The Feast of Soft Cakes – July 8th

July 8th is a very sweet day!

Cora Pearl

Cora Pearl

Phew, what a whirlwind weekend of holidays. First, here in the United States was the fourth of July which found me and Madame traveling up to Wisconsin to visit dear friends at their cottage (“It’s not a cabin!”) on the lake. Then, on an international scale is the fifth of July – or Read Naked Day – which we celebrated in style. And now, we’re back home and preparing to celebrate the eighth of July, the Cyprian holiday called the Feast of Soft Cakes.

The feast honors Second French Empire courtesan and Cyprian Grande Madame Cora Pearl who passed beyond the Diamond Gate on this day in 1886.

How should I celebrate? Here’s two good ways:

The drink menu from Réunion Champagne & Cocktail Bar at the Grosvenor Hotel in London (this is a modern interpretation of the recipe)

The drink menu from Réunion Champagne & Cocktail Bar at the Grosvenor Hotel in London (this is a modern interpretation of the recipe)

Les Plaisirs de Paris (1867)

Les Plaisirs de Paris (1867)

  • Celebrate with a cocktail toast: Cora had a cocktail named after her for her 38th birthday in 1873 (shown here in the Chicago Tribune that year). Enjoy that cocktail while reciting the following toast to Miss Pearl (taken from Les plaisirs de Paris : guide pratique et illustré par Alfred Delvau – an illustrated practical guide to the pleasures of Paris), “You are today, Madame, the renown, the preoccupation, the scandal and the toast of Paris. Everywhere they talk only of you…” It’s interesting to note that this was written before l’affaire Duval, a very scandalous incident that actually made her flee Paris for a short while. The cocktail, it seems, was named after.
  • Have dessert: If the cocktail leaves you peckish, maybe you need a little “soft cake” to nosh on. Here is an excerpt from her “memoirs”, “edited” by “William Blatchford” (Blatchford is a pseudonym for a man who claims to have hoaxed the publisher into publishing his trumped up account of her life, though its publishing predates his birth):

The “Blatchford” memoirs

“I received the gentlemen in my finest style, and entertained them to a dinner of excellent quality; the conversation was agreeable, the wines accomplished. When we had finished all but the final course, I excused myself, in order to supervise its presentation. Slipping to the kitchen, I stepped out of my gown (when entertaining gentlemen it is never my habit to wear quantities of underclothing, and especially was this the case on this occasion) and mounting a chair lay upon a vast silver dish which Salé had borrowed for me from the Prince d’Orleans’ kitchen. I lay upon my
side, my head upon my hand.

Salé stepped forward, accompanied by Yves, a footman I had employed only recently, carrying as it were his palate if (sic) — a large tray upon which was a set of dishes filled with marzipans, sauces and pastes, all of different colours. With that deftness and artistry for which he was so famed, Salé began to decorate my naked body with rosettes and swathes of creams and sauces, each carefully composed so that the heat of my body would not melt them before I came to the table.

As Salé was laying long trails of cream across my haunches and applying wreaths of tiny button flowers to the upper side of my breasts, I could not help noticing that Yves, chosen like all my servants for a combination of personal charm and  accomplishment, and a young man of obvious and ever-increasingly virile promise, was taking a peculiar interest in the chef’s work. The knuckles of his hands were whiter than would have been the case had the tray been ten times as heavy, and the state of his breeches proclaimed the fact that his attitude to his employer was one of greater warmth than respect.

Having finished the decoration by placing a single peeled grape in the dint of my navel, Salé piled innumerable meringues about the dish, completing the effect with a dusting of icing sugar. The vast cover which belonged to the dish was then placed over me, and I heard Salé call the other two footmen into the room. Shortly afterwards I felt myself being raised, and carried clown the passage to the dining-room. I heard the door opened, and the chatter of voices cease as the dish was carried in and settled upon the table.

When the lid was lifted, I was rewarded by finding myself the centre of a ring of round eyes and half-open mouths. M. Paul, as I had expected, was the first to recover, and with an affectation of coolness reached out, removed the grape, and slipped it slowly between his lips. Not to be outdone, M. Perriport leant forward and applied his tongue to removing the small white flower that Salé had placed upon my right tit; and then all, except for M. Goubouges, who as I expected was as usual content simply to observe and record, were at me, kneeling upon their chairs or upon the table, their fingers and tongues busy at every part of me as they lifted and licked the sweetness from my body, The Prince was so inflamed by the circumstances that nothing would content him other than to have me there and then
upon the table, to the ruination of the remaining dec0ration upon my body, and the irritation of the other gentlemen, in whom reverence, for rank restricted violence.

It’s not exactly low-carb, but it’s good for the soul. And isn’t that what really counts? Have fun remembering the life of one of the grandest horizontales of all time.

Fiat Lux Lunae.

About FV Everleigh

FV Everleigh is a queer preacher’s kid in Los Angeles. After years as an award winning Christian rock star, FV toured the globe producing acclaimed burlesque shows with a world famous stripper. They eventually moved into John Wayne’s favorite New Orleans brothel and adopted the name Everleigh in tribute to sisters who ran an opulent Chicago bordello in 1900. In addition to training at UCLA, FV has a Television Writing Certificate from Writing Pad LA and is a Roadmap Writers TOP TIER writer. His scripts have placed in the ScreenCraft, Roadmap and Inroads Fellowship competitions. He has a collection of short stories and a novel both being published in 2022 and is a guest contributor to Twenty years surrounded by sex-positive women, outré artists and circus misfits has informed FV’s sexually subversive, morally murky, visually yummy stories where marginalized protagonists win...eventually.
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