Sex, Food, and the Art of Loving: Wisewoman's Cookery Book Launches

Wisewoman's Cookery Book Release Party. Photo credit: Patrick O'Neill

“It’s all about being sexual and having fun,” Shannon Loeber reiterates passionately throughout the evening. Dressed in a lace up the back form-fitting black bodice and floor skimming black taffeta skirt, she brings to life the wise woman of her newly released cookbook. Together with her writing partner Mary Edwards, herself a vision of ethereal Adonis, they offer the perfect marriage of kooky, off the wall creativity with down to earth common sense.   

The Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park was rocking with the music of The Dogbone Revue as we gathered to celebrate the launch of the duo’s first book, Wisewoman’s Cookery.   Shannon and Mary have spent the last five years travelling, researching, writing and cooking, culminating in a book that is a tantalizing blend of recipes, garden alchemy and mythology.  They have been unflagging in their devotion to create a guide to aphrodisiac cooking and folklore erotica, so beautifully illustrated with photographs it can rest proudly on anyone’s coffee table. A first glance through the book and a first taste from sample plates offered by wandering waiters proves the two wise women have definitely succeeded. 

My first introduction to Shannon came from a Christmas present two years ago of a canning jar full of luscious red cherries. My daughter Kate is girlfriend to her son Cas. Early into the New Year I opened the jar and spooned some cherries onto a bowl of vanilla ice cream, looking forward to a long-remembered taste of my childhood. Homemade canned cherries picked from trees in my grandmother’s Kelowna yard were a favourite after dinner treat. From the first taste I knew these weren’t my childhood cherries; these cherries could demand a Breathalyzer after imbibing! 

Called “Cherry Bombs” the not so secret ingredient is vodka and the result is delicious. Not too long afterward I met Shannon and then Mary and was introduced to a world of women’s lore, folk traditions, ancient cultures and myths. I participated in my first celebration of Spring Solstice and was guided in the ways of smudges while drinking Mary’s homemade Raspberry wine. These two women have been friends for over twenty-five years and join me in the belief that we could all benefit from returning to embracing a respect and love for Mother Earth and women’s empowerment. 

I have two daughters and each of them will be receiving a copy of Wisewomen’s Cookery. This book is also the manifestation of a long held dream of two women who have spent the last quarter century raising children and stoking the home fires. As my daughters and I browse the beautiful photographs throughout the book and sample the many recipes we will be reminded that it is never too late to realize our dreams. That we are, ultimately, responsible for our own success and happiness – sexual and otherwise!

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