Having literally just recovered from the anarchy of Christmas, Valentines Day has snuck up on me like a ninja. Unlike most years where I do the lastminute.com dash to the closest Tescos to grab Mrs S a card on 13 February, I’m on top of the preparation game and I’m bringing y’all along for the ride. I will not be in the Valentine's sin bin this year.
How Jack Got the Girl
What I probably have never confessed to you all is that it took me three years to get a date with Mrs Shack. Well she did have a boyfriend the night we met. But not helping things along was the fact that I used to think that shaving my head with a bic razor was a sure fine way of saving money on haircuts. Add that to an England triumph in the Rugby World Cup and a dozen or so bottles of Brothers Strawberry Cider and it’s safe to say that cupid well and truly turned his back on me that night.
IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE WHY I WASN'T A HIT WITH THE LADIES
It was fate’s intervention some three years later whilst waiting for a flight home from Vietnam that we had a chance meeting on Facebook messenger and she eventually fell for my charm. Or perhaps it was the Facebook pictures which caught her eye. Yes, I was a suave ladykiller back then ladies and gents, especially when I had lost a considerable amount of weight and developed an extremely questionable sense of style.
TAKING STYLE TIPS FROM THE INBETWEENERS
Having waited three years to get the girl, I pulled out all the stops for our first dinner date. I took her to Nandos where I proceeded to eat a whole chicken with two large sides. And I'm not on my own. Statistics from a few years ago reveal that Nandos was the top choice for a first date due to it's casual relaxed atmosphere and the fact that some understanding Nandos staff will serve you a garlic lemon chicken with an extra hot label sticking out of it, just to make you look well 'ard.
Nine years on and four years of marriage, our Nandos must have sealed the deal in some way as we still have “Chicken Friday” every week to mark the beginning of the weekend. Chicken is the roses in our relationship. Cupid aint got nothing on me. I am a marriage pro.
SINGLE MEN BEWARE, THIS IS WHAT MARRIAGE DOES TO YOU
Drawn from it’s namesake, Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love, an aphrodisiac is an ingested substance which increases libido when consumed. When it comes to foods which are linked to having aphrodisiac affects it can be linked to the food itself having psychoactive properties, being, ahem, psychologically suggestive or even increase blood flow to the nether regions! Here’s a short and sharp cheeky guide to the food of Love.
Bananas. Get your heads out the gutters people bananas aren’t all about their phallic shape. The fun yellow fruit also contains specific minerals and enzymes which are said to enhance the male libido.
Gingseng. I have no fucking idea what this is but some say ginseng is an aphrodisiac because it actually looks like the human body and is even given the nickname "man root." Fortunately for me there is no evidence to date of ginseng having any sexual effect on humans, which is just as well as the only thing that springs to mind when thinking of gingseng is shit herbal tea. No thanks.
Peaches. A herbalist in medieval times touted peaches to “increaseth intercourse,” and the peach has now become the most over used emoji for booty selfies. Peaches grilled on the barbecue and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is bloody delicious. So beware if your loved one suggests a healthy dessert.
The Radio Rental Affect
Spices. Foods spiced with capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper can cause a physiological response -including an increased heart rate and make you sweat similar to the reaction during a bit of how’s your father. Better get yourself on over to the store and order some Meat Dust, our spicy sugar free spice blend which includes Cayenne. Who knows, I could be responsible for the next Baby Boom!
Oysters. Researchers found that these slippery little fuckers are rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sexy hormones. It’s reported that Casanova ate fifty raw oysters for breakfast each day, but whilst this was exaggerated he did in fact use the rather unappealing, snot looking food source to seduce his potential lovers by educating them on the correct etiquette of oyster eating. Sounds like a creepy prick if you ask me.
Valentines day wasn’t always the soft as puppy shit celebration of lovey doveyness that we either love or loathe today. In fact it was downright fucking brutal. According to Historians the day dates back to Ancient Rome as a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia, which included sacrificing animals and whipping women with animal skins until they bled. Not a ferrerro rocher in sight. It wasn't until the 5th Century that the Catholic Church stepped in to nip all this bitch slapping in the bud and created St Valentine's Day to replace the barbaric pagan festivities naming this new saintly day after two Christian Martyrs.
So where the hell does chocolate come into all this then? It wasn’t until the 1840s that Valentines Day became a love related day of celebration and Richard Cadbury saw an opportunity to cash in. Yes, that Cadbury. Cadbury recognized a great marketing opportunity for the newly developed chocolate scoffing by selling them in dainty decorated boxes to be given as gifts.
Not a bad plan was it really. But Mr Cadbury wasn’t just laughing all the way to the bank, he was helping us all out in the long run. Chocolate is reported to increase amounts of serotonin from endorphin secretions created in your brain putting you in that feel good mood. Pass the Roses please.
All of which brings me nicely on to this weeks recipes: