> New Jersey Transit 17.37 to Morristown, NJ <
At the risk of serving anyone rotund with too large a portion of displeasure, I’m happy to report a recent spurt of weight loss. The best and most surprising kind, at that: one wholly unrelated to any amount of effort on my part. Yes, I still carry about me the suggestion of a paunch – but it’s very much a paunch diminished, one almost embarrassed to protrude at all.
Given that I don’t in any way, shape or form ‘watch what I eat,’ and that I know my way around a gym about as well as I do the nether regions of a porcupine, I can only surmise that I’m one lucky shit. (An accomplished shitter too, presumably.) It seems I don’t have to work at keeping the weight down, I merely have to work. Getting up early, getting there and getting back – job done. So to speak.
All of which has me happily scoffing down my food again. Probably about as much as before, really, but newly unencumbered by the tightening of belts. While the going’s still good, then, a level tablespoon of recent food discoveries:
* Kohlrabi is an odd looking vegetable with an even odder name. But it’s also, as I was hoping it would be, a fair substitute for celeriac. It tastes like a less exciting parsnip. In other particulars, though, is surely more exotic.
* Bacon wrapped around a sausage is such a perfect combination, it scarcely even matters if the sausage in question is American. (I don’t think everything European is automatically superior but here, as with all forms of cheese, there’s surely no argument to have…) With an equal mixing of maple syrup and wholegrain mustard, it’s somehow even better.
* It’s touristy and gluttonous, but, just the same, a trip to rival cheesestake emporiums Gino’s and Pat’s really does make a day-trip to Philadelphia many times more memorable. Both were delicious, both involved a very long wait in line, and both felt like an authentically old-fashioned thrill: meat, salt, cheese, bread, nothing more, nothing less. Comparing was hot work in 100-degree heat… but you do what you must. The better cheesestake? Gino’s, I’d suggest – but only for a reason quite possibly particular to me: at Pat’s there was a surfeit of meat. (For more exhaustive detail, I simply have to point you here.)
* Two Fat Ladies, the old British cooking show now doing the rounds again on the Cooking Network, is just about as compelling as TV gets. I’m hopelessly addicted. To our ladies’ unforced eccentricities. To the liberal lashings of anachronistic fat. And to the teasing glimpses of an older Britain still just about preserved. It’s familiar enough to be comforting, yet is also sufficiently odd to reward great, heaping measures of unexpected intrigue. What lives have these two women led? What palettes have they roused, with their terrines full of oft-neglected meats, their rugged pastries and their wild berry compotes? And how, alas, can our dumb world still make more room for a Rachel Ray than it ever would for them?