Creak… creak… creak. What’s that sound? It’s the sound of my Will To Live returning! It’s only four weeks until daylight savings begins. It’s getting lighter in the mornings. Birds are twittering again. For every minute of sun we gain each day, I will surely become one percent less crabbit! Right now my temper is short, especially when watching University Challenge and the students deliberate too long before answering the question.
"Hurry up FOOLS!" I screech at the telly. "This is not a pub quiz!"
If I was the producer of the Challenge, any hesitation longer than five seconds would be rewarded with a small electric shock to the buttocks. I’m sure we could rig up the chairs somehow.
Speaking of televison and chairs, Monday nights aren’t the same since Nigella Express finished. I used to scoff at Nigella’s sprawling adjectives and deep-throating of vegetables but I love her, really I do. Watching her show makes me ever more resolved to enjoy my food and never diet again. Yes there is the annoying Scoffing By The Fridge Light scene at the end of every episode but I feel she has the right idea. There’s a great chapter in her book How To Eat about dieting and healthy eating that is one of the most sensible things you could hope to read on the subject. She celebrates food. She doesn’t divvy it up into Good or Bad. She can wax lyrical about a bag of spinach just as much as a wodge of chocolate cake.
One time in the new series she made herself a tasty lunch of sourdough toast, chopped into three slices. One had hummus, one some avocado and tomato and olive oil on the other. It was a nice little meal on a nice little plate, but a year ago I would have freaked out… FAT! CARBS! PLEASURE! I used to restrict toast to a Weekend Treat, which of course made me pine for it from Monday to Friday, sputtering with resentment over a perfectly tasty bowl of porridge. These days I’m not breakfast bossy – sometimes it’s toast, sometimes it’s yogurt, sometimes it’s leftovers, whatever I’m hankering for. The less restrictive I’ve been the more I seem to lean towards a healthy choice.
Anyway, The Nige has inspired me. I have a gigantic folder full of recipes I’ve saved over the years that I’d filed under Cook These Once I’m Skinnier. I’ve always loved food and cooking but I’d deemed most recipes off limits. As if I couldn’t be trusted with certain ingredients; as if one mouthful would be my undoing.
Why not just COOK what you want to cook? You don’t have to eat it all at once. You can share it with pals. What are you waiting for? I’m talking to myself here, by the way. Was that confusing? Anyway. I am going to make some of these Forbidden Recipes. Fetch me apron, luv!
Gareth says I have a Cooking Show Face, an expression of utter peace and happiness that is reserved purely for when there’s cooking on the telly. My eyes are wide and gleaming and he’ll be telling me a story about his day and I do not hear a word. He reckons there’s a certain Cooking Show Posture too. If chocolate is on the menu, he’ll cackle, HA HA you’ve got a Chocolate Gap! and wave his hand through the space between the couch and my back, which is alert and upright like a police sniffer dog. Do you have a chocolate gap too? Get out your rulers, tell me I’m not alone?!