cooking, eating and a bit of head stuff

This morning I ate the second and last peach from the golden queen I planted last year. It is a beautifully vigorous tree but with all the rain and humidity, the last peach was starting come under insect attack. It didn't look ready but it was just right, even better than the first one which was a little overripe. Can't wait until next year when we should have more than two. There are also two tiny little figs on my tiny little fig tree, but I can't see them ripening this year - so I've been getting the odd lot of figs from the shop up the road. Some beautiful white figs which I made into a fig and almond tart with chocolate and orange. It was very special and I might try a similar approach with pears. And Black and Greens dark, dark chocolate. Safeway had Black and Greens on special for $1.99 a packet the other week and over a fortnight or so we tried each flavour. I don't think I can ever go back to Cadburys now. Maybe we'll just have it on Tuesday night (Big Love ). Or maybe on Friday night (Breaking Bad)


So yeah, I've been cooking up a storm. I seem to have my cooking mojo back. We've had sweet potato gnocci. Beetroot dip, chocolate and beetroot cake.Anzac biscuits. A ridiculously easy banana bread that I made one day when Gerard talked me into using up the bananas that were about to get up and walk out of the fruit bowl all by themselves (if I ever write up the recipe it will be called can't be stuffed banana bread). Stuffed peppers. New and exciting variations on the tofu burger (no, I am not being sarcastic). Poached figs. Vegetable tart with this sour cream pastry recipe. The pastry that has made me believe that I can make pastry - even without a food processor. Yep, I've been inspired. 

I think some of it has to do with wanting to get through the veggie box and there's been a slight shift in my attitude to food. The medication I'm on makes it even easier than usual to put on weight, sweet carbohydrates are more attractive than ever and it tends to increase the don't care factor. It also slows your metabolism a bit. So if you tend to be big anyway, well you're probably just going to get bigger. And to make matters worse, I was having, as the psychiatrist would say, a low mood. Over a pretty long time. Coupled with a lack of energy, making it hard to do everything I wanted. So all these things go round in a circle and basically you feel like shit. And we got stuck in a pasta rut, supplemented with too much crappy chocolate. The psychiatrist (who I avoid talking about my food issues with - but that is a whole other post) wanted me to add some anti-depressants to the mix but I was pretty hesitant about that. So after Christmas we reduced my medication a fraction. And it's been fantastic. I have more energy, I feel as though I've gained quite a few IQ points, I'm getting more done. And paradoxically I'm sleeping better. Oh, and I did my first yoga class in five years and it was great. It was hard but I can't wait to go back. So yeah, it's all good.

fig and almond tart

The other thing that happened, and this is particularly relevant to the cooking and eating bit, after I started to feel a bit better, I read this - Eat food. Stuff you like. As much as you want. Then I went and poked around the Ellyn Satter site. And light bulbs just went off everywhere. So I've been making more of an effort with the meals I put on the table. Making more of the food I like, that we like. Not stressing about it all so much.  And guess what? I'm eating better than I have for ages. More ordered eating. More fun cooking. Yet another win. I'm still fat, but don't feel so dreary about it. In fact I've thought less and less about it. And more about doing things. Yes indeed.

Oh, and I have my computer back. It's lovely to be back at my desk. It feels like home. 


Laura said...

HI Janet, I'm so glad you've got some cooking mojo back.
I'm also pleased to hear you are responding well to LESS meds and feel less foggy. Feeling foggy through meds sucks.
Thanks for the link about eating what you like. Like you I am on the cuddly side (oh who am I kidding, I am a size 20-22, have been for years! And I wear SEQUINS, so THERE!!!) and I feel lately - with a few health issues raising their head- that I should lose weight. Sigh. I am trying to eat healthily, nearly everything is low-fat, I eat variety, but if I could just eat smaller portions and, um, exercise more (dammit, oh the pain) then I would be fine.
I DO however have the attitude that if I WANT cake then I shall eat it, just have less of something else instead.
Roll on autumn, when it will be cool enough to cook properly.

Mary said...

Yes lots for me to think about here too. I am on the good old Jenny Craig wagon, mainly because I need to lose that great roll of fat sitting near my heart.
The irony is that I am cooking more vegetables, more creatively, than I have for a long time. And it is that which I hope to carry forward once the weight is gone.

victoria said...

I really enjoy it when you muse on food, eating and cooking.
p.s. Having recently developed an interest in old solid colored plates, I admire that blue one.

Susan said...

Oh, my favourite peaches are Golden Queen. Grown for commercial tinned fruit, and if you bottle them they are disturbingly like Ardmona etc tinned peaches (the kids love them like this, sigh). Eaten fresh they're sensational, I love them, have been known to eat a dozen a day, because they were succumbing to the rot, you know.
The photo of the figs on the green bowl is just splendid.
Thanks for the links. Especially like the variation on Michael Pollan's, "Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much" = "Eat food. Stuff You Like. As much As You Want." Unfortunately, my fatness isn't caused by food (bugger).
It's good you've had some success tweaking your meds. A small tweak can make a big difference sometimes.
And it was a buzz to run into you at Brunswick Music Festival the other weekend, if only briefly.
Cheers, Sue

Di said...

Great to find your cooking mojo again- sometimes we don't realise what we're lacking until we get it back! It's wonderful sometimes, what benefits little shifts and changes can bring.