Chocolate

I lived out some long-term food fantasies recently. I found myself freed up mentally for the first time to try these things I’ve always wanted to, after I did a diet that really worked in the first half of the year. I figured I could always phase the diet in again for a few weeks if necessary, once the deeds were done. It would be worth it.

A whole chocolate cake. Chocolate is the thing for me. I’ve always been very restrict-y about it. The furthest I’d go is a ‘freddo’ with my sandwich- a small frog-shaped chunk of chocolate costing 25p. I would never buy a regular chocolate bar and eat it. The guilt wouldn’t be worth it. So a whole chocolate cake was the beast to be conquered, and was my first port of call after it dawned on me that I could go ahead and have these things. ‘Disgusting’ you might be thinking, but getting this out of my system (so to speak) was a good idea I reckon. Pretty nuts though admittedly, to sit down with a pristine birthday cake and a fork. It’s so far out on a limb I might not have made it back.

In fact I settled on a prepackaged cake that was around 3/4 size your typical supermarket birthday cake. It was a rich good-quality one though, from ‘Tesco’s finest’ range. I sliced it in two and had one half for breakfast and the other for dinner. Halfway through each meal, a quarter-cake down, I had a lovely sensation of having just had a large helping of delicious chocolate cake and if there was no tomorrow could easily manage the same again: and the same again still awaited me- wonderful. The half a cake was a perfect portion, it was absolutely fantastic and I have no real desire to repeat the experience.

A bag full of pick n mix. Not a few bits and bobs, but a big bag full. Tesco do it on the cheap luckily. I put a loaf of bread and some washing powder in my basket for respectability, before going to town on the pick and mix containers with my little pink trowel. I went heavy on the chocolaty items. Washed down with Dr Pepper, it was everything I imagined and more.

A big old tile of chocolate. All for me. I went for the own-brand supermarket version. It appeals to me more than Dairy Milk or whatever. Something about the sight of tile upon tile of cheap chocolate, it’s as tremendous as the chocolate itself. Or maybe I just prefer the taste. The richer stuff can be cloying.

A tray of caramel squares. One of those packages from a local baking operation that you see on sale in petrol garages and supermarkets. Very satisfying.

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Changing Tack

I’ve started counting my daily calories. I’m using an app called ‘Diet Diary’. It’s as vanilla as they come, which I love. The icon is a cartoon cucumber and notepad, with the words ‘Simple Diet Diary’ in a comic sans-esque font. It’s the pure-hearted underdog of diet-tracking apps. It has only the few computational conveniences you want, and no more. I keep track of calories and protein. The app shows me my totals so far for the day, and I can copy and paste past entries. For the last seven days my average daily calories has been 2172 and my average protein 141 grams. The idea of recording calories for evermore isn’t such a wonderful prospect. It sounds a bit of a strangled existence. The thought of it gives me butterflies. But not counting them is also a headache. It may well be a thirty-days-to-build-the-habit kind of situation, by which point it will have stopped feeling uncomfortable. I’ll have to see.

Kitchen Cupboard

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I thought for a bit of fun I’d do a post on the contents of my kitchen cupboard. Pretty pathetic, but I never claimed to be Ernest fucking Hemingway.

There’s some Uncle Ben’s boil in the bag rice at the top left. Uncle Ben is operating at the very top of his game right now. This stuff is amazing, much better than the own-brand alternative. Easily worth the extra pound.

Lots of tuna next to that. Lovely tuna, chicken of the sea. For lunch mostly.

Noodles, penne and linguine packs next. About the only proper meal I cook at the minute involves the noodles. Noodles with prawns and ginger and chilli’s. I used to use a lot of those stir in sauce tubs sitting in front of the pasta. Less so these days. What even is it? They just sit there at room temperature and don’t go off for a year. I’m suspicious of them now.

Below is a box of some ‘light’ popcorn, because I’m a complete woman. I’ve actually struggled with popcorn a bit since the scene in Arachnophobia where the big ignoramus couple sit down in their dressing gowns with a bowl of popcorn to watch Jeopardy, and as the guy dunks his hand in the bowl, with his eyes glued to the tv, a little black spider emerges from below the top layer to deliver it’s lethal bite. It’s just the spider being about the same weight and shape as a bit of popcorn that’s so shudder inducing to me.

Going left there’s some more tuna, then beans and some bargain tinned dinners for when I really can’t be bothered. Chicken Jalfrize and tinned meatballs. Pretty shameful. I have some chickpeas back there too. I got excited about chickpeas a couple of years ago but I’m over it.

On the bottom shelf there’s some bread sitting on top of some own-brand fruit and fiber cereal. The cereal has no fruit in it whatsoever! It’s just bran flakes. I put my hand in and scooped right to the bottom and all. I’m tempted to write a letter of complaint. I’ll have to get Kellogg’s next time, but that shit is seriously expensive. The bread sitting on top is this Northern Ireland’s own thing. It’s extremely doughy, like 200 calories a slice. It’s a real treat but as with the pasta sauce I’m wary.

The box with the green side is sea salt. Huge great shards of it. It’s great. You can almost eat it by itself. Then some vinegar next to that. I originally bought that vinegar to add to the bucket to mop my floor. The whole flat stank of vinegar for several days, so I’ve reverted to classic vinegar use- strictly food.

There are some spices and stuff next, renaissance man that I am. I’d very much recommend the coffee there- Nescafe Azera. It’s rich and creamy ‘barista style’ instant coffee. It’s fantastic. Who cares about coffee machines and what have you. Instant coffee would have blown your mind a few centuries ago. I’m happy enough with it. The white containers are some supplements for my joints- fish oil and ‘glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin’. Absolute bullshit. Do nothing in all likelihood. Rarely remember to take them. I sometimes leave them on the worktop to remind myself but if anyone is coming they go back in the cupboard, so it doesn’t look like a convalescent home.

 

Amazing

Good Stuff

Good Stuff

I like coffee- it’s delicious- but I’ve never understood the ‘I need my coffee’ thing. It’s never done anything particularly dramatic to my system in terms of an energising effect. Then it gives me the jitters if I drink even the one cup too quickly. But these Starbuck’s ‘doubleshot espresso’ tins have been a revelation to me. They leave you properly switched on mentally- where it’s all working- you’re not just still scattered but now in a caffeine-y way. Then they somehow eliminate physical sluggishness even when you’re wrecked, like coffee never does usually. And all of it with no jitteriness whatsoever. I would recommend anyone reading this to try one, because they’re really special. I buy around six of them when I do a big shop and just hold them in reserve in the fridge. If you know what’s going on with them and can recommend other things like it, great.