Food plays an interesting role in the love story of love/sex guru Dr. Margie Holmes and her English husband of 13 years, retired banker Jeremy Baer.
Here are excerpts from a most inspiring morning spent with the happy couple.
Margie: “Jeremy doesn’t believe in it but I love it. And this idea that this man who does not believe in Valentine’s Day himself but will do something if he knows his partner believes in it—it’s very sweet.”
Margie: “Let me say that literature says that there is no aphrodisiac except for testosterone.
“Food has a lot to do with romance and falling in love but not in terms of aphrodisiacs. People have this myth but it is not true.”
Jeremy: “The process of courtship, so much of it evolves around meals, eating and drinking. It oils the wheels. While food is not an aphrodisiac, it is part of the process.
“There is though such a thing as the placebo effect!”
Do you believe that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?
Margie: “This is one of the ways women show their interest, through food, by cooking the guy’s favorite food. More than the food, it is the effort.”
Jeremy: “It doesn’t work for me, though I love to eat. The best way to my heart is through my brain!
“There are very few people who can offer you everything. I am very fortunate to be married to a woman with the finest mind I have ever met. That for me is the aphrodisiac.
“The fact that she produces poor man’s lasagna 14 times a week is something I can live with.”
Your relationship and food
Margie: “Jeremy is used to eating, to always having food. I am not.”
Jeremy: “My wife is very keen to cook only when the spirit moves her, which is very seldom. I wish the spirit would move her more often.
“This proves how unimportant food is to me in terms of romance, because I’m still here. Anyone who valued food would have walked away years ago.”
Margie: “Food is important, it gives sustenance but it is the memories, the food memories we create around it… for us, funny memories.”
Margie: “I have learned to cook four things with ground beef—Cottage Pie; a Mexican dish because I bought a lot of taco seasoning from the States; Poor Man’s Lasagna that’s made out of macaroni instead of lasagna sheets; and Pakistani Keema. I also cook Thai curry.
“My poor husband has to eat the same dish for two and a half days.”
“I cook things that go into a microwave and anything I can put in a frying pan. I like the lamb and the steak underdone while the pork chops get cooked a bit more.
“I eat my lamb chops with a lot of mint jelly, my pork chops with apple sauce, and a lot of English mustard on my steak.”
Favorite dish he cooks
Lamb with red currant
Favorite dish that she cooks
Jeremy: “We share the misery!
“When we cook, one thing that goes out the window are vegetables, though we always have a salad. It replaces the 500 vegetables known to man.”
Margie: “The joy of cooking is the laughter and the fun along the way.”
Unforgettable dining experience
Margie: “We both love fine restaurants. Jean Georges or Picholine with the best cheese trolley, in New York.”
Advice to new couples
Jeremy: “Know what your husband wants.
“If in class, your teacher wants good punctuation or good handwriting, that is what you produce. When you are married and hopefully in a more balanced relationship, know your partner and build up your knowledge. Think about the other person and not yourself.
“Being able to extemporize just as being able to compromise is very important in a marriage.”
Margie: Our naughty night would mean splitting a regular Coke.
“Jeremy hates it that I drink Coke from the can just as he hates it when I serve it in a cup.”
Jeremy: “A nightcap I believe oils the wheels, so to speak, but we no longer drink.”
If you were to court her again, how would you do it?
“I think I would have to subscribe to magazines online and see where to take her, depending on where we are because she’s keen on that.”
How would you make him fall in love with you all over again?
Margie: “I would try to have regular meals ready for him. I would try more. I would also shoot for better manners, because I think it would please him.”
A tip to make a marriage last
Jeremy and Margie: Honesty!
Jeremy and Margie’s Cottage
Pie–a true labor of love
3-4 large onions, chopped
3 tbsp vegetable oil
¾ k ground beef—Jeremy wants a thick layer of beef
1 tsp each of dried thyme, sage, rosemary
Salt (Margie: “We do not season with a lot of salt, we use herbs to flavor our food.”)
In a pan, caramelize onions in oil. Add ground beef and herbs. Cook until the beef has changed color and the juices from the meat, reduced.
6-8 medium-size potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
Butter and milk
He adds just enough to make the potatoes light and fluffy, adding both while gently mashing the potatoes.
Transfer the beef to a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish and top with a thin layer of potatoes. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 15-20 minutes until heated through.