I turn now to some tastier (excuse the pun) material from a book with one of my favorite titles ~ She Cooks to Conquer. When I registered for my 30th birthday I received many wonderful kitchen supplies, and was hoping for the chance to use this book. Unfortunately my kitchen at that time was the size of a crock pot, which didn’t make it easy to cook a romantic dinner. But it did inspire this post.
I decided to jump to the end of this classically themed book, skipping such recipes as “Artichokes Artemis,” “Soup Hades,” and “Clam Juice Calypso.” I don’t think the author, Robert H. Loeb, would mind ~ in the introduction to the book, he writes “neither the author, the illustrator, nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for the order in which this book may be used.”
1952: The Man Who Stayed for Breakfast
Now you’ve done it, haven’t you, Circe? Your culinary sorcery has conquered. The man who came to dinner, that former wild, untamed adventurer, has cast aside his play clothes and donned his matrimonial uniform. And he’s now the man who stayed for breakfast.
And you, the bewitching temptress, are supposed to transform yourself from the enchanting Circe into Penelope, the ever-patient wife of Odysseus.
But beware! For what did the original Penelope get from such a role? Her Odysseus left her to retrieve Menelaus’ Helen. He spent over a dozen years on this little sojourn, and, although Homer tried his best to lend his adventures an aura of respectability with much trial and woe and suffering, Odysseus’ little side trips and year-long week-end stop-off with his Circe (and others, too) cause one to wonder about the true extent of the tragedy of his wanderings.
And what was Penelope doing all this while? There she sat for a dozen years, a penumbral, pallid sort of female, resisting the importunities of some broken-down suiters, growing older and wearier (who wouldn’t, weaving and unweaving petit point day and night?). What did she get when her liege lord finally came home to roost? Odysseus, the gamecock of yore returned more of an ancient barnyard rooster.
No, Circe, that’s not for you. To maintain your conquest, don’t cast aside the delicious witchery of your former role and become a mere pallid companion to this palladin. Maintain your spell and start his day off with more Circean magic.
Here, then, are a few special breakfast dishes [see below] that will keep the fire burning within his manly chest, take the wrinkles out of his pajamas, put back the night-before’s luster in his eyes, and maintain you forever as the irresistible temptress who conquered for eternity.
Incidentally ~ Unsure about making male-appealing coffee? Here’s a sure one for percolator:
1. put 4 cups of water in pot
2. boil it
3. then fill coffee receptable with 5 tablespoons of drip grind coffee
4. assemble and let perk slowly for 12 minutes
5. let stand then for about 5 minutes
Miss Abigail here, again: I had to share at least one recipe with you. Each one fills an entire page of the book, and I mimic the layout with the images below so you could get a sense of the actual page. The illustrations are beautifully done by Laura Jean Allen; “She describes herself, as far as her art, as schizoid: in one breath she can do dreamy pastels, and in the next she can be stingingly satirical,” the flap copy reads. The recipe is titled “Eggs Eos”:
Source: Loeb, Robert H., Jr. She Cooks to Conquer. New York: Wilfred Funk, Inc., 1952.
~ pp. 112-114 ~