Much like the characters in Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” I stumbled upon oysters at Renee Erickson’s restaurant of the same name.
But this Sexy Feast isn’t about oysters. (Given the oyster’s alleged aphrodisiacal qualities, that would be too obvious.) Instead, it’s about boquerones.
Typical of many of Erickson’s dishes at this popular new restaurant in Ballard’s Kolstrand Building, this one is simple in its number of ingredients, but strong in appeal. The vinegared white anchovies are mild and delicate, their texture pairing well with luscious slices of avocado, subject of a previous Sexy Feast. The plate is finished with a smoky hit of paprika. The boquerones are delicious (just like the oysters and the clams and much more on the menu)–and delightful with a glass of beer or wine.
So what do the Walrus and the Carpenter’s boquerones teach us about sex?
It’s all about your bathing ritual, and how you clean up.
To make boquerones, you have to start with fresh anchovies and clean them well. Salt them down, and then let them bathe in vinegar. The flesh will eventually turn white. At this point, you can de-bone them, then give them another bath of olive oil with garlic and parsley.
The process takes time, attention, and coordination.
It’s the same with showering (or bathing) to suit your sex life. There are times when you want to be spontaneous, and there’s something to be said about you and your partner enjoying each other in the “au natural” state.
That said, at risk of promoting the misguided belief some have that genitals (or sex, for that matter) are dirty, you might want to do away with the dirt of the day before climbing into bed. Like brushing your teeth, it’s a common courtesy, and the hygienic thing to do. Taking a shower is also relaxing, washing away worries and other distractions.
For those who wonder how to choose between showering before sex or after sex, I’d suggest that you can always do both. Or, better yet, how about considering sex in the shower or bath? Make it part of “foreplay,” or go all the way and save on water in the process.
Smart bathing will ensure that you’re as clean and tasty as the Walrus and the Carpenter’s boquerones.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on August 11, 2011.