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Fork me, Spoon me

Valentine’s day is once again looming its ugly head and the pressure for every lonely-heart to find somebody to share a meal with is on.

If you do manage to find some unsuspecting fool to dine with you but are fretting over how to impress them, all is not lost, with a few tips and tricks you can turn that dull dim of holding hands to a supernova of hot throw-your-pants-in-the-air, romance-any-bit-you-want sexing.

Rule number one is to cook it yourself, it’s cheaper than going to an overpriced restaurant where you’ll be served by a sleazy waiter and more importantly it makes it seem like you care. So fashion a dinner table from a desk, put on some cool jazz and dim the lights (the darker it is the better your food and date will look, so investing in something like a single tea light is a smart idea). Once you’ve got the atmosphere down, the challenge is to create food that lays down your intentions clearly, to enter the world of 21st century cuisine and impress the object of your desire with a meal of character.

Lots of people would say not to go for anything too strongly flavoured, like garlic or kippers. But that can be solved by offering your date a complimentary toothbrush and asking politely for them to freshen up after dinner, so that their breath is not so horrendously offensive. Avoid potatoes, pasta and rice as carbohydrates will just leave your date feeling bloated and sleepy, which is hardly the desired effect. Keep it light, salad is easy and will let them know you like them to keep it trim. Seafood is also regarded as sexy, I don’t know why, possibly the little mermaid had something to do with it.

Finger Foods are not a good idea, unless you enjoy fondling each other with fajita fingers. If you know that they have a distaste for certain foods then you can take advantage of their weakness and pretend that you thought they “loved them” and have double portions for yourself. Eating in bed is the biggest no-no – nobody likes a crumby arse.

Dessert is the course where you can make up for any previous culinary mistakes. It’s probably best just to play it safe and go for some collection of fruit and ice cream. Enjoy the luxuries of international trade and get some Egyptian strawberries in the frost of February. As long as everything seems expensive and like you’ve thought about it, that’s all that matters.

Finishing the evening with a cheese board is not necessarily a bad idea, you can read the back of the packets beforehand and then pretend that you know loads about them. When it comes to buying the wine ensure that you pick not necessarily the best or the most expensive but the most expensive looking.

A word of warning, there is a very real danger that throughout the meal you may be forced to partake in the horror of all horrors – conversation. Fear not, the key to avoiding this terrible fate is to be constantly eating, thus constantly having a full mouth, thus constantly being polite and well mannered by not talking.

Following these tips it’s almost a guarantee that your date will desperate to accompany you to your personal quarters, well, almost.

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Lloyd Henning

Lloyd Henning is columnist and web editor for The Mancunion. He was once an olive connoisseur, he now works towards one day creating the real Jurassic Park. You can follow him on twitter @lloydhenning
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