You Are What You Eat

I hope that isn’t true, otherwise I’m a brownish, round disc made of puffed rice covered in Philadelphia light cream cheese…….(other brands of dairy spreads are available folks!)

Yes, this week I have been mostly eating rice crackers. Do I like them, yes I do, but I’ve had crackerbread for breakfast, rice crackers for lunch and it’s fair to say I’ve definitely hit the cracker wall!  You can have too much of a good thing and right now, Pip the cat’s treats are looking mighty tempting!

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Whilst I am protesting, I have to admit that I’m addicted to these Kallo made things. I love the smoked paprika ones particularly and I also like the chilli ones. They also make fantastic Torenisi breadsticks which I can’t buy unless I embark on a bus based voyage to Knutsford to a certain supermarket which is the only place that stocks them. It’s worth it though as they are damned tasty and suprisingly less fatty/carby than other snacks.

You might have guessed that I’m on a health kick. I’m hitting the gym hard three times a week, walking everywhere when I could catch a bus and generally trying to lose some weight and get fitter.

I can cope with the gym but it’s the times when I want some crisps or something sweet that really hit me. I’ve not got a massive sweet tooth but I could eat my own bodyweight in Walkers Cheese and Onion crisps. I can take or leave sweets or chocolate, but I can hear the rattle of a crisp based product packet from miles away.

My absolute favourite at the moment are Penn State Sour Cream and Chive Pretzels. I love these twisted little treats, but again you can only buy them in certain places. That’s probably not a bad thing or I’d be 20 stone by now!

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I can usually contain my hunger, however, I have to confess that I was once so desperate for something to eat on the way home from work that I ate some Strepsils that were in the glove compartment of the car.

Next week I’m thinking of embarking on a healthy soup making marathon, this will add some variety to my diet whilst not undoing the good work I’ve already done. I love cooking so this shouldn’t be a problem. I’m thinking of a Thai type of soup without too much coconut milk, something good, fiery hot and tasty.

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I do have a soup based confession to share with you, which I am slightly ashamed to admit, but at the same time I’m pretty proud of my revenge strategy!

Back in 1980, I worked in a very swanky hairdressers. They had a salon on King Street in Manchester and one on Wilmslow Road in Rusholme. I was on a Youth Training Scheme and worked at the Rusholme salon.

Being a hairdressing junior isn’t much fun, you get to go and collect dry cleaning for the stylists, fetch lunch, and even fetch them from the pub when their client has arrived but they can’t be found. It wasn’t the best time of my life but it was an experience, which is fine.

There was a lady there who shall remain nameless, but she was the owner’s sister. Let’s call her Gill.  Gill was quite nice to me, always friendly and I used to do jobs for her when I wasn’t busy. Gill ran the beauty salon above the hairdressers and she offered the usual treatments and leg waxing.

I came into work one Monday morning and Gill presented me with a bucket and a Brillo pad. Not the standard equipment for hairdressers or so I thought, so I wondered what was going on. After seeing the bemused look on my face, she explained I was to go upstairs, fill the bucket with soapy water and use the Brillo to scrape the used leg/bikini wax off the lino in the treatment room. Yes, my task for the day was to remove waxy excess pubes from the floor without the aid of gloves.

Now I wasn’t one to complain, though I didn’t think this was part of my job description so I set about my task, gagging slightly when a particularly large clump was found near the waste bin. It took me ages and by the time I’d finished, my hands were shrivelled from the water and I had bits of Brillo stuck in my fingers.

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The days passed and I wasn’t asked to do anything else unpleasant and I must have done a good job as Gill took to making me special sandwiches for lunch and generally being quite nice to me. I was still a bit miffed to be honest and I wasn’t best pleased when one day she thrust a shopping list into my hand, telling me I was spending the afternoon making soup for when the ladies had finished the yoga class she was running.

Now this was a bit worrying for me, I was sixteen  years old and I’d last  made soup at school about four years earlier. I didn’t even have a recipe to follow, I was just told to buy enough of the stuff on the list for eight people, cook it, then use the blender to make it look well….soupy.

Off I went to the supermarket across the road, gathering a mountain of potatoes, leeks and onions and a box of stock cubes. I was quite pleased with myself and I came back, trudging through the salon, up the stairs and into the little kitchen to start my task.

I washed the spuds, chopped the leeks and onions and there was a pile of veg the size of Snowden on the kitchen counter. I started to panic thinking I’d bought way too much, expecting to be chastised for wasting so much food.  I scooped the amount of spuds I though I’d need into a pan, and threw the rest into the bin in the leg waxing area of the beauty salon. I put a generous amount of leeks and onions into another pan and the leftovers suffered the same fate as the potatoes.

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About thirty minutes later when the potatoes were cooked, I realized that the amount in the pan would maybe feed a small colony of rats, but certainly wouldn’t feed eight women who’d just sweated their way through a yoga class, hell bent on eating as much soup as they could manage.

I started to panic, I had no money left to go back to the shops and I was running out of time. I was really worried about incurring the wrath of Gill, then I had a genius idea to solve my predicament.  I went to the leg wax bin, took off the lid, and fished out every little bit of discarded veg, carefully brushing off the nasty bits from the potatoes where they had gone deeper into the bin.

Quickly I boiled and fried the rest of the veg, shoved it with the initial batch and blended it together after adding the stock. I didn’t want to taste it for obvious reasons, though I didn’t really have a choice, and to my amazement it was bloody lovely!

By this time it was seven o’clock and I was desperate to get home, so I shoved it back in the pot, quickly set the table, grabbed my coat and legged it!

When I came in the next day, Gill was all smiles telling me how much the ladies had enjoyed the soup and how special it tasted!

They say revenge is a dish best served cold; I never meant it to be revenge, but if it was, it was served in a soup bowl!

 

 

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