Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Like Watching Paint Dry

Losing weight is an extremely dull endeavor. The sheer mind space it involves is maddeningly tedious. It’s not rocket science, but you need to pay attention to make sure that calories burned exceeds calories consumed and holy keee-rap, Batman, it is bo-ring.

It’s boring to think: “Don’t eat that cookie. Don’t eat that cookie. I SAID don’t eat that cookie.” However appealing the cookie may be, it’s just not riveting internal dialogue. And when you are as fond of breakfast pastries, cakes, and cookies as I am, there's gonna be alotta dull internal dialogue — expecially now, since I’m trying to shed some weight. It's predictably tiresome, and even I, who am the one who will benefit (well, hopefully), struggle to be interested in it.

There's an awful lot of fairly boring lean protein, the sort of protein one is generally exhorted to eat when trying to be less dumpy (seriously? Steamed skinless boneless chicken breasts? With a little lemon to "add flavor?" That'd catapult me off the weight-loss wagon and straight to elastic-waist pants). Fortunately for me, I live in the Pacific Northwest, and have access to unbelievably good seafood (lean protein!) and, as an extra bonus, terrific produce. Sorry. That came out a bit gloatier than I meant it to.

Salmon is touted as all kinds of great by nutritionists. I don't dispute that. But I can't help but wonder when I read about nutritionists and diet gurus touting salmon's benefits: do they realize how expensive it is when they suggest you eat it several times a week? I’m in Seattle, which has a lot of salmon, and wild salmon often runs $20 to $40 a pound. So, sure, it’s great, and great for you, but it’s also pricey, even if you serve small portions of it. But today? We filed our taxes. Curly’s ear infection (which cropped up as a nice little Happy Easter! this weekend) appears to be on the retreat. It was a sunny afternoon. The cherry trees and magnolias are in soft, full bloom. All that seemed like enough reasons for a splurge.

And after much slicing of carrots, fennel and radishes, I had a couple of salads to accompany my broiled salmon with green olive and lemon relish.

Yes, I know I could get a mandolin to speed up the slicing, but a mini finger guillotine is not for me. Please remember that I forget things in the broiler until they’re on fire. Regularly. Do you really think I’ll remember to have laser-focus on the mandoline while I’m using it? I don’t. I like my fingers fully attached, thanks, and I do have a friend who lost the top of a finger (one she liked, even) to a mandolin. She pays more attention to what she’s doing in the kitchen than I do.

Anyway, if the talk of severed finger ends didn't make you stop reading, it all looks pretty and healthy, doesn’t it? And it was pretty damn scrumptious, if I do say so myself.

But what about the keeeeds, you might ask? My boy does NOT need to lose weight and neither does Curly (good rule of thumb: all ribs visible and/or a well-defined six pack equals no need to lose weight). No reduced caloric intake for the kids. Cheese is an important part of their diet. And it has been part of mine, which may be part of the reason that I am now looking to shed some weight. That and the peanut butter sandwich cookies from the Dahlia Bakery.

So I toasted them some bread (the broiler was on anyway, for the salmon, and I managed not to burn anything past recognition), made some aioli (the green olive relish was not their thing, and I didn’t expect it to be- they're in grade school fercryinoutloud), and that way, the kids had starch to fill things out, and with the home-made mayo to bulk up the calorie count. Everyone wins!

Except maybe me. As good as it was, I’d really like a cookie. Or five.


cook eat FRET said...

i like to read about your food and it's been seemingly AGES.

Meg said...

it has been a while, I guess. Weirdly, I've been cooking a ton more new things... just not writing about it.