Spice of Life


Well I won the bet by default, as mother was unable to make it to weigh-in today. I won’t chase her for payment as I suspect mother’s determination to lose weight has waned over the past few months and I am unable to find the right route of encouragement to mobilize her efforts once more. I however, have been ramping up in my little kitchenette, alla Julia Child, experimenting with new flavours to satisfy the taste buds, rather than the stomach.

The toolman has commented more than once that the first time I cooked for him, I unwittingly cemented the relationship for at least the next few years. I cooked him a pasta dish; the sauce full of hot salami, olives, capers and chilli. But having cut carbs, fat and yes it seems, flavour from my dishes in the last few months, I didn’t realise how my disinterest in food was driving him to have sneaky expeditions out for lunch during the week to satisfy his need for rich, flavourful food.

When you are trying hard to lose weight, only the most motivated can whip up nutritious and low fat food every night. Yes, I can hear you cry out in objection already, but sweetheart, you may be happy with fish and steamed veggies- I’m just not. The food I cook instinctively involves meat, tomatoes, basil, cream, cheese…(I just wiped the dribble off my keyboard) and denying myself these flavours often results in a rather dry looking piece of chicken and some very sad and limp veggies, consumed with a good dollop of,

“Mmm, this is really good” or “This is not that bad”.

That’s usually what comes to mind when cooking fat reduced sweets and savouries; it’s never, gee this is great, How delicious! Always, it’s not that bad. I do myself an injustice, as I am well trained by a lineage of very talented female cooks in the family, and I too can cook. I just can’t really, well, be bothered thinking about food. I’d lost interest.

But yesterday I ventured down the road, less than a kilometre from where I live and decided to take advantage of the endless strip of Vietnamese grocers and restaurants that make up “Little Vietnam”. Dodging the “less fortunate” and their furtive appraisals of the likelihood I would open my wallet and pay them for drugs, I filled my basket with fresh and vibrant flavours; garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilli, star anise, coriander, thai basil, tamarind, and dry spices. I eat these foods all the time, I just happen to do so in a restaurant decked out with plastic chairs and tables. Why not make it myself? And boy, am I on a winner.

This whole weight loss ordeal can be very tiresome my friends, so this week I plan to spice up my life. And the best bit of all, after one taste last night, the toolman declared it to be just “Delicious!”.

And I may have just secured myself another couple of years.

One response »

  1. I am not a good cook. And sometimes the diet food is sooo boring and unsatisfying. But I have also found some great recipes that even I can follow. I wish I could just do what you did and get those spices and create something amazing:)

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