This year, I made two Valentine's day cakes. The first was a sweet Victorian affair: layers of coconut, sour cherry and dark salted chocolate sponge, topped off with dusky pink icing and little budding flowers.
The second was tantric.
The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, composed somewhere between 400 BC and 200 AD, contains more than just sex positions (although, as Victorian translator Sir Richard Burton writes, 'the Indian author has treated this exceedingly delicate theme with a delightful candour'). It's a guide to living a pleasant life, with large sections dedicated to picnicking and drinking parties. It's also filled with numerous, irresistible lists on all sorts of topics.
For example, an extract from a list of the signs of a woman manifesting her love:
- She calls out to a man without being addressed by him in the first instance.*
- She speaks to him tremblingly and inarticulately.
- She has the fingers of her hand, and the toes of her feet moistened with perspiration, and her face blooming with delight.
- She occupies himself with shampooing his body and pressing his head.
- She remains with both hands placed on his body motionless as if she had been surprised by something, or was overcome with fatigue.
There's also an extensive list of 64 arts to be studied in addition to love-making, which include:
- Culinary art, i.e. cooking and cookery.
- Making lemonades, sherberts, acidulated drinks and spiritous extracts with proper flavour and colour.
- Making parrots, flowers, tufts, tassels, bunches, bosses, knobs &c., out of yarn or thread.
A bespoke 6 inch cake can be yours for £30; yarn parrots and tattoos are priced on request. To discuss your requirements with Terry, call her on 020 7269 9045
*This could definitely apply to texting.