Category Archives: Food

Witless Wednesday

Did I tell you about….

… that time I went on a diet, and got a nasty surprise?

It happened around this time last year – Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day period of Lent, a time of sacrifice and reflection.

I reflected, decided, and said to myself: “Self, let us agree that, this Lent, we will give up any food that is not healthful.”

Self wholeheartedly agreed.

Self is always up for a good-sounding plan. And this one sounded positively virtuous.

~~

Over the next several weeks, my grocery list consisted primarily of healthful stuff like the following:

  • Oats, Bananas, Pears and Berries
  • Pecans and Walnuts
  • Coconut everything and Quinoa everything
  • Cabbage, Zucchini, Green Beans, Spinach
  • Fish – especially Salmon or Trout
  • Beets, Avocado and Sweet Potato.

blog-photo-recipe-sweet-potatoes-sliced

I felt great. In fact, I felt quite saintly about it, since almost every item was a ‘super-food’. 

~~

Then came an ominous sign.

Things started shrinking.

The waist of my jeans shrank. Then my skirt. Then my other jeans too.

I was flabbergasted. 

Just to be sure, I weighed myself.

I’d gained 6 pounds.

“I don’t understand!” I wailed to my daughter. “I’ve been on a health-food diet!”

“Mom”, she said, in that deliberately patient voice one uses to a 5 year old who stamps her feet and refuses to understand. “It’s not enough to eat super-foods. It’s also a matter of portion control.”

“Portion control?” I sputtered.

“Yes, Mom.”

Portion control… I wrinkled my nose and screwed up my face and stared at her, willing her to retract those words. No luck.

“Are you saying I didn’t ….”

“I’m saying you ate too much avocado, Mom. And sweet potato. And quinoa. And other stuff too.”

Shoot.  

~~

Photo Credit: John Garside

Advertisements

103 Comments

Filed under A Good Home, Food

Sprouting Feathers

 

I’m known for my cooking. How I wish that were not so.

I burn things, forget half the ingredients, forget what I added then put them in again. It’s right there in my books, on my blog, and in the memories of everyone who knows me.

And now nobody trusts my cooking.

Take Marilyn.

“Do come for lunch”, I say.

“Oh, great,” she says.  “You choose the restaurant.”

What’s the point in visiting a person at home if you’re going to go out for lunch? But I was so glad to see Marilyn, I didn’t fight.

Then there’s Elaine.

“You make the tea,” she said. “But I’ve read your book. So I’ll bring something for us to eat.”

Then Jane took sick.

“I could make you a roast chicken”, I phoned Jane and said, not revealing the thing was already roasting in the oven. 

But Jane declined immediately. “I have pneumonia,” she said. “Don’t want you to get it.”

“I didn’t know you could catch pneumonia from someone else,” I argued.

“Well, with your luck, you just might,” she replied.

So there’s a roast chicken sitting in my fridge. Or lying on its back, as roast chickens are wont to do. In a freezer bag. Surrounded by lovely roast potatoes.

But the real reason I’m not pushing the chicken is because, since I’d have to deliver it whole, I’m unsure how it tastes.

“How ‘bout I bring her half of the chicken we roasted for ourselves?” I suggested to my husband. “We know it turned out well.”

“You can’t bring half a chicken!” he replied. “It’s like giving someone your leftovers.”

~~

What to do?

Muriel to the rescue.

My friend Muriel is in her 80’s, her husband Michael in his 90’s. Michael’s been ill and in hospital. Muriel, meanwhile, needs all the help she can get. She spends almost every day at the hospital, returning home exhausted.

What could I do? Well, I’d considered giving her a roast chicken too, but then I started to worry – what if I’d over-seasoned it? Worse, if Muriel got sick anytime in the next 10 years, I’ll know it was my chicken that did it.

Then Muriel called to say Michael’s health was improving. I was so happy, I offered both roast chicken and butternut squash soup. My soup – pureed butternut squash, made with apples and onions – always turns out well. I said so.

“I’d be glad for the soup, Cynthia. Thank you, dear.”

Thank God. Thank Muriel. 

So today I brought soup for Muriel. Then for Jane and Allen.

I’d planned to leave it at Jane’s door, run away, then phone to say, “Check your front door!” But she opened the door  just as I was about to do so, thanked me, and said they’d be glad to have my soup.

Hooray!  I’ve finally become one of those women who bring food for their friends.

Meantime, my poor husband claims he’s sprouting feathers.

“Chicken again?” he groans.

Yes, dear. Until that roast chicken is all done.

58 Comments

Filed under A Good Home, Cooking, Food