- Yourself and your true love (human, puppet or celestial being)
- 1 copy of Eat Your Heart Out by Peta Mathias
- A well-equipped kitchen
- Plenty of olive oil
- First, prepare for meeting the object of your desire. Peta advises rubbing olive oil in your skin, inspired by 121 year old Jean Calment, who slathered in the stuff daily, saying, ‘I have only one wrinkle, and I’m sitting on it.’ Keep the olive oil—you’ll need it later.
- Next it’s time to decorate your space. Try making use of European flowers. Each has a coded meaning, at least according to the Victorians, and you’ll need all of those subliminal messages. Try forget-me-nots for true love and Alstroemeria for devotion. But stay away from larkspur (fickleness) or burdock, which is code for ‘touch me not!’
- And this is the most important step: invite your beloved over. Be like Victoria Ocampo, Argentinean 20s it girl who, when she heard that the author of the poems that had pulled her through a dark time had fallen ill on his way through Buenos Aires, bought a mansion and paid for him to recuperate there. If you don’t have a mansion, and your loved one is not conveniently ill, you might have to think of another convenient excuse to invite them into your hospitality. Try: ‘I’m in love with you’, or, ‘I know how to cook Quail Roasted with Roses’ (don’t worry, recipe to be found in Eat Your Heart Out).
- Get cooking. Food is the key to the heart, or as Peta says,
‘The boundaries between love and appetite are so diffuse that at times they evaporate completely. Food has the ability to transport us back to our very essence. A cook transmits an intense personal energy during the time he or she is cooking, and when one prepares food with love and passion, those very qualities are transferred to those who eat it.’
So choose your dish with care. From artichoke hearts to be eaten with the fingers to the aforementioned quail to a chocolate torte that ‘has the same effect on the body as an orgasm’, Peta Mathias’s Eat Your Heart Out has you covered.
- Here’s the time to practice your hospitality. According to Greek tradition, hospitality is sacred, and, more importantly, you don’t know when the person you’re hosting is a god or goddess in disguise. So you’d better act as if they are. Luckily, you’re in love, so this isn’t a problem for you. Just keep the food and wine coming, and listen generously.
- After dinner and dessert, you might want to try a dance. Peta Mathias recommends the Austrian tradition of putting a slice of apple under each armpit to soak up the sweat. Afterwards, offer the apple slices to your beloved. If they like the way it smells, they should eat it to show their interest.
- Finally, remember that olive oil left over from earlier? Some sage advice from Peta: ‘the best thing you can do with olive oil is rub it all over your significant other then lick it off again’.
And remember, the heart is like sugar, it is quick to heat and to burn, and, if pent up for too long, it can explode like gunpowder.