RSS

Tag Archives: food

‘Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.’ James A. Garfield.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

I love bread.  In fact, I never really met a bread I didn’t like—brown, white, rye, seeded, ciabatta, damper, focaccia, roti, soda, multigrain, pumpernickel, (banana—not sure that counts as a real bread but . . . yum)—the list goes on and on and on. . .

And, although I do agree with James Garfield that bread needs something to go with it, for me it’s not peanut butter.  For me it is cheese (any kind of cheese) and ham . . .  and chutney . . .  and  pickles . . . or . . . if it’s toasted, pâté.  I could, seriously, live on toast and pâté . . . and red wine . . .

Well—when I say I could live on it, I probably actually couldn’t.  My digestive system seems to have much more to say about what I can, and can’t, eat (and drink) these days.  Sigh.

Sometimes getting older sucks . . .

 
9 Comments

Posted by on June 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

‘If you’ve lost your appetite today, I think I have it . . . ‘ Anon.

animated eatingHave you ever woken up one morning, with no previous indication that there might be anything amiss, and suddenly find yourself inexplicably caught up in the throes of some kind of hypnotic trance, unable to do anything else all that day except eat and eat and eat (and eat . . . and eat . . . and eat . . . )

This happened to me last weekend and it caught me totally off guard.  Friday night I was fine.  After dinner (Penne Pesto Pasta—yum) I cuddled up on the couch alongside my girls (in my trakky-daks and fluffy slippers—me, not the girls) with a nice glass of red (possibly two) and watched ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ on the telly.  We were all comfortable, warm and fed.  All was right with my world.  Or so I thought . . .

woman and cakeOn Saturday morning I woke around 5.00am and my very first thought (and I still remember it vividly) was ‘I might go down to the bakers later and buy myself a sticky-bun’.  Say what?  Where did that come from?  I can’t tell you the last time I ate a sticky-bun.  And why a sticky-bun for God’s sake?  I can think of at least three more things right this very second which I would usually prefer to eat in order to sate any unexpected cravings (chocolate, cheese, more chocolate . . . )

And why was I having any kind of food cravings at 5.00am anyway?  I am not a big breakfast eater and usually have to force myself to eat something in the morning.  As it turned out the ‘why’ was irrelevant—all I could think about for the next couple of hours was that I going to get me that sticky-bun.  And, in the end, I did.  In fact I got two—and inhaled them both.

So that should have been the end of it—right?   I had eaten the sticky-bun(s)—I had completed the task—it was time to move on.

Caramello Koala Cake

Caramello Koala Cake

But—No.  It actually all went rapidly downhill from there and I, who have spent years and years diligently (although perhaps ‘diligently’ is somewhat of an overstatement) attempted to practice the art of not eating, seemed utterly unable to control myself.  I ate everything edible I could find in the house—that is everything that did not, in any way, shape or form, constitute a ‘proper’ meal.  (I was so not interested in eating a supernutrient-full-of-veggie-goodness ‘proper’ meal.  I wanted Caramello Koalas—or salt and vinegar crisps—or two large loaves of French bread dripping with garlic butter . . . Blissful sighs)

But this is not my first time around this particular block.  Although it has not reared its ugly head in a long time, this seemingly-out-of-the-blue-food-frenzy is not entirely unknown to me, and I was pretty sure I remembered how it was going to play out.  I would grumpily blob myself down on the couch and berate myself all day with ‘For-God’s-Sake-Sally-Stop-Eating!’ reprimands, and constantly remind myself of all the good work I was undoing—all the while stuffing my face with whatever sugar-fat-salt laden delicacy I had hold of at the time.  And, that is exactly what happened.

sick1As you can imagine, on Sunday I felt absolutely crapulous (I just knew that word would come in handy).  I was nursing a deadly sugar hangover (not to mention a severe case of ‘buyer’s remorse’—those sticky-buns had a lot to answer for) and trying to fathom what had brought it all on.  There had been no obvious triggers.  Nobody had upset me, there had been no major dramas, I hadn’t been fretting about anything—at least consciously.

Subconsciously, of course, is anybody’s guess.  Who really knows what goes on in our little heads when we are not paying full attention.  We think we have got it all sorted.  We practice the things that are supposed to be good for us.  We exercise daily, we meditate, we nurture relationships, we nourish our bodies with good and healthy food—and then while we are sleeping some mean, nasty, delinquent part of our brain slides over to the good, stable, responsible side, knocks it unconscious and issues orders for us to start eating the planet.  It’s all a bit underhand and totally unfair if you ask me.

overeatingBut you know—it’s done, and there is no point bitching about it any more.  I seem to have weathered the storm without too much damage and this week I have had no recurring desire to overload on—well, anything really.  I appear to be back in control.

But we all know appearances can be deceiving and I guess I shouldn’t get too cocky.  If this could all sneak up on me so unawares this time it could easily do so again.  I’m think perhaps I am going to have to watch my back for a while yet . . . and perhaps  drive past the bakers really, really fast . . .

 
10 Comments

Posted by on July 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

‘Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.’ Mark Twain.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

I knew Mark Twain was a favourite of mine for a reason.  

I think perhaps I should take his advice more often . . . .

sandwiche

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

‘My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far I’ve finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.’ Dave Barry.

Molly - Day 1

Molly – Day 1

When she first came to live with us Molly weighed 3.2 kilos (7lbs).  She was 5 years old, teeny-tiny, a little bit scruffy, and had ears like Gizmo the Gremlin.

Molly came to us with ‘issues’.  She was terrified of everything and everyone, prone to disappearing for hours on end (to eventually be found hiding buried underneath the sofa cushions or in a little nest she had made for herself under a bush out by the back gate) and would go into an almost coma-like state if you picked her up and gave her a hug.  She had no understanding of ‘play’ and would run and hide if you tried to get her to join in any kind of game.

Four years along and many of Molly’s little idiosyncrasies, although still there, have become somewhat tempered. When I come home she will come running for her own ‘Mum’s back’ cuddle and even push the others aside to make sure she doesn’t miss out.  She will let other people pet her (providing I am close at hand).  scareddog1Although she has still never made any attempt to join in, she will no longer run away in terror when Mabel and Maude grab an arm or a leg each of their favourite teddy and drag each other, growling and snarling, round and round the house. (She did once, in a mad moment, make a grab at one of the many doggie toys littering the house, but it squeaked at her and sent her into hiding for the rest of that day.  She has doggedly (see what I did there?) ignored any possible toy-trauma ever since.)

But there is still ‘the food thing’.

Molly has no ‘off’ switch when it comes to food.  She just does not believe in leaving food on her plate.  Or any one else’s plate.  Or anywhere in the house.  Ever.  Once she starts eating there is just no stopping her.

I remember the first time I gave Molly her dinner in her own little bowl.  She sat.  And she looked at it. Then she looked at me.  “Go on,” I said, “eat your dinner.”  She looked back at the bowl.  She looked at Mabel and Maude happily eating out of their own bowls.  And looked at her bowl again.  And looked at me.  I moved the bowl toward her.  She backed away.  I backed away.  And she sat and looked again.  I picked some food out of the bowl and tossed it to her.  She gobbled it down.  I moved the bowl towards her. She backed off.  Okay.  So, this was obviously going to be a thing.  Sigh.

dogbowldiveIt was a very frustrating process to get her fed that first evening (compounded by the fact that Mabel and Maude had now finished their meals and desperately wanted to join in the new  ‘game’.  Not helpful, girls, really not helpful).  Long (long) story short but after a few weeks and any number of false starts, Molly did eventually get the hang of eating out of her own bowl.  More than got the hang of it.  ‘Eating’ is possibly not the right word.  ‘Inhaling’ might be closer to the mark.  Food has become her passion.

I have been thinking about why Molly’s relentless appetite bothers me so much.  Now that I know about it, it really isn’t that big a deal.  For her health I don’t want her to get too heavy (and she is already starting to resemble a tiny sumo wrestler) so, without depriving her at all, I monitor how much food she eats and watch that she doesn’t eat all of Mabel’s leftovers as well her own meals. (Mabel is much more delicate in her eating habits.)  I watch her like a hawk when we are out walking.  treasure mapIf there are any kind of remains left under a picnic table three miles away, in the opposite direction, Molly will find them—and have eaten them all before I have even noticed she is missing.  (I also now know where she keeps her ’emergency stash’ (bits of doggie biscuits and chew sticks stolen from the other girls when their backs were turned)—which I assume she keeps just in case we all get hit by an earth-destroying meteor before dinner.)

Perhaps it bothers me because I too have had my own issues with food.  I like food (I really do) but I can honestly no longer remember a time when I wasn’t ‘watching what I eat’.  I have been heavier than I ‘should be’ (don’t even get me started on the ‘shoulds’) for most of my adult life, and have been reminded of it on many an occasion.  When I was younger such mean remarks would usually send me directly back to the refrigerator—both to console myself and to prove to others that I really didn’t care what they thought.  But, of course, I did.

Over the years I have, like Molly, managed to modify a lot of my less-than-helpful behaviours and responses, but I was reminded quite forcefully last week that just when you think you have a handle on something, that is usually the time it will come back and bite you in the bum.

Last week I decided it was time to get my health and fitness back on track, as I had slacked off a bit over the last year or so.  I just don’t have the motivation to do these things by myself any more so I signed on to a three month fitness and diet (ooops, sorry, ‘healthy eating’) on-line plan.  So far so good.

fitnessdogI got my exercise gear together, cleared the kitchen of all distractions (bye bye chocolate—at least until next week when the Easter bunny comes) and was raring to go.  And then, almost as if a switch was flipped, I started to think about pizza.  I love pizza.  Just love it.  It’s right up there as one of my favourite foods. But you know I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate one, or even thought about eating one.  Not for a long time.  Out of sight, out of mind.  But, swear to God, almost the moment I signed on for a new fitness and healthy eating plan—BOOM—all I could think about was eating pizza.  Aaaarrrrrghhhhh!

Molly - today

Molly – today

However, this time, instead of berating myself mercilessly for my failings, I have decided to give myself a break and not fret too much about my ‘pizza brain’.  I am sure, given time (and a couple of laps around the park) the yen for a Super Supreme (extra cheese) will fade.  I am also going to ease up on Molly a bit (and by ‘ease up’, I don’t mean feed her more, but I’ll try to stop my continual exasperated, “Stop Eating Mol. You’ll explode!”  commentary).   We girls should stick together.

And who knows, Molly might well have the right idea.  If finishing what you start is truly the road to inner peace, my Molly must be a  Zen Master . . . .

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

‘Who’s the bane of Santa’s life? The elf and safety officer.’ Catherine Tate.

snoopyfishingSo that’s it.  The office phone is on ‘Leave a Message’.  The Gone Fishin’  sign is on the door.  Work is over for another year.

I am now officially ‘on holiday’ until after the New Year.  Yay!

All around it’s been a good year at work, but a very busy one, and I know it’s going to take me a little time to wind down.  But I am really going to try.  I do have a list (I know, I know, me and my lists) of things I should do over the holiday break.  It runs something like this: catch up on my reading . . . and sleep . . . do some writing . . . and sleep . . . go to the movies (‘Star Wars’, here I come) . . . and sleep . . . play with the dogs . . . and sleep . . . eat too much . . . and sleep . . .

I may, or may not, get to everything on that list.

hobbitApart from the fact that this was the last week of work and things should have been slowing down but in fact seemed to be doing exactly the opposite, we did manage to finish the week off  in a really nice way with our staff Christmas Lunch. We are a little college so it was only a small group of lunchers (lunchees?) who got together—only 11 of us, but, as Gandalf said, Oh, they’re quite a merry gathering. Once you get used to them.”

A number of our team don’t work regularly out of the college premises (they train students at other venues) so in some cases people hadn’t seen each other since the last Christmas lunch, and the newer staff members hadn’t met some of the others at all, so it was a really good chance to catch up on everyone’s latest news, talk about holiday plans—and swap our latest doggie stories.

wine-glass-cheersOasis by the River had been warned of our impending arrival, but in spite of that they had set up a lovely table for us, all decked out in Christmassy fashion with little Christmas trees, tinsel, Christmas crackers, tiny gingerbread men—and a great many wine glasses on the table.  (Like I said—they knew we were coming).  No really—I am joking—we were all very well behaved (it was only lunch after all).  Having said that, we did manage to get a good number of those glasses filled up, and emptied, and filled up again in very short order . . .  In our defence—although we don’t technically need a defence as the Christmas rules do state ‘eat, drink and be merry’we had to have something to wash down the very yummy ‘traditional’ Christmas dinner of roast turkey, ham and all the trimmings that was laid out before us.

(There was so much food that I don’t think anyone completely finished their meal, and the leftovers were all passed along the table to me, wrapped up in serviettes and went straight into my handbag to take home for my girls. Courtesy of the college staff they will be getting some extra yummies with their dinner over the next couple of days. Christmas is for dogs too, you know.)  

dog crackerBut—and there is always a ‘but’—for all the lovely table, and the food, and the drinks, there was one thing really not quite right—the Christmas Crackers.  It turned out that the Christmas crackers supplied by the restaurant, although very pretty and Christmassy and sparkly—TOTALLY FAKE.  Shock.  Horror.  No bang, no pressie—no joke!  It could have spoiled the whole day (or at least it could have spoiled Joneen’s whole day).  Just as well then, that Santa (Steve in a Christmas baseball cap) had also seen to it that the Santa Sack was not only stuffed full of Secret Santa pressies, but also an abundance of (fully functioning) Christmas Crackers. Phew.

cracker2So the crackers were passed around, cracker-pulling-partners chosen and then the usual bangs, shrieks and scrabblings about on the table as we all went search of our hats, jokes and prizes (which, after the explosion, always seem to shoot across the table and vanish into the table decorations).

Once all suitably decked out in our paper crowns (having swapped them back and forth across the table so as to make sure each of us had one that complemented our outfit) we all took it in turns to read our jokes out, tried to guess the answers, and groaned loudly in the appropriate places. Joneen actually came up with some better answers (and when I say better, I mean more groan-worthy) than those that came with the jokes.  It could be a new career path for her should she ever decide to leave the adult education sector.

chefTowards the end of the meal, when we had finished our desserts and were on to the coffees (or just one last glass) the chef came out to tell us that there was a hail in Port Macquarie and the storm was heading our way.  We didn’t think he was trying to get rid of us but it was enough to start breaking the party up. This turned out to be a very good thing as the chef was later vindicated when we did, in fact, get hit by a humungous storm, complete with lashing rain, wind and bone rattling thunder. With luck, everyone was home and dry, or very near it, by the time the storm struck.

So, now we are all done and dusted for another year.  We have now all gone our separate ways for the holiday season and hopefully it will be a happy and safe time for everyone.

I am going to do my bit to help with the safety side of things.

balloon kitAfter I sign off here I am going to go and write a very stern letter to Santa about a certain person’s Secret Santa gift—a Balloon Animal Making Kit.  Why? you might ask.  Surely a fairly innoucous type of gift you might imagine.  And you might be right—in the hands of any other person.  Judging by her enthusiasm for, and her antics with, her new toy at the Christmas lunch, the local ‘elf and safety officer’ is going to need to know where to find her.

I really don’t know what Santa was thinking . . .

 
7 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: