Since the 23 of December I’ve put on more than a kilo a week.
Looking back over the last couple of weeks, there are a few events which may have a causal relationship with the figure that’s now blinking up from my digital scales.
Feast with the Brady Bunch extended clan.
A great big pink fish, protected from the flame of the bbq by the fat flap of the ham.
Pinky yet faintly porky; surf and turf greatness.
Add to that a glazed ham, home made mayo bedecked with salsa verde and caponata- boosted by dark chocolate, cinnamon, currants and a kick of chilli.
Add to that a salad of charred cauliflower, almonds, crisped flatbread chunks, labna and Earl Grey tea soaked currants, and another of wafts of asparagus, cherries and pistachios.
Add to that too many dark cherry daiquiris.
Add to that the famed black forrest ice cream pandoro cake- and a few more dark cherry daiquiris before bed.
The black forrest extravaganza might have something to do with it.
Breakfast at my Dad’s. No fewer than three courses; mangoes and strawberries with yogurt and Vinno Cotto; bruschetta c/o the barbeque, and then bacon and some particularly sinful scrambled eggs. All washed down with champagne- of course.
Post Christmas haze
In the days that followed Christmas there were many quesadilla style toasted sandwiches constructed with slivers of Christmas ham, a splodge of left over caponata and cheese. These were often made with one eye open, stacked up in a Scanpan; and demolished while half mottled by whatever bottle we consumed the night before.
That recovery comfort food habit might have something to do with it.
For anyone ever searching for a good use for some left over plum pudding; we think we found a grand one. First you try not to pick at all of it while it’s squatting in the fridge. When it’s a gift that dense and chewy with love – that’s hard.
Then the next step is harder; trample the beloved construction with a mortar and pestle. Fold the tasty rubble into some softened ice cream; creating the Christmas equivalent of cookies and cream. Transfer the tasty sludge to a lined loaf pan, and refreeze. After waiting a suitable period (2 hours of so) cut into wedges and serve with a warm chocolate ganache spiked with brandy.
We also experimented with a rich caramel sauce. The chocolate was better, but we had to try both twice to be sure.
That little flavour experiment might have something to do with it.
Over the festive period there were no fewer than two Mexican themed fiestas, which included slow roasted pork shoulders with pineapple coriander and spring onion salsa. Add that to guacamole, black beans, generous splashes of Tapatio, fajitas and an ocean of margaritas (a cocktail The Hungry One has more than mastered)- and that might have something to do with it.
One such fiesta was held on our balcony. The other; on long tables on a front lawn adjacent to Avoca beach. Add candles, a dusting of salt spray and a collection of some of your oldest friends and you have all you need for a cracking eve.
New Years Eve
Add another 12 to that long table by the beach, a serving of margaritas equivalent to a king tide, some sparkling wine, home made fireworks, roast beef rolls with aioli and home made (though not by me) plum and crème fraiche ice cream and you have all you need for a perfect New Years.
Add to that some long walks up and down the beach. So maybe those days didn’t have so much to do with it.
Some nights which leave a shadow that mean even a bacon and egg roll and a dunk in the surf aren’t enough to bring you back. I could blame peer pressure, but really it was a cocktail of curiosity and crustiness that caused me to consume a devil’s trinity of frozen coke, fries and a ‘hamburger’ at Kincumber McDonalds on New Years Day.
Since when did Junior Burgers become ‘Hamburgers?’. Since I haven’t visited a McDonalds in ten years, I’m guessing it was somewhere in that window. I may have comforted myself by knowing that no matter how bad I was feeling, I was doing slightly better than the 20 year in front of us in the queue, who was wearing her dress from the night before, sans shoes and still seeping fake tan. I was doing slightly better, but not much.
That slip in standards might have something to do with it.
The blow out
The end of a ‘staycation’ deserves some celebration. So on what we thought was my final day of holidays we trotted to one of Sydney’s grandest temples of hedonism. We’ve long been fans of the adjacent bar, but never made it into the inner sanctum at Rockpool Bar & Grill.
Bring on towering ceilings, startlingly good looking wait staff, a shrieking two year old three tables away and an tuna tartare as chunky as my new jowels. My favourite dish was a lush tumble of pinkish fish with morrocan spiced eggplant and a harissa mayonnaise playful enough to make you want to lick the plate. It’s also as large as what you’d expect from a main course, or a builders lunch box. Of course from there we had to sample some steak, and a panoply of sides; tomato basil and olive salad, pumpkin with burnt butter and yogurt and just because when you’ve gone this far, you might as well; mac and cheese.
Despite all the good training in the weeks before, despite wearing a dress that could easily double as a circus tent, there was no way we could come to the end of it all.
But we gave it a jolly good shot. Which also might have something to do with my current state.
So now, two weeks on, I’m back at work.
I’m walking there and home. I’m ordering salmon salads at lunch, and eating earnest cereal with sheep yogurt for breakfast. I’m adjusting to not drinking at lunch.
It’s yet to budge much. But we’ll see. I guess I should be thankful that The Hungry One doesn’t mind too much when I look a little like a round little cherry with crayons for legs.
Or that being a little bit fatter is taking a high ranking spot in the current list of concerns.
Bring on many more happy times in 2010, I say.