The rant :
I remained beleaguered by the media guff of dry January, the barking mad dieters, the 2016 embittered amusement arcade of despair following the ‘every man for himself, foie-gras-style-grand-prix of stuffing your chops’, and then only eat carefully ironed lettuce leaves; the perfect pitch for pig husbandry if ever there was, and they follow like lambs to the …. (oh crowbarred one in there). No harm in reminding folk to take their foot off the metaphorical pedal, particularly if previously purloined by the pied piper of pies and pizza.
Crashing symbols of panic and guilt at those of us who had kindly coughed the cash, cooked for Queen and country to gift a glorious time for our nearest and dearest over the festivities?
After allegedly ‘getting it down our necks’ during the holiday period straight to the juxtapose position of complete monastic abstinence, and even going cold turkey? (An oxymoron if ever there was). Eerie visions of a life lived of boxed cuisine fuelling a new wave of gullible-hyper-panickers. (Do you too find it difficult to type with your hand on your hips?- ahh just me then.). Followed by “Coo look at you fatso” code for buy this smaller meal, in a smaller box, a stark box with lighter, whiter cover and simple graphic to make you feel better.
Hold that thought! Buy one, get one free, eat both. Yahtzee!
Be self admonishing and buy into the perfect body (of which genetics will hold you to account, one way or another as you waste the next few years of fun, laughter and a well-rounded life – shaving gooseberries, sweating said small stuff whilst being ostracised for having a sporadic spoon full of sugar which helps the medicine, of life, go down. Deliberate absurdity eh Bridget?
A life of over thinking guilt and misery? Now go flay yourself with a copy of the Beano to remind your sad, sorry and bloated self that it isn’t just for Christmas it’s for life, or something like that, and just think of the calories that you will burn whilst exchanging one Beano for a bash with the other?
The Tea Boy called me into his office to show me the cross trainer walking thing that he was about to buy for the new year. Theres five hundred quid off it. (Thinks:“and more than twice that to buy?” ).
“Yes dear, it’s shiny and it’s lovely.” He was going to buy it no matter what I said.
Cue: Time lapse impassivity.
Hold that thought. We live in the most wonderful country side in Devon, pathways, roads with pavements, fresh air, ok a bit too much of that at the moment but all the mod cons! I’ll admit he’s 6 stone heavier since he stopped running (to the pub and back) and needs to do something though preferably not kill himself on the rowing machine!
The contraption arrived and took 2 strong, burly fellows to haul and lift in from a tail gate hoist. It remains in its cardboard coffin. It’s sizeable, takes up most of the conservatory, which means he can over look a sprawling couple of acres of our garden, complete with pathways, vast expanses of said country side, pastoral scenery and timeless serenity whilst … er… walking?
Now there’s a mathematicians anathema for you.
This is a jolly fine piece of apparatus as is the ‘rowing machine’ though there is indeed a river a stones throw away. I digress. The rowing machine set up in front of a dvd playing on a loop, a couple of bottles of cold Sauvignon blanc tinkling in an ice bucket at his side. He would row, full belt, steadily toward a heart attack or stroke for a good couple of hours. The arms and biceps of a cattle wrangler, yet still can’t get his socks on without considerable expletives and a new ceramic knee confirms.
He remains swarthy and svelte, (all monocle and monogrammed velvet dressing gown) in my imagination.
There’s something to be said for being a bit average, balanced, a tad ordinary, just not torn by the media baying for extremes. Sustenance can be a silent executioner for the extreme exemplars of self-denying ordinance and austerity too. Who remembers a sense of proportion?
Miasmatic defiance brings me to the hype of Valentine, even if Christmas isn’t sitting like a paving slab on you tum, there’s every chance you’ll do something about it this week. Valentines which is just after Chinese New Year, (8th) and Pancake Day today (9th).
Crêpe crusader alert! Crêpe Suzettish fetish
I prophecy a sudden cloud burst of cocoa on the 14th whilst the locusts of love are stripping every last red rose to placate and delight. Together with a side order of Barbie pink fizz (Barbara Cartland meets soda stream) and neither stricken with guilt as you tuck into a velvety vortex of ice cream a deux?
I therefore suggestively proffer a swift pud using the smash and grab technique.
To a small commercially manufactured red velvet cake or use the remainder of one you made earlier. Combine one or two tubs of mascarpone cheese, sweeten to taste and add a teaspoon of vanilla paste once again to taste. Add half the cake and combine, that is smoosh gently to combine not bash the living daylights out of it. ( alternatively add some cream cheese and a small can of condensed milk and/or some left over butter cream which works too). Combine gently, by hand, to resemble a mess of nursery proportions.
Add little pieces of the remaining cake as you wallop it into a suitable lidded container and banish to the freezer. A squiggle of jam and little pieces of red fruits can also jolly it along. The compote shown is the remainder of strawberry and cherry jams, some cranberry sauce and maraschino cherry juice. Just melt in a microwave to combine.
Cushion soft, this mood Hoover should spare the blushes and set you well for an evening of:- anaphylactic shock, a diabetic induced coma, and can be served with loose leaves from a copy of the Karma Sutra or possibly best of all, a spoon for one.
Hefty dollop of Valentine anyone? So from seeing red, anyone who still fancies a quickie, please see above.