This is the time of year, just after love itself gets a holiday that makes many hearts flutter from passion, others just get tingly nerves because they don’t quite know how to re-ignite that fire. For both of these groups, there is a book designed to take readers down the right path and it starts in your pantry.
The Wisewoman's Cookery is more than a cookbook. It is more of a lifestyle guide that includes recipes for sensual treats and meals to bring people together in the most intimate of ways. Researched and written over five years by two women from Vancouver, the book is an attempt to bring folkloric aphrodisiacs (with more than a hint of erotica) back into the modern world of romance.
“We’ve both always loved food, we enjoy gardening and preparing meals and eating, of course,” explained co-author Shannon Loeber. “We’ve travelled and we’ve always enjoyed romance and history, so what we did was we wanted to take all of those experiences — the food and romance and historical stories of women who have had passionate affairs — and share it with everyone else. Share it with the world.”
It’s easy to believe their professed utter devotion to food but it seems that so few people love Love like these two. They say that their commitments to creating passion in every facet of their lives takes a lot of energy but they wouldn’t have it any other way. They even travelled overseas to England and Ireland to conduct some intensive research in old libraries.
The idea was to step back in time and place to understand better the traditional and often spiritual customs that many peoples used to foster environments and create the right mood.
“We did the research of the aphrodisiac foods that we wanted to highlight. We didn’t want to just highlight the oysters and chocolate. We wanted to see in history what foods were thought to be aphrodisiac and then relate each one of these foods to a woman in history. We had a lot of fun with it.”
That’s probably why this isn’t just a straight-out listing of recipe after recipe. While you will learn how to make cherry bombs, dried strawberries and a raspberry sex tonic, there are other food-based craft items like massage oils and candles that one person can undertake. Or two people.
Wisewoman’s Cookery also contains some reference reading materials about the edible ingredients along with other historical fun facts. All of it is beautifully set with some great photos that are tasteful but appropriate to the content.
Loeber and co-author Mary Edwards’ mission is to encourage more people to make love a part of their everyday lives year-round. She admits she’s a few years older but there’s one aspect of her life that she is holding on to.
“We wanted more action in our lives and that’s where the food comes in. Food is a good thing for revving people up and motivating them toward sexual activity.”
She claims that working on the book and testing recipes with her husband has indeed helped her achieve this goal, as well as helping her to lose some weight and gain energy at the same time. “It did actually change my life with my husband completely.”
Wisewoman's Cookery: Food, Sex, Magic and Merriment
By Shannon Loeber and Mary Elsie Edwards<br />Shanamar Publishing House<br />189 pages<br />$29.95<br />www.wisewomanscookery.com