[See end of blog for complete list of my ten commandments.]
So day 24. Resolutions are going ok. I have been mulling over the creation of a longer term challenge regime, to tie me over for the lockdown. I haven’t come up with anything, but I have realised that whatever I decide to do next, I need to build in a ‘break day’. Funnily enough, I am not an Olympian.
What else have I learned?
I’ve learned that you should read the entire of a recipe the day before you cook it. This helps with sneaky-snake lines such as “put in fridge overnight”. I was very surprised at the number of instructions that require half-made food to sit aside for at least one hour and I’ve been caught out several times. Kids can’t really wait an extra hour the way adults can.
I’ve learned that Mrs Berry writes the ingredients in the order they are used. Knowing this should reduce future incidents of accidentally putting wrong bits in the bowl; shouting “oh fuck” and then trying to separate.
I’ve learned that if I simply stick steadfastly, like Boris to Brexit, to the actual instructions, adhering to every single little comment, comma and full stop; with no additions, subtractions or substitutions; then I can produce miracles – if miracles are fairly average plates of edible food.
I’ve learned that less is more. I used to have a habit of chucking loads of herbs into pots. Why use one when I have a whole rack I rarely touch? Mrs. Berry is teaching me that one herb, used effectively, does the work of dozens.
I’ve learned that I can tolerate a fairly rich, luxurious diet and lose weight, as long as I don’t eat after 7pm at night and also go for a walk or a run every day.
I’ve learned that I hate going for a walk or a run every single day.
I’ve learned that cooking fancy things every day for a novice who also has two small children to homeschool and to whom I need to give at least one hour of physical outdoor activity, a house to keep clean, a walk to go on, washing to do etc, was as ridiculous as if Mrs. Berry herself said she’d like to give heart surgery a bash for a month. It was nonsensical. In fairness to my naivety, I had not a clue into what I was getting myself. I know now. Much like Boris, I will marshal on to the bitter end. And much like Boris, next month I shall be a lot kinder to myself.
All that whinging aside, I have decided to go all out for the last week with a plan that includes duck and quail’s eggs and all sorts of crazy overly confident dishes. Dream big, that’s what they say! Wee hee heeeeee..
Below are my latest works of art:
Day 22 – Figgy Seeded Bites – pg 328
Day 23 – Salmon Fillet with Tarragon Butter Sauce – pg 192
Day 24 – Lemon Meringue Pie – pg 272
Ten things I commit to do daily for 30 days:
- No booze (except that used in cooking)
- Meditate for ten minutes
- Follow the literary diet https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/dec/27/feed-your-soul-the-31-day-literary-diet-for-january-2021-culture-books
- Go for a run or a walk
- Cook something new – either a new recipe from my new Mary Berry cook book or else just something I’ve never cooked before
- No crisps
- Clean the kitchen every evening (sometimes I get lazy and leave stuff til the next day…)
- Do at least 5 sun salutations every morning
- Go through my phone every evening to make sure I have replied to all the whatsapps and texts I got that day
- No eating after 7pm (except Fridays and Saturdays – when else could I get my chocolate fix in except when kids are in bed?)