an excerpt from JAM TODAY TOO: THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE CATERED, by Tod Davies (June 2014)


Really, there’s nothing nicer than having sex with a loved one, followed by a lovely meal à deux.

All the better if the lovely meal is in your own home, and you can both sit down to it wearing your bathrobes.

And even better if the lovely meal scents the house increasingly with enticing food smells during the actual act.

I mean, think about it.  What’s wrong with making love before dinner, rather than after, when you’re both probably too full and too tired anyway, or one of you wants to get on the computer, or one of you wants to finish reading the paper, or you both just would rather call it a night?  It’s nice, every so often, to make some time special for…er…interaction.  And, as always, to follow it with a very nice meal.

This of course means you’ve got to clear the decks. Kids have to be sent off to slumber parties, grandma’s house, etc. Phones turned off. Cares dispelled (as much as possible and even if only temporarily). And then you’ve got this space to concentrate on each other and provide a playground for the two of you.

Naturally, this is another one of those happy moments where you realize that we really are better off than the richer Victorians.  Imagine having all those servants and trying an evening like this? You’d have to give them all the day off.  And the cook would want to know, suspiciously, what you’d been up to in her kitchen while she was gone.

But you don’t have to worry about any of that. This is the good thing about not having master/servant relations in a culture.  So don’t let me catch you fantasizing about having enough money to hire unlimited help. Who’s going to manage that help, I ask you? Better to just concentrate on managing ourselves, I reckon.

And on having a very good time on our time off.

To which we now turn.

I don’t have the slightest intention of giving any kind of insight into what should happen in the more private part of this particular kind of festivity. You’ll have your way, and I have mine. But what I can do is give you a couple of suggestions about what to cook for the dinner afterwards. That I know something about, that’s applicable across all ages, classes, sexual orientations. I do know a practical thing or two about how to orchestrate THAT.

First off, you want something simple that can cook unattended for at least an hour.  If not more.  Without much fuss at the end (you’re not going to feel like fussing in the kitchen, after, at least we hope not–we hope you’ll be in a happy daze and in more of a mood for drifting from one thing to the next).  Also, you want something that will smell increasingly good as the time goes on.  It adds to the total experience.

So you basically want a stew, or a casserole.  Roasted meats are fine, but be careful about the ones that have to be basted.  You don’t want to all of a sudden think, as your loved one whispers nothings in your ear, that you really need to turn the chicken on its side and slather it with some butter (well, maybe you do, but that kind of thing is beyond the scope of this inquiry).  Chile relleno casserole is a good choice here.  It can go in the oven with the refried beans, after you’ve laid out a couple of plates with lime wedges and shredded lettuce waiting to receive it.  The smells are great with that.

Roasted vegetables are another terrific option.  Make a garlic mayonnaise before, to dip everything in.  Shove a few scrubbed and pierced baking potatoes in the oven, with a pan filled with various other vegetable options tossed with olive oil, and let it all cook away.  Serve with a simple salad and the garlic mayonnaise after.  Go crazy with the garlic. After all, it’s just the two of you.

A big vat of simmering soup’s a good idea, too. Or a baked polenta dish.

Or…sliced peeled potatoes layered with garlic infused cream and nutmeg.  (Just either chop or mortar the garlic up small, add cream, salt, and ground nutmeg).  Push the potatoes down in the cream.  Turn the oven on to 400°.  For a salad on the side, grate some carrots, mix them with some chopped parsley, squeeze some lemon over the whole.  Sit down to a glass of wine with your loved one.  When the oven is heated, pop the potatoes in, retire to the playground of your choice.

An hour later, the house smells of mildly roasting garlicky cream.

Emerge, rosy faced and happy, in bathrobes (optional).  Serve the potato gratin on a few shredded lettuce leaves.  Carrot salad on the side.  Another glass of wine.

Speak softly and pleasantly as you eat.  And smile, reminiscently, from time to time. Don’t be in a big hurry to turn the phone back on.

There.  Love and food go so well together. And why not? They’re both as important to the human body as it is possibly important for a thing to be.

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