through a sieve:

It was a lot of water! At least six ounces. Though it wasn’t very good. I wonder if I kept the coconut too long. It was strong, and tasted off. (Anyone know what proper fresh coconut water should taste like? The last I had it, I was 10 or younger and can’t remember.)

Then it was back to the coconut itself, with two more tools and some elbow grease:

A hammer and a chisel. Smack that coconut, Wayne!

And here it is:

Very coconutty, but kinda dry. Does anyone know why? Are fresh ones always that way?

I figure I’ll grate it and freeze it, then use it in muffins and homemade granola (post forthcoming), unless anyone has a better idea. Some in a mango smoothie. Some in a curry?

Not sure it was worth all this trouble:

But it did get Wayne to swing his hammer. No complaints here.