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3 Love-Themed Gifts That Make Me Want To Drink A Bottle of Nail Polish Remover

The part of me that knows how to seduce someone is broken.

Massage oil, for example, makes me want to wash my hands.  And I dress for bed like we’re going on a long hike across an alpine tundra.

So I’m not an expert on how to steam up your Valentine’s Day, by any means.  But even I know the following Valentine’s Day gift ideas must be stopped.  They must be stopped right now, y’all.

Gift #1: Name a Madagascar hissing cockroach at the Bronx Zoo ($10)

Why? Why would you do this for someone you care about?

The people in the Bronx Zoo’s marketing department say you should do it because “Roses Wilt.  Candlelight fades.  Roaches are forever.”

Leaving aside the fact that these people need to get out more, they’re right.  This terrible, awful gift is forever.  Once you give it, you can never undo what you’ve done.  And I don’t mean that rhetorically.  You simply cannot un-name something that has a name.  That is not the way names work.

Gift #2: Spend $125 on a heart-shaped box of inedible wooden chocolates ($125)

One hundred and twenty-five whole American dollars will buy you a designer box of fake chocolates that you’ll never be able to eat.  The designer, David Stark, is also known for his equally frustrating soft crocheted hammers and saws, which sell for two hundred and twenty-five whole American dollars.

David Stark, you need to go to your room right now and think about what you’ve done.

Gift #3: Pay $10,010 To Propose Over A $10 Pizza Hut® Dinner Box ($10,010)

Pizza Hut is offering “an epic collection of proposal goodies” for people who are new to life or can’t count above the number ten.  Specifically, the epic collection includes a limo ride, a ruby ring, fireworks, a photographer/videographer, and a $10 Dinner Box, “hands-down the most vital, and appetizing, piece of the package,” according to a non-ironic press release that was actually approved by fully functioning Pizza Hut® officials living in the real world.

The $10 Dinner Box–which, again, is sold separately everywhere for $10,000 less than the price of the engagement package–includes a medium 1-topping pizza, 5 breadsticks with marinara, and 10 cinnamon sticks with icing.

We’re talking about paying $10,010 for a $10 pizza and the opportunity to have a stranger videotape you while you eat it.

Do people not know that for only $22 per couple, you can get a romantic rib eye dinner at the Waffle House®, complete with mood lighting, smooth tunes, a white table cloth and fake champagne?  And for $120, a scuba diver at the London Aquarium will swim through the shark tank with a sign that says “will you marry me?” (2 glasses of champagne and commemorative photo included).  Do people really think that the $10,010 Dinner Box® situation is better than a McWedding® engagement party that includes a cake made out of stacked apple pies? ($1,282 in Hong Kong, plus $165 for a dress made entirely of white balloons).

The fact that at least a few men out there will sign up for the Pizza Hut® proposal and one of them will win a pizza-themed wedding at Pizza Hut® headquarters in Plano, Texas just made me start crying.

And David Stark’s $325 metal facial tissues are not very absorbent.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody.

Below are two recipes that are the opposite of pizza.  The first is for a simple dip made of hearts of palm, garlic, lime, and a dash of olive oil.  It’s light and fluffy and healthy.  It’s kind of like eating a tangy, delicious cloud.

The second recipe is for a simple salad of arugula, blood orange, shaved fennel, and shaved pecorino romano, with a drizzle of olive oil.  The slight anise flavor of the fennel and the refreshing citrus are great together.

Here they are:

Hearts of Palm Dip {Download & Print Recipe}

Adapted from Grace Parisi’s recipe in the March 2012 volume of Food & Wine.


1 12-oz. can hearts of palm (preferably whole, not pre-chopped)

1 small clove garlic

1 tbsp. olive oil

the peel of 1 lime, grated

salt & pepper to taste


Grate the peel of the lime.  Pass the garlic through a garlic press, or chop it.  Drain the hearts of palm.

Place the hearts of palm, garlic, and lime peel in a food processor with the olive oil and pulse until smooth.

Taste before adding any salt and pepper: It may not need it.

Serve with pita chips, or spread on sandwiches, such as one with sprouts and avocado and tomato.


Arugula with Blood Orange & Fennel {Download & Print Recipe}


1 bunch arugula (amount is flexible)

2 blood oranges

1 bulb fennel

a glug of olive oil, to taste

large shaved pieces of Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

coarse salt & pepper


Rinse arugula and pat it dry with paper towels.  Place in a salad bowl.

Using a paring knife, peel the oranges from top to bottom, exposing the shiny part of the fruit but trying to preserve as much of it as possible.  Hold the orange in your non-dominant hand and cut out each wedge by slicing down either side of the film between each section.  Add the wedges to the bowl with the arugula.

Rinse the fennel.  Cut off the leafy stalk and the dirtiness at the very base of the bulb.  Cut bulb in half, vertically.  Shave the fennel on a mandolin or the shaving part of a cheese grater, or slice it as finely as possible.  Add fennel to the bowl.

Toss the contents of the bowl with a little olive oil to taste.  Shave Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese into the bowl and toss again, seasoning with coarse salt and pepper if it needs it.

Note: Arugula is a bitter lettuce.  If someone in your party is taken aback by that, you could dress their salad with a little honey added to the olive oil.


The other day, Scott sat down on the couch with a spinach salad.

Thunder was fascinated.

First she looked up at me like “Do you know about this?”

Then she looked doubtfully at Scott as if to say “Dude. You’re really going to eat that?”

But as he continued to munch on it, she got more comfortable with the idea of eating a bowl of wet leaves.

And by the end, she was getting right in there and resting her head on his leg, with her chin practically in the bowl.

I would give her some, but she’d be a new kind of bonkers in Popeye mode.  And I don’t know if I could handle that just yet.

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36 Comments Post a comment
  1. My parents, The Beaucoups, un-named their dog. Her name was Cheyenne. When The Beaucoups adopted her, her name became Cheyenne We Didn’t Name Her, which was long. So they un-named her, and then re-named her Annie. And sometimes, Dog. And on occasion, Rachael. Because apparently, we were easy to confuse.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, lady. I loves you in a way that should probably make you uncomfortable. And Scott even more uncomfortabler.

    February 13, 2012
  2. I just got the roach-naming for my husband – ha! Just kidding.

    Great blog – love the pix.

    February 13, 2012
    • I know. Now, it’s like “a thing.” Now I kind of have to get the roach.

      But ack! That is exactly what they want me to do, right?!

      February 13, 2012
  3. mallory #

    Dear Thunder, will you be MY Valentine? Shhh, don’t tell Freddie Mercury, he would be positively distraught if he knew my heart adores you so. He IS known for his fits of jealous rage, ya know.

    My husband doesn’t get me anything for Valentines Day, as a rule (he’s hopelessly UNromantic), but I am pretty confident I like that better than cockroaches. Or inedible chocolate. Or any other that other stuff, really.

    But I would bet……oh, I dunno, $10,010 maybe……that Kanye would totally be all over that pizza box dealio. Way to cater to the moguls, Pizza Hut!

    February 13, 2012
    • Krisann #

      Whomever came up with this genius pizza proposal strategy was likely on Kanye’s dream team.

      February 13, 2012
      • Totally. I bet this is all just part of DONDA’s forward-thinking marketing plan. I bet when the dream team is assembled and DONDA finally opens for business, they’re going to be like “you remember that pizza proposal situation? THAT WAS US. You remember the Super Bowl? WE MADE THAT HAPPEN TOO. You remember the hearts of palm dip recipe in Food & Wine? WE PUT THAT THERE.” They’re going to come out fast and strong and there’s not going to be anything we can do to stop them.

        February 13, 2012
    • Dear Mallory,

      Thunder says “yes.” But she also wants to know if your offer comes with Pup-eroni treats. (She’s shopping around for the Valentine who is going to give her the most sticks and snacks. It’s getting out of hand.)

      You’re right. I am surprised Kanye hasn’t tweeted about the pizza deal. Maybe he’s just so used to getting fireworks and bling with his pizza (and eating in his limo) that he doesn’t bat an eye anymore?

      February 13, 2012
  4. if anyone is tempted to go for the madagascar roach naming thing… i just moved into a new place in dallas and it came with free cockroaches. send me $85 and i’ll name them whatever you want… because then i can afford to pay the exterminator to send them to a better place 🙂

    p.s. i love your blog… thunder is absolutely delicious… i just want to eat her up. i’ve been trying to plan a dog-napping, but then i figured you would be sad if she was missing… so can you hook me up with some of her tissues and eggs so i can get her cloned? thanks in advance.

    February 13, 2012
    • My God, woman. Good luck down there. I hope people act fast on this fantastic offer and that your supplies are limited. The Bronx Zoo has 58,000 roaches, they say. I don’t know if they INTENTIONALLY have 58,000, or if the Madagascar roach exhibit just got out of hand. I try not to think about it.

      As for Thunder, I keep thinking to myself “I WANT TWO THUNDERS. MAYBE THREE.” Cloning is under consideration.

      February 13, 2012
      • Thanks for the luck. It looks like I’ll need it. Supplies are limited…. hopefully. As long as they don’t get in the V-day spirit and start mating. Hopefully people will jump on this once in a lifetime offer… for an extra $50, I’ll even catch your special roach and write a personal message of up to 10 characters on its back in glittery nail polish. C’mon, people. Nothing says love like a roach covered in glitter!

        Once cloning is a possibility, I would like to place the first order!

        February 14, 2012
  5. Well, maybe you could commission David (when he gets out of his room) to design some romantic glasses for your romantic nail polisher Valentine’s toast — maybe out of lead or something. Oh what am I saying, you could never afford that! And Thunder has a better personality than 75 percent of the people I know!

    February 13, 2012
    • Now that you mention it, Linda, I wonder what David is doing for Valentine’s Day (other than rolling around in a pile of money.) I bet he is going to eat a delicious meal of steel beef stroganoff and porcelain ice cream, which he will cook in his own kitchen and charge himself $725 for. I wonder if David could keep Thunder alive for even 1 day, or if he would take her for a walk in downtown Manhattan on a leash made of Twizzlers.

      February 13, 2012
  6. Earlier, I mentioned Eggton seems to provide year-round Christmas spirit. . . In that vein, dare I say it always seems like V-Day on Eggton as well? You know, with your hearty recipes, presented in the context of fun-spirited, yet thoughtful observation, free of arterial motives. I am pumped to prepare (and consume) the H.O.P. Dip (recipe as opposed to dance move). . . A heartfelt kudos on another great, blood-warming post!

    February 13, 2012
    • (Said in the voice of one of the Three Stooges):

      “Why a-orta smack myself for letting you beat me at being the first to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, Ryan!”

      February 14, 2012
  7. a #

    Gift # 1 seems more appropriate for a divorce gift, I think. But, I suppose, then, you’d have to offer the purchaser the opportunity to squish the named roach. Maybe that’s not the best marketing plan. Even with 58,000 roaches.

    I love the Thunder spinach series.

    February 13, 2012
    • Yes, I have to wonder if people are going to start ordering roaches and leaving the ownership certificates in their bosses’ inboxes. I would be surprised if they shut this program down after Valentine’s Day.

      In other news, if anyone still needs a date for today, I’m pretty sure the good people in the Bronx Zoo’s marketing department are all available.

      February 14, 2012
  8. Camille #

    Holy Crap…there’s another Camille commenting on your blog and she has the gall to be young and attractive? (Currently flinging myself face down in the sofa and sighing heavily) Well fine…I’ll just have to learn to live with it as she’s way down there in Texas with her new pets. As for me, I’m stuck up here in the north with sub-zero temperatures which flash freeze small creatures such as roaches. Where was I? Oh! Happy Valentines Day. Thunder is the bomb.

    February 13, 2012
    • Camille, first of all, I love you. Second of all, all readers of Eggton are super hot. Every last one of them. In fact, I just learned that starting next month, we are each going to be assigned someone who follows us around in public while singing “She’s Like The Wind.”

      In your case, the guy is going to be really bundled up because of your sub-zero temperatures. Let me know if his voice isn’t carrying well enough in the Alaskan wind, and I’ll see if we can get you assigned another dude or two.

      Hugs and kisses,

      February 14, 2012
    • 1. I’m extremely flattered that you referred to me as young and attractive.
      2. Camilles should really stick together as there is a very limited amount of us and we are awesome.
      3. Sub-zero temperatures kill roaches? I’m moving in! Send me your address 🙂

      Happy valentine’s day from one Camille to another! So glad you’re fabulous and upholding the name well.

      February 14, 2012
      • I think my grinchy little anti-Valentine’s Heart just grew three sizes! This is the kind of love that can’t be summed up with a $10 Dinner Box. You guys are awesome.

        February 14, 2012
        • Camille (the other one) #

          Awwww….group hug. 🙂

          February 14, 2012
  9. I can understand Thunders fascination with Spinach salad – all of my dogs are convinced that anything we might be eating is way more interesting than their own food and surely must be shared.
    English peas are one of my favorite snacks but the dogs harass me mercilessly when I am trying to eat them (raw straight from the pod) I always give in and share them – then feel foolish for shelling peas for my pets – who is in charge around her anyway?
    Inevitably one gets lost under the stove and then Charlie spends the next 4 hours trying to retrieve it…..
    Life with dogs…

    February 14, 2012
    • Do you ever have the opposite problem? Peanut butter did not used to be a large part of my diet, Shelley. But lately when I put some in her Kong chew-toy thing, I also put some on a cracker. Or two. Or I decide to make peanut sauce to go on chicken for dinner.

      It’s getting out of hand. I have heard this happens to parents– they start eating their kid’s snacks, etc. What I’m really worried about is making the leap to these peanut butter treats that my mom sent me. They say they can be eaten by humans or dogs. But I refuse to eat anything that lists “crude fat” and “crude protein” on the back, per FDA guidelines for, I guess, pets.

      February 14, 2012
      • funny you should say that just this morning Coco got some peanut butter and the next thing I know my husband is having peanut butter on a bagel… it is a slippery slope….
        Have you ever read the book “Sh*t my daddy says??? Just a bunch of funny anecdotes from a grumpy old man but it made me cry with laughter. He accidentally ate dog treats once – quote below
        “Snausages? I’ve been eating dog treats? Why the f*ck would you put them on the counter where the rest of the food is? F*ck it, they’re delicious. I will not be shamed by this.”

        February 14, 2012
        • That is a hilarious quote. I’ve only heard of that website but am going to have to check it out now, thanks.

          I just tried pecan butter for the first time in my life. I put some on a mocha yogurt loaf I made last night and it’s AMAZING. A little salty and a little sweet. If you haven’t tried it and you ever see it in the store, you might want to get it. I might knock people over to get to this.

          February 14, 2012
          • Yum Pecan butter sounds amazing but what in the world is a mocha yoghurt loaf????
            I have all sorts of mental images that are just not working for me….

            February 14, 2012
          • Ah, so a yogurt loaf is just a bread (like banana, zucchini or pumpkin bread, but this one has instant coffee, nuts and cocoa in it) that calls for a bit of plain yogurt instead of extra oil or butter. For some reason, slices of lemon or chocolate/vanilla swirl yogurt loaf are all the rage at coffee shops and delis in New York– probably because you could grab them on the run for breakfast, and probably because it sounds healthy, even though it’s not especially so.

            It was pretty good, but I want to make it a few more times before sharing. Like most things, we may be in business once I get some chocolate chips up in there!

            February 14, 2012
  10. Waffle House should not be underrated for it’s seduction factor. I could be sweet-talked into a great many things with a patty melt in front of me.

    February 14, 2012
  11. I dunno, Cinnasticks are pretty darn persuasive.

    February 14, 2012
    • Family Snodgrass, I have to admit that after thinking about them so much the other day, I’ve decided to try to make ricotta donut holes tonight. (Special exception from the rule disallowing attempts at deep frying on our stove-top.)

      February 14, 2012
  12. Sarah H. #

    I tried the hearts of palm dip on my BFFs and we all agreed it is a-maaazing! Or maybe they were just succumbing to my insistence that your blog rocks. Either way, WIN. looking forward to trying more of your recipes and adding more converts.

    May 21, 2012
  13. Shalee #

    I was reading some of your posts and my stomach hurts from laughing so much.Thank you!

    June 11, 2012

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