Stinky Sweethearts: Rick's Picks and Saxleby Cheese

We're putting forth a wild and crazy Valentine's Day thought: no waxy chocolate and no pesticide-laced roses imported from Ecuador this year. And better yet, no eating out. Cuddle up inside, people! It's winter: take a hot bath, get pretty, and remember that roses are not in bloom this time of year. Save your money for something tastier, something more edgy.

When you're not nibbling on your sweetie's ears, nibble on something together, like pickled beets and stinky blue cheese.

Pickled Beets and stinky blue cheese?

Why not? Rick's Picks and Saxelby Cheesemongers are on board with the idea of staying in and cooking, or at least staying in and nibbling. Stinky Sweethearts is an aptly named series of pickle and cheese pairings from Rick and Anne, two fine connoisseurs of love, strong flavors, and local foods.

For $35, you'll get two 15-ounce jars of pickles and about half a pound of cheese to give. Slice the cheese in half and, you could entertain two lov... never mind.

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Phat Beets and Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue. Here are beets like you've never done beets before, cozy in their jars with rosemary, ginger and lemon. Paired with this mellow blue goat's cheese from Vermont, there will be some serious good times in your mouth. Both the beets and the Jasper Hill Blue are house favorites over here and come to think of it, they both have a tendency to put us in the mood.

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GT 1000s and Sprout Creek Farm Ouray. The pickle is a curried green tomato that Rick says will perk up cheeseburgers, sausages and panini. Having tasted them, and thinking of your romantic night at home, it's easier to just recommend eating them straight. With a slice of Ouray. What's Ouray, you say? Imagine, if you can, Cheddar and Parmesan taking a roll in the hay, and nine months later, voila, their flaky offspring.

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Bee ā€˜nā€™ Beez and Grafton Classic Two-Year Cheddar. Who doesn't love a bread and butter pickle? Nice, though, if it isn't neon green and saturated with corn syrup. Here's Rick's updated version: local cukes, nestled in a bling-bling brine of fresh ginger, dried cherries (nothing overly sweet or cloying here) and some spice. Anne's contribution is the Grafton Two-Year Cheddar made the old-school way. Older man, younger woman? Sure, some of us roll that way.

Rick ships two-day, so you have until Tuesday of next week to place your order. Thursday you'll be nibbling by the fire, while your less innovative friends are stressing about dinner reservations.