In 1996, two twenty-somethings shortly out of college decided out of the blue to publish a book. Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge were college friends from Baylor University. Post-college Martha moved back to her hometown of Memphis assuming that her degree and a high GPA were what she needed for happiness in the post-collegiate world. Much to her dismay and that of many of us, post college isn’t the rosy picture that we often expect. In between several different jobs from substitute teaching, temping, and working retail there were many phone calls between the two usually involving Martha telling Randall how much she was frustrated with life after college. Tired of her complaints, Randall suggested they publish a book. Martha had already been working for a company that published community cookbooks so she had a background in that realm and it seemed like a natural fit. After looking at the marketplace they settled on the idea of a book focused on aphrodisiacs. They spent that year researching, testing and self-publishing, “InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook” which debuted just before Valentine’s Day in 1997.
Food, love and cooking have long been intertwined. Cooking and preparing food is of course one of the easiest ways of expressing love and affection for another person. Whether it’s affectionate/emotional love or sensual love, the simple act of sharing a meal that has been expressly prepared for one or more persons says “I care”.
“From the obligatory anniversary dinner to the unexpected glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, the act of preparing food for another (or with another) speaks louder and clearer than most words. it says, with no exceptions, I love you. I want you. I care for you. You are worth the effort.”
The New InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook
Valentine’s Day is usually associated with chocolate, champagne, strawberries, and roses all of which are considered aphrodisiacs (provided of course that your roses haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. There are better ways of expressing love than a trip to the hospital).
Lots of other everyday foods such as coffee, honey, blackbeans, and avocados have been considered to have love-enhancing effects. In some cases science has even provided proof to what had previously been considered anecdotal evidence.
“But explanation or no explanation, anyone who has ever fed a lover grapes knows that aphrodisiacs do exist. Anyone who has served an elaborate candlelit meal, painstakingly prepared with love, knows the potential power of food. We don’t need scientific proof to know that aphrodisiacs exist; we need only experience them for ourselves to know that they are, in fact, a very potent force out our disposal.”
-The New InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook
When “InterCourses” first appeared they each anticipated it selling between 15-25,000 copies over its lifetime. In 2007 the book was updated with new chapters, revised recipes, and new test subjects (yes..each recipe was field tested for not just recipe accuracy but also its effects!). Fast forward to 2012 and the 15th anniversary of the book and it has now sold over 300,000 copies plus the sale of foreign rights to the book and associated merchandise. All because they were dis-enchanted with what they were doing! (post-script…Randall married the “asparagus-skirt girl” from the book. More evidence of the effect of aphrodisiacs!)
The New InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook delves into 19 different food items considered to be aphrodisiacs and explains where the associations developed. Each chapter artfully rendered with colorful imagery of food against the human body features home-friendly recipes featuring the specific aphrodisiac.
If you’re not aware (you’re probably living in a cave or are a dude), Valentine’s Day is next Tuesday. The good part of it being on a Tuesday is the fact you can choose to celebrate it from this Friday through Tuesday.
For those of you who want to do something a bit different than the usual “go out to dinner” routine and wonder why it’s taking so long for your food to come out (Hello…you and five trajillion others decided this is the one night you should converge on a restaurant for a “romantic” experience…what do you expect?) then make plans for you and your valentine (or intended valentine…or come by yourself so you can lure a valentine) to join Martha Hopkins in person as she teaches recipes and information from “The New InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook”.
Martha Hopkins will be offering two different classes at 700 Kitchen Cooking School in Savannah this weekend through Valentine’s day:
“Behind the Scenes: Bringing the Book to Life”:
Saturday February 11th, 2012 3pm-6pm
Monday February 13th, 2012 6pm-9pm
With help from members of the audience, Martha Hopkins will present and prepare many small plate items from the book. As you enjoy sipping libations and sampling the sensuous fare she’ll share how with the use of polaroid snapshots (these were the days before digital photography), volunteer models, and lots of creative food placement they created their landmark art/cookbook.
$80 per person – Reservations required: 912.721.5043
Vietnamese Gingered Beef Rolls
Artichoke Pizza with Feta and Thyme
Black Bean Fritters with Tropical Vinaigrette
Pine Nut Muhumarra with Pita
Chocolate Fig Bundles
Spicy Rum Fizz
”Food and Aphrodisiacs for the One You Love”:
Tuesday February 14, 2012 6pm-9pm
Enjoy a special evening with your Valentine as you prepare an aphrodisiac-infused menu together!
$130 per person – Reservations required: 912.721.5043
Tilapia Cakes with Cucumber Salad
Flank Steak with Rosemary Chimichurri
White Bean Crostini with Basil Oil & Sauteed Tomatoes
Buttermilk Pinenut Pie
Ginger Mint Cocktail
Copies of the cookbook will be available for purchase in class and booksignings will follow each session. If you’d like to purchase a signed copy of the book but are unable to join us, please call: 912.721.5043 to order a copy and have it shipped to you.