Urbane, the restaurant at downtown's Hyatt at Olive 8, is part of Hyatt's national initiative called "Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served." The initiative is "focused on sourcing and providing healthy food and beverage options for Hyatt guests and associates that are good for the local communities in which they reside and good for the planet." This translates to things like smaller portion sizes, healthier dining options, chef's gardens on hotel properties, hosting of farmers markets, and sponsorship of local culinary schools events.
Urbane was already walking down this path, but will increase emphasis on such things as hormone-free and antibiotic-free meat, cage-free eggs, sustainable seafood, low-sodium ingredients, natural sweeteners, and fresh, local products that reflect the season and local flavors. I recently enjoyed a dinner that showcased the new philosophy. While a salad was partially foraged from the hotel's rooftop garden, the ingredients for the next course--roasted chicken, peas, grilled asparagus with spring onions, new butterball potatoes, and farro--all came from local farms. I was especially struck by the massive spears of asparagus, fresh and full of just-cut-from-the-ground flavor.
So what does Urbane's asparagus teach us about sex?It's all about going seasonal.
Asparagus is a sure sign of spring, with harvest running from about April to June in Washington. This is the time to enjoy the phallic vegetable, whether steamed, sautéed, grilled, or any other way you like it. Last year at this time, I was traveling in Belgium and France, where people were asparagus-crazy, eating white spears seemingly every meal, often with Hollandaise sauce. Now is a perfect time to go to Yakima, where Los Hernandez has to-die-for asparagus tamales--but only until the harvest ends. With crops like asparagus, you need to pounce on the season.
It's the same with sex.
"In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love," wrote Alfred, Lord Tennyson. During this season of rejuvenation, it's said that two-thirds of people become more interested in sex as the weather warms up. Take advantage. And note that spring cleaning is a good opportunity to make your bedroom more romantic, and that the season is a chance to make your wardrobe more revealing.
Summer is the season when sex lives can really heat up. Turn off the air conditioner and get sweaty together. Ice may be cooling, but when applied to sensitive areas like nipples, neck, and thighs, it can actually heat things up further. This is the season for taking romantic trips and perhaps taking sexual risks outdoors. You can make your own fireworks for the Fourth of July.
Fall isn't the time to hibernate. Think back-to-school and look to your bookstore, adult toy store, or the Internet for some lessons in love and new "school" supplies like lubricants, lingerie, and leather goods.
Let these lessons take you into winter. Since testosterone levels usually decrease in winter, thereby lowering libido, you need to find creative ways to sex up the season. Winter cold means warming each other up; fireplaces, hot baths, hot tubs, and warming massage oil are perfect for winter play. Let long, lazy days in bed be fodder for sexual experimentation. Use your holidays wisely. In December, "'tis the season" to be jolly, and to make your partner jolly. And what better holiday to break up any winter season sexual slump than Valentine's Day?
Sex, like asparagus, is seasonal. But while asparagus eventually falls out of season, you have the power to put sexual into play in every season.