- I hate when people call me Gary. Given, I’ll use the name Gary when the kid at Jamba Juice asks me for it as they always mishear me and shout the name Derek when my order is ready. Other than that, no, please do not call me Gary. I will have to punch you in the throat.
- I don’t have a type. When I was dating my only pre-reqs were that any potential mates had no criminal history and didn’t do drugs (if it was a hookup then these rules were negligibly a bit more lax). Things like race and body type aren’t huge factor to me; personality is. Points if potential mate can pull off a well-tailored vest.
- I would go straight for Lucy Lawless. Unquestionably. BF is aware of this fact and has made his peace with it.
- I lick the salt off chips before I eat them. It's a very strange habit and I have to remind myself not to lick my chips in public otherwise people look at me funny.
- I find the following distasteful: grocery store tomatoes, Ann Coulter, tabloid magazines, people who read tabloid magazines, western novels, repeats of 80’s comedies, overly aggressive drag queens.
- I find the following to be rather enjoyable: repeats of Xena: Warrior Princess, Lucy Lawless (see item 3), the 10th Doctor, Kit Kat bars, Jane Austen novels, overly aggressive drag queens.
- I love a fine cologne. Preferably with hints of citrus, sandalwood, raspberry, or any number of spices such as clove or cardamom. Gush.
The latter is particularly true about me. Combined with item number 2 in that list any man wearing the right cologne can simply cause me to ride right off my wagon and go tumbling into the sheets. It’s rather embarrassing though I can’t say I mind it. Consider Happy for Men my slutty kryptonite in a smart orange-glass flask.
One particular friend knew how to smartly apply cologne using techniques that probably required more forethought than a home loan. He would spritze the air leaving a perfumed cloud of mist to hang momentarily and, before it began to descend, he would briskly walk through it. A quick spray on the wrists so that in case hands went roaming later in the night with some unexpected someone a hint of nutmeg would entice. Lastly, and quite clevery I might add, a small amount on the back of the neck. When dancing closely with said unexpected someone their nose would be enticed by a spot of scent, the prey engaged and caught.
Throughout the night I could smell him and I must say his technique was rather effective.
BF learned from him how to properly apply cologne. He uses the knowledge to its ultimate. Simply enough, cologne, particularly the spices within them, drives me bonkers.
It's not too much of a surprise, really, just how much the scent of spices can affect someone. In his book, Spice: The History of a Temptation, Jack Turner chronicles not just the history of the spice trade but why spices influenced the world. Spices were used monetarily and could be used to even buy or end lives. Religions framed traditions around them. Traders made fortunes trekking them across oceans and mountains. Lovers married into kingdoms with bags of cloves and baskets of mace.
Spices are one of those unique things in the world that dwells in opposites. Spices like ginger and cinnamon are comforting and warm, they remind you of fragrant flavors and holiday cakes enjoyed with friends. Yet, at the same time their intoxicating, heady aromas are both wanton and intriguing. Sexy, even.
Is it any wonder bakers have fallen so head over heels for the cologned scent of a cardamom-laced spice cake or financiers studded with cracked allspice berries? Even chocolate with a hint of crushed pink pepper can make most men swoon.
Personally, I can find few scents more intoxicating than a good chai mixture. Embracing cinnamon, musky cloves, exotic cardamom, spicy black pepper, and celebratory points of star anise with striking tips as sharp as needles. Plus the bitter scent of tea (not a spice, but, lord, why nitpick?).
Chai is the pinnacle of spice blend. It is lovely, wild, and a dab behind the ears is enough to make me melt; yet, a mug of it warm in bubbling water is softer than a downy blanket.
A good baker knows to use chai, as one can with these muffins. Figs (also both sweet and sexy) make for a rightful pairing and make the cupcake a perfumed work in and of itself. Erotic and comforting I promise that making these for your love won't just garuntee you a good cuddle, but the wild stuff that comes before it, too.
Figgy Chai Muffins
Adapted from my Oatmeal Muffin Recipe at Simply Recipes
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 chai tea bags
1/4 cup of chopped figs
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted and cooled
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a twelve-slot muffin tin or line the slots with paper baking cups.
2. Mix together the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, contents of the chai tea bags (toss the paper), and figs. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract, and butter.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir together. Be sure not to over-stir as that will cause the muffins to develop too many gluten bonds. It should be thick and gloppy. About 10 seconds of stirring should do; just enough to barely bring the ingredients together. Scoop into prepared muffin tray and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the tray for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 12 muffins.