Friday, 5 January 2007

Feeling Rather Portly

Strange day today - whether it was a glimpse of myself in the butcher's window or my daughter prodding my 'belly' saying, 'Daddy, what's that?', I've decided that Christmas has been unkind to me and that I have to knock food and drink hedonism on the head and try to reduce the waist. My two chins have sprouted another two chins too. And my footballer's knee is screaming at me to ease the pressure slightly by losing some weight.

I said it in a previous post, diets and me don't go well together. It isn't through lack of willpower. It is simply that I love food and life too much to deny myself a daily pleasure or two. Let's face the facts, food these days for me is the greatest pleasure I can have fully clothed. So I simply refuse to be lured into fad diets and detoxes. So what can I do to stop the rot?

Well, last night my wife and I demolished the last piece of Christmas chocolate. So there is the first demon exorcised. I love chocolate so much but I can resist it for a few weeks I'm sure. There is one piece of my own Christmas cake left to eat this evening with the last slab of Lancashire cheese. So there are two more evil pixies removed from the fridge which again I'm sure I can resist for a few weeks. Wine and beer are all over the house, so willpower will have to be the key there. I've never felt the need nor has anybody told me that I need to find the local AA, so I'm reasonably happy to stay alcohol free for a while.

With these three temptations recognised and eliminated, I honestly feel that I can eat my usual diet with the addition of some exercise. So the bike has been dusted down, my trainers and heart rate monitor discovered, and the beach is a stone's throw away so I will be pounding or cycling down there a few times a week. I feel slimmer just telling you about this.

My wife is taking over the kitchen this evening for a simple roast chicken supper complete with Yorkshire puddings. So below is a recipe for the most simple and British of Sunday roast accompaniments. Traditionally served with beef, I love them so much that I can eat them with any beast. So we are. And the calories they contain can easily be removed with tomorrow morning's bike ride. I'm sure.....

To serve 4 individual puddings
3 oz (75 g) plain flour
1 egg
3 fl oz (75 ml) milk
2 fl oz (55 ml) water
Sunflower, vegetable oil or if you can get it, beef dripping
salt and freshly milled black pepper

1 - Make the batter by sifting the flour into a bowl and making a well in the centre. Break the egg into it and beat, gradually incorporating the flour, and then beat in the milk, water and seasoning.
2 - Heat the oven to gas mark 7, (220°C). Add the oil or dripping to the Yorkshire pudding tin compartments and place that on a baking sheet on the top shelf. Once the oil is smoking, and I mean smoking, pour the batter into the hot fat. Return the tin to the baking sheet for 25-30 minutes until risen, crisp and golden.

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