Week Twenty Six – Half a Year

Wow – I have been dieting for half a year. If I am honest then I have probably been dieting for three months spread out over six. I still avoid the biscuit tin at work and we are trying to ensure that we don’t succumb to temptation by not putting anything that might tempt us in the shopping trolley but we also have been trying to enjoy ourselves along the way. Oddly this enjoying ourselves has meant that we have been going out more than we did before we started going to Fat Club. I am still not sure if we are going out more as a way to avoid eating diet foot or, as I said a few weeks ago, I have started reading lots of food blogs and seeing all the nice things there are to eat and the lovely places there are to eat them in. This week I only managed to lose half a pound and even then I think the only reason that it registered was because they have some new scales which now register half pounds.

I am not a great fan of celebrity culture or reality television. I like my music stars to have spent years rehearsing in their dad’s garage, working days in a tyre factory to put food on the table while playing gigs that hardly pay enough to replace the petrol in the transit that the drummer borrowed from his boss. When they sing I like to be able to hear emotion not some tech adjusting an Auto-Tune. I like them to have put practice, hard work and talent as well as their heart and soul into their songs.

So I don’t like things like X Factor. Or Big Brother. Or that thing where that bloke gets lots of free publicity for his next stage production.

There is, however, an exception to my disdain for reality TV: MasterChef (except the Celebrity version which I avoid). I know it is edited and narrated to enhance the drama but I can’t help liking it. I could never go on it myself as I would probably cut off several thumbs with nerves but I like to sit and work out what I would do with this bag of ingredients or that. I accept it is probably hypocritical of me in light of what I have said about X Factor but I do think the finalists for the 2010 series deserved their fame. And it was because of this that when Food Blogger Alex announced that he, Children’s Doctor Tim and New Dad Dhruv would be taking over Meza for a fortnight I was one of the first to book.

I would like to think I was vindicated by the sheer quality of the food. Watching on television you can guess how something will taste but until you have the dish in front of you a cooking programme will never be more than some prettily arranged pixels. The food was cooked to a very high standard and tasted every bit as good as it had looked on TV. I have to admit that I was a little star struck by Tim Kinnaird when he walked around the restaurant chatting to the diners. I am only glad that we managed to get out before Debbie embarrassed herself by drooling over Alex.

Debbie has been working at home this week so I have been making soup for two. She mentioned that her work’s canteen had served a curried vegetable soup that reminded her of the sort of curries she had had as a child. I think that there is, amongst people over a certain age, an association of curry as something slightly spicy served with fruit (my sister in law makes a veggie curry served with sliced banana which is the only time I will eat the curved fruit of the Devil). A combination of Vesta dried curry boxes and the only take away being the Chinese has led to a nostalgia for a sweetish curry sauce. I tried to emulate that in this soup. You can use any vegetables really as long as you have a good base of onion carrots and celery.

Curried Vegetable Soup

1 Onion, chopped
2 Sticks Celery,chopped
2 Large carrots,chopped
1/2 Head of cauliflower, chopped
1 Parsnip, chopped
1/2 Celeriac, chopped
Small Handful Sultanas
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric
Stock or water

Sweat the onion, celery and carrots until soft then add the rest of vegetables and cook for a few minutes. Grind the spices after dry frying and add to the veg. Add the stock/water and the sultanas. Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetable are all cooked. Blend until smooth then pass through a sieve.

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