The Passions of the Cupcake
Brrr. As the cold settles in and forces us into hot chocolate mode I am reminded we have a special day coming soon that will warm us up. Warm our hearts up anyway. I speak of course of that special one day in February celebrating a romantic festival of love. Valentines day! St.Valentines Day to be auto correct, which as I hope you know is quite different from autoeroticism which of course is the act of having sex with a car. But I digress, back to the big day. Historic reports of this particular globally celebrated love fest stretch way back, as do many of our traditions, to a celebration of pre AD Pagans. The celebration was said to have started in ancient Rome and was a five day festival from Feb 13th to Feb 18th. It’s unclear if it was wolves or humans but that was believed to be the ultimate annual epoch of fertility opportunity back then. It’s obvious they relied on the rhythm method. But like most other celebrations of that time it didn’t involve the exchange of cards and gifts or flowers, candy, and dinner. It centered around sacrificial slaughtering. Fortunately around AD 269 (you can’t make these dates up!) a more modern version of the celebration of love took flight. Updated by St Valentine of Rome (not Rudolf Valentino like my idiot brother convinced me of many years ago) the expression of love week was forged into a civilized celebration. It was inverted into a single day celebration in part to discredit Paganism, and in part to immortalize the execution of St Valentine who was persecuted for being Christian. Rumor has it he sent a letter to the daughter of his jailer and signed it “Your Valentine” Apparently that is the reason for exchanging cards, and calling the one you love your “valentine”. So romantic!!
Brrrr. It’s still cold. So that’s the condensed version of the history of Valentines Day. I’m not totally convinced about the card exchange thing cuz it sounds more like Hallmark Hall of Fames historic account. But since it’s cold and I need to keep typing to stay warm I think I will look into some of the other symbols and traditions of the day of love. Cupid, Roses, hearts, doves, note exchanging, Flowers, candy, and of course food (yes, including cupcakes). Why do these things seem synonymous with February 14th?
Brrr. It’s still cold. While the Superbo, oops I mean the Big Game (no lawsuits please) may pump up even the most scrawny fan into a ball of fiery hot fury and anger that is merely a temporary feeling of warmth. There is however coming however a heartbeat of hope and a body warming celebration. That’s right Valentines day is jogging around the corner getting ready to break into a sprint. What is it about this day anyway? And cupid, how on earth did a diaper clad child sporting a bow and arrow become such an influential icon of love? Cupid it turns out is the son of Venus, which in and of itself is pretty impressive. In Roman mythology Cupid is the God of erotic love and the name Cupid translated from Latin means desire. Carpe Cupid! Cupid represents to us the ultimate love inducer. Personally I believe the whole diaper thing was more a warning of what may occur if the passions are left unchecked completely. Legend is that Cupid did in fact allow passion to get the better of himself by pricking (no snickering please!) himself with an arrow an falling in love with Psyche. They had a female child they named Voluptas. Go figure! The image of Cupid has wings apparently so love can take flight once the arrows have hit their mark. Oh yes, the arrows! I’ll leave it up to you as to the exact significance of the arrows but suffice to say whether the arrows are one in a million of swimming omelet searching fertilzers or the more obvious looking phallic aperture ever, it’s believed that whatever one of those arrows hits its mark all control is lost. In short, once the pointed figure is shot an penetrates a female she will fall helplessly in love. Damn that’s one big, um…. ego!!
Enough on Cupid though, there’s more to Valentines Day then a half naked brat shooting arrows around. Why is everything associated with love heart shaped? Hot tubs, beds, pillows, all kinds of kinky heart shaped love paraphernalia. Hundreds of heart shaped boxes of candy will be bought and many a name in heart tattoo will be etched into the skin to profess eternal love. Why the heart? It seems the symbol goes back to Aristotle who determined the beating thing in one chest must be the center of emotion, thought and reason. But since surgeons hadn’t been invented yet there is no way they could have determined the shape of the blood pumping muscle that pulses life through our bodies. Popular belief is it resembles a flower or plant which was used as an herbal contraceptive. No matter, today the heart stands strong as a symbol of romance and love.
Not surprising it may have been designed after the shape of a flower. Flowers have always represented passion for humans. The beautiful aromas can sneak their way up into the olfactory glands and put us in the mood. Well it works for bees anyway, who are attracted sexually to the scents given off by flowers, and then one look at the unabashed beauty hanging out on a plant sends the bee into a visual frenzy of apiary sexual desire. And why not, flowers proudly display their genitalia out in the open for all to see and appreciate. That’s right, flowers let it all proudly and even salaciously hang out for any an all viewers pleasure. Easy to figure out now why we give our loves bouquets of beautiful flowers, but this added bit of information also makes us aware of the importance of choosing the right flowers to put in bouquet for the desired effect. Roses are the most often chosen flower because it was believed to have been the favorite of the Goddess Venus, who reportedly gave many to her son, our old pal Cupid!
Back to the day itself. I have watched Valentines Day evolve since I could walk. Back in Elementary school I went out and got a package of tiny valentine cards and was instructed by Mom to give one to each girl in my class, and my teacher if it were a woman. (Mr. Thompson and Mr. Williams didn’t want them from me anyway) If there was one special girl in class, I would buy a box of heart candies and blush as I read the inscription before offering her one. If she batted her eyelashes my vocal chords and my dignity would go away on vacation until I could get hold on my out of control beating heart. Back to the heart again? Those days of innocent Valentine celebrations are long gone. Over the years it became essential to up my valentine game. I have employed all the basic techniques that have been suggested over the years which we have all used. The number one hope of ecstasy practice used as an adult has always been food, which is where my specialty really lies. So before I tell you what treats We will be offering up, a little bit about food an how it figures into romance. One word in particular comes to mind. Aphrodisiacs.
To assist lovers on this day of burning passions and anticipation of desire fulfillment we in the food industry have scoured the culinary horizons in search of natures most effective consumable aphrodisiac’s. Asparagus, oysters, chocolate, cinnamon, avocados, ginger root, truffle, and pomegranates top the list of mood enhancing foods. Many of these foods reported to increase sexual appetite. The only proven and effective consumable products are chocolate covered Viagra, or Caramel coated Levitra, but lets see what help nature can give us in following natures course. Like the floral sex flaunting bouquets of flowers, food can increase sexual desire due to appearance and smell. Foods also has the extra advantage of taste to make us happy and a sense of comfort and satisfaction. In addition to just plain making us feel good some foods have nutrients or other substances that can have a physiologic effect on the body. Foods that can act as aphrodisiacs get blood flowing, hopefully to the appropriate areas. Others simply release hormones which make us feel……happy. Spicy foods get the blood pumping and activate the sweat glands. Oysters and other seafood are vital to the thyroid gland which is essential for energy, especially sexually charged energy. Chocolate and ginger root provide blood flow and may be what adds spring to ones step. The other usual suspects of sexual awareness are either a phallic visual aid or an aromatic gland enticing culprit, but nothing is proven as a 100% sure thing. That my friends, is where you come in. The correct amount of attention, an exclamation of how deeply you love, holding hands, affectionate kisses, and a few well placed compliments are your best chance of making Valentines day a successful night of love. But get a present as well so as not to seem insensitive.
Now comes the shameless plug, the moment of truth for Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes. Of course I use only the freshest and most aphrodisiac enhanced ingredients, and I always bake with love and passion and what one puts into cooking come out ion the eating. So just bringing home some of our delicious stuffed cupcakes will open some doors, but here at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes we are true romantics at heart (get it??) Therefore we are offering some extra special valentine choices. If you don’t celebrate, of if you find yourself alone on valentines day we have you covered as well. So here they are.
In addition to our crowd pleasing Red Velvet and our assortment of delectable chocolate and vanilla cupcakes we are offering some lovers specials. The “C’mon Baby Do the Casanova” is a vanilla cupcake stuffed with banana’s foster (banana’ cooked in spice rum) and vanilla cinnamon icing which has been falsely reported as the treat Casanova used to seduce Brazilian Bossa Nova dancers. Brining cupcake love to a new level is our “Just Like Romeo And Juliet“, an Amaretto cupcake stuffed with a raspberry champagne custard and covered with a sensuous dark chocolate icing. And speaking of Elvis we will have the “All Shook Up“, a banana chocolate chip cupcake stuffed with peanut butter mouse an topped off with vanilla icing. The perfect compliment for your little “Teddy Bear”. In addition to just cupcakes we will have some other creative and seductive treats including our annual tradition of fresh strawberries dipped in Belgian Chocolate or White Chocolate.
Like I said, if you don’t like Valentines Day and don’t celebrate it or are in between relationships we have you covered as well with two special Anti-Valentine Day cupcakes. Buck the tradition with the all new “Love Stinks” the cupcake inspired from the classic cliché of sitting on the couch dipping a cookie into an ice cream sundae to peel away the guilt laden layers of being a solo artist, it’s a half chocolate half vanilla cupcake with a chocolate chip cookie baked into the center, covered in chocolate whipped cream and topped with a cherry. It’s a cupcake that simply drips of self indulgent bliss! Even if your not alone this is a crazy good treat because even if love does stink, the cupcake does not! The other Anti-Valentine Day cupcake is the “Emotional Rescue” a cupcake originally designed to offer a bit of emotional rescue to some special friends who needed it. The Emotional Rescue is a red velvet cupcake filled with Heath bar custard an finished off with a cherry brandy whipped cream. I have no doubt The Rolling Stones would be proud to sing a song about it.
So there it is, my soliloquy on the annual celebration of love we know as Valentines Day. Take it from me though, limiting your expression of love to a single day is not enough. Like life, love is incredibly precious and fragile and if you are fortunate enough to have it in your life you should nourish it and appreciate it every single day. Don’t merely say the words, follow them up with action. I leave you with a single line from one of my favorite lyrics from a Grateful Dead song professing the importance of love….“Without love day to day insanity’s king.” Stay sane my friends, hold on to love with all your might, but don’t keep it to yourself, share it!………PEACE