Friday, 7 September 2007
Eating, Drinking, Making Merry...
So.. unfortunately this week has not seen the return to CRON discipline and the straight and narrow path of purity I was hoping for. Botheration. It's not the food, the food is fine - I had two really good days of using CoM at the beginning of this week, weighing and measuring, almost perfect nutrition, around about 1000 calories - lots of yummy rainbow chard (I am really, really craving dark green leafies and may have to go and worship at the Great Wall of Greens in Wholefoods later on today), and zucchini and green beans and broccoli. It is the demon drink. I just don't seem to be able to pass a day without a glass of something white and cold passing my lips. Such a lush I am, despite my best intentions.
Last Sunday I went blackberrying with a friend. It was a really disappointing haul in the end; tiny berries with hardly any taste. Last year there were so many heady perfumed berries that I was constantly bottling blackberry preserves and chutneys (that are still gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere, I think). This time I barely came away with enough for my breakfasts. But there is something just so wonderful about going out and foraging and coming back with free food. I really need to do it more often. We also picked lots of hazelnuts. I've never had a raw hazel straight from the tree before - definitely extremely yummy, and probably packed full of good stuff. I'll have to look out for more - we squirrelled that tree bare. In the evening I cooked for three of us - my usual sort of cooking, a green veggie gratin, a bean salad... and out came the fizz, and my willpower shot out of the window so fast I could almost see the smoke.
Monday and Tuesday were horrible, horrible days with work. I almost blogged about them a couple of times, about the wailing and the crying and the screams of frustration... God, I hate my job. And I really, really hate the way that I cannot see any way out of it - short of simply resigning and trusting fate to do the business. Needless to say, P is not keen on that idea. Hey ho. I guess something will happen in the end, but it's getting pretty intolerable. Both these days ended with the opening of a bottle.
I was hoping I could get out of coming to London this week, because there was a tube strike which would have made travelling awkward in the extreme. It was cut short though, and so I had no excuse not to pack my bags and head for town. I met P in an absolute dive of a bar where he was having farewell drinks with a colleague who was off for pastures new - oh, yuck yuck yuck. At the bar (sticky, stinky), a man next to me ordered tequila and Baileys on the rocks. The horror. As soon as I could drag P away, I did. Unfortunately he wanted to stay in town and eat out, so we ate in Chez Gerard in Covent Garden - our usuals there - oysters and steak tartare for him, steamed asparagus (dressing on the side) and mixed salad with chevre for me. The salad came not so much dressed as swathed in vinagrette, because I'd forgotten to ask for it naked. Damn. We drank pink fizz. Oh, calories calories calories...
Calories too last night, but these were planned for and I tried to budget during the day. Last week we made reservations to eat at 22 Great Queen Street, a bar-brasserie that has been open several months but is almost impossible to get into on the off-chance, and I have heard fabulous things about it. Simple British food, well-sourced, organic - all the things that hit all the right buttons for me. And it was just as good as I hoped it would be. Short menu, no fussing around with pretentious pointless descriptions - what you read, is what you get. I ate new season's borlotti beans (perfectly braised with garlic and herbs) and beautiful Romanesque cauliflower (pictured raw above - on my plate, steamed, and served with goat's curd) and (unfortunately buttered but delicious) savoy cabbage greens and (yes, I was hungry) runner beans cooked with tomatoes and more garlic. P had Cawl (a lamb soup) and Arbroath Smokies, and we shared a piece of blue ewe's milk cheese for dessert. Oh yum yum yum. It was all just very very good. Apart from the no doubt generous use of oil and butter, it was exactly the sort of food I cook for myself when I can be bothered to do more than just steam my veggies and whack some lemon on them. The place was packed. It gives me hope when I see that the sort of food I can cook and cook quite well obviously appeals - well, I can dream about having my own place like that one day... I'm very envious of the people who have set it up - yes, I'm sure it's horrifically hard work, but it would have to be so rewarding...
So, um yes, it's been a bit of a foodie week. But it's all good food. No junk, no gak. Just higher on the calories than I would like. My weight is yoyo-ing all over the place - down/up, up/down, it makes me dizzy. I just don't seem to have a chance to get into a proper routine for any more than two days in a row. And of course, the wine isn't helping. Must get a handle on that. If I'm drinking, I am not CRON-ing, no matter how much I kid myself.
Tonight I am on a late train home; tomorrow will see me in a field, in a tent, surrounded by aged dairy products; Sunday I am back in London again for an afternoon tea that a friend has arranged to celebrate his birthday. Routine?! Ha ha ha if only.
Oh yes - and welcome back, Joanna! So, what is a pluot? :-) And I meant to say thank you everybody for your comments on my last post.