Will I, won’t I? Well, actually, I will: eat in a vegan fashion for four weeks that is, but just not at the moment. I had thought I might do so in January, but I have decided against. Truth be told, every time I contemplate a meat, poultry, egg, and fish free four-weeks (and these are just some of the food stuffs I would need to forego) I wonder might it be dizzingly difficult and would I have will-power wobbles and throw in the towel in the first week. Quite likely, so I need to get my head properly wrapped around the idea and suss out some vegan recipes before I give it a go.
Tag Archives: Baking
I recently had an existential showdown with some bananas. As existential showdowns go it wasn’t in the same league as Oscar Wilde’s with the wallpaper in a Parisian hotel, where he reputedly uttered the immortal line: ‘one of us has got to go’, while lying on his deathbed and looking at said wallpaper.
I am Irish so therefore I like Guinness. Right? No, wrong. I don’t like it at all. I believe it’s an acquired taste but no sip of it that I have ever had has encouraged me to try to acclimatize my taste buds to what’s known locally as the black stuff.
One perennial on my annual to-do list is to eat in a healthy fashion. It’s not that my diet is intrinsically unhealthy just that it is forever in need of a little tweaking. Eating in a healthy fashion is a rather nebulous notion so I have honed in on just a few things I would like to do. One is to drink more water, more wheat grass juice and more blueberry smoothies. When I say more I am going to aim for an achievable one litre of water per day, two to three shots of wheatgrass juice per week and the occasional blueberry smoothie. The other change I would like to make is to dissolve my enduring belief that foodstuffs are divided into the good and the bad. In other words so long as I don’t overdo it I am not going to beat myself up for indulging in the occasional not-so-uber-healthy treat.
If you read the post immediately preceding this one you will now that, for the month of November, I am on a sort-of-a-detox and a sort-of-a-diet (hereinafter known as a double SOAD). Strangely since I started said double SOAD food hasn’t dominated my thoughts nor have I obsessed for a nano-second about some mega-meal I might eat on the first of December when I have finished the double SOAD.
I had a Proustian moment when I saw these golden syrup and black treacle tins (pictured below) used to store sugar sachets in the Summer House café in Lismore. Saying that may casually imply that I have read Marcel Proust’s major opus A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, which for the record I haven’t. But I know the story of how Proust, on tasting a madeleine which had been dipped in tea, was transported back to the landscape of his childhood to a time when his aunt customarily gave him a similar tea soaked madeleine each Sunday morning. When I saw the Tate & Lyle tins I remembered the days of my childhood when home-baked treats were plentiful and a tin of golden syrup was always a staple in the store cupboard.
I was never going to buy another cookery book. Never ever. For a start the bookshelves in my kitchen, of which incidentally I am inordinately proud of having assembled from an IKEA flat pack, are stuffed to capacity. I was especially not going to buy another cookery book with instructions for making cakes because I must already have a zillion recipes for sweet confections. And as for buying a cookery book with a saturated pink cover which has a photograph featuring a cheesecake with a lurid lime-green topping made from jelly – now that would be totally out of the question.
As an expression, it’s never too late to bake a Christmas cake, may not be in the same league as one of my favourite quotes ‘It’s never too late to be who you might have been’ (George Eliot). This recipe is from a Delia Smith Christmas Cookery book; she calls it last-minute Christmas mincemeat cake. It seems to prove the point that as in life so too in Christmas baking it’s never too late. Once cooked it can be iced in the traditional way, topped with a glazed nut topping, or simply left as is.
I went to see ‘Cézanne et Paris’ an exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg (running until 26th February 2012) when I was in Paris last week. Cézanne urged by his old school friend Émile Zola to come to Paris, to further his artistic career, arrived in the capital aged twenty-one in 1861. From then on Cézanne travelled back and forth between Paris and his native Province, he did however return permanently to the landscapes of his childhood for the last fifteen years of his life. The exhibition is of Cézanne’s Parisian works and includes a picture of Zola; sadly the two friends fell out possibly because of Zola’s portrayal of an artist, loosely based on Cézanne, in his novel The Masterpiece.