Thursday, August 07, 2008

Food fear

I've gained about 12 pounds since I turned 50 - sometimes I look in the mirror and feel like I am dissolving into fat. Most of the time I try to ignore it, but most of the time I fail miserably, so I spend most of the time feeling bad about myself - no other success I achieve can negate the fact that I have somehow failed to control my own weight. Maybe I should try the South Seattle No-Belly Diet, but I'm afraid it won't work for me, because, in addition to the meal plan specified at the web site, in order to really lose weight, ideally dieters on the regimen should bicycle at least 50 miles per week - more is better - and practice yoga for about an hour almost every day.

Yesterday morning I felt pretty slender, but by nighfall when I got undressed to shower, to myself, anyhow, I looked like the Venus of Willendorf.

Earlier in the day, I bought a basket of fresh apricots. Usually a purchase like that gets me I am drooling over recipes for making fresh apricot tarts, adding butter and sugar and almond paste, maybe cream - muttering to myself, "oh, yeah, it's fine for you [California-based recipe writer's name goes here] to come up with a recipe for fresh apricots that you can get all the time". Today, in food fear mode, I am instead trawling for recipes that can somehow preserve the apricots, to be eaten in more healthful food combinations, with yogurt, or maybe grilled meats.

I am kind of taken with the idea of apricot chutney, but the 2 recipes I've looked at so far both want you to add fresh mint and/or lime juice at the last minute, and that doesn't jive so well with my notion of preserving ... and I have made a perfectly good chutney from dried apricots.

I flirted briefly with the apricot butter recipe from the NYT last Sunday, but it wants 4 pounds of apricots, and I only have 2, and besides, it sounds messy and a little dangerous - the instructions say to wear mitt-type hot pads, to protect your arms from molten apricot splatters.

I think I am going to go with poaching them in a light syrup with honey - they'll keep in the fridge for a long time that way, although I will be risking the temptation to pair the apricots with vanilla ice cream (caramel, mmm, little sprinkle of granola, crystalized ginger ...), not to mention the looming pitfall, in poaching as a preparation, of taking fresh apricots and turning them into something strongly resembling the canned variety.

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