The Pleasure Principle

I am a bit of a hedonist and I have always found a lot of pleasure in eating lovely tasting food and yet I’ve never really been someone who regularly cooked. I could, I just didn’t. Especially when working late. Now that we have changed our lives I get pleasure from cooking when I have time to do so at my leisure and sometimes food is eaten only for function and sustenance, not to bring pleasure. For example breakfast is plain full fat yogurt with seeds, a few nuts and a tsp. of honey. Not the pleasure of a muffin, but it’s only a meal.  

Lunch is usually a few bits from the previous night’s dinner or sometimes just a few slices of cheese, cucumber or olives. It’s just a few nibbles as the fat of the yogurt satiates my appetite. It’s completely a different way of eating. 

And it’s still slowly paying off, I am 13kgs down so far. That is 28.6 pounds in U.S. Mom. 😀

I do miss going to the tasting menus we frequently used to enjoy. I miss elegant food. My own food is never about appearance, it’s all about taste.

Tuesday I was told that I am being assigned to a new project which is based on the opposite side of town, miles away. It will add an extra half hour each way to my already long, stressful drive. 


Apparently Cape Town has the worst traffic in the country. 

   

So due to that bad news conversation on Tuesday night I was home late from work but as soon as I got in I got stuck into the pork roast that had been in the slow cooker for 24 hours. It just fell off the bone and I easily shredded it. I had been wanting to try these provolone cheese taco shells. I hadn’t had the cheese pre-sliced which was a big mistake.

  
I tried everything, even an electric carving knife in my attempts to get thin, even slices but I had no success. I baked til I thought it was ready.

  
I didn’t leave them all in the oven long enough though so some were a bit dodgy. But I managed to feed us. It tasted pretty good.

  

Wednesday I was also home late and couldn’t start cooking until I had driven Cordelia home so I quickly threw together our dinner. I fried some mushrooms in garlic butter and cut up the half beef fillet, put the steaks in a bowl and rubbed with olive oil, Worcestshire sauce, garlic and pepper to marinade. I stir fried some baby spinach and steamed some broccoli. 
  
Once the mushrooms were nicely brown, I added a container of cream to the hot pan of mushrooms and brown butter, as well as a tiny bit of grated cheddar and a spoon of Dijon mustard. It was delicious! The steaks from Woolies were soft like butter.

The next day I had the left over steak sliced thin with cheese, cucumber and olives.

Thursday this week was World Health Day. Coincidentally it was all about targeting the conquering of Diabetes. 

  
If I hadn’t got this weight off and instead had continued to gain more weight then diabetes could have been my destiny. I intend to go soon to have my blood pressure and cholesterol tested to see what impact my diet has had on either as both were elevated before my weight loss.

Traffic is back to being busy now that schools are all back and everyone has returned to work. Tuesday I decided I would leave work at 4 in order to be home to deal with all my responsibilities. I hit traffic quickly and by the time I got onto New Church it was chockablock and not moving.

When I got to Rafikis I saw the road up Table Mountain was blocked by a police car. Beyond was the portal to hell.

  
Allegedly the driver of the Dump Truck was unlicensed. BTW – What do you call that type of truck lying on its side? My Scottish hubby calls it a Tipper Truck. In the U.S. it’s a dump truck. But in the UK the rubbish is taken to the ‘tip’ and in the U.S. it’s called the ‘dump’. I get confused with terms between all the places I’ve lived. 

Anyway. This guy wiped out a street. And I turned down a road that just stopped and did not move for ages. An hour and a half since I left the office and I’m then heading back to Sea Point. 

I drove for 2 hours to get home. It’s normally a 20 minute journey if it is not rush hour. 

Thursday I left work at 4 and came home to meet the dog walker. The lad who normally walks Navajo was busy so his brother came. He had never met Nav and complained about how Nav pulls. That’s the reason we have to have a dog walker if Norm’s unavailable as he is too strong for most women.

Navajo that is, not Norm. He’s a sweety.

I was very industrious, I made some soup from a bag of butternut that needed to be cooked.

  
 I also made the sauce for Friday’s lasagna and when Caitlin came home she cut up the zucchini and layered them with the sauce, ricotta and mozzarella. 

For that evening’s dinner I took the remainder of my shredded pork shoulder and added puréed onion, garlic and peppers, a bit of tomato purée and a bit of stock and added Mexican spices, cumin, paprika, chili powder and chopped chili. 

I was determined to master those Pecorino taco shells. Especially as I bought a crap load of that cheese. So I tried again as we also needed to finish off that Mexican flavoured meat. I concentrated more on the thinness of the slices the second time, rather than the thickness. I made the bits form circular patterns on the baking paper and baked til golden. I removed the tray, let them cool a second or two then carefully slid them onto a cutting board covered in foil which I had balanced on its side.

  
And after they cooled they hardened into cute little taco shells!

  
They are small so 2-3 per portion per person. I block of cheese fed 3 of us. 

I left work at 3.30 on Friday as I had done my 40 hours and I needed to shop for that evening. I got salad, garlic bread and a chocolate dessert for the kids. For myself I popped into Ice Dream in Hout Bay village for Banting Italian gelato. 

  
They only had chocolate so I bought a few liters of that for R140 per liter. Ice cream is normally about R45-50 for 2 liters. But the xylitol makes the price extreme. But it’s so worth it.

Friday evening Josh drove down from George and Caitlin’s friend Wes came over and we had the lasagna for dinner and all played Cards Against Humanity which is always such a laugh.

If you do not know the game, it is so non- PC. You draw a black card and read the card out to the group, then each player gives you a card face down and you then shuffle. You read them all and then pick the one you like best.

   
 
It can be hilarious.

Saturday started off rather abysmally. I woke to the sound of Navajo heaving and bolted out of bed. He was ill on the landing. I opened the balcony door so he ran outside and vomited again. In the first hour after I got out of bed I cleaned up 2 large ponds of dog vomit, washed the outside patio (due to aforementioned dog vomit), washed down 2 bloody trays from defrosting raw dog food, cut up a raw chicken carcass and a pile of raw liver, cleaned the kitchen and washed both Friday night’s dishes and a Pomeranian ass.

I live such a glamorous life.

Mzudumo arrived bright and early and I had to organize his breakfast and dinner while he sorted out the last few weeks overgrowth. He was impressed with how much the grass had revived and grown since the bout of rain. It hasn’t completely revived but it is not as brown.

  
I thought it was winter but this week turned hot again! Saturday was 31 degrees. Lily and Josh had friends around and hung out at back. 
I enjoyed having a relaxed day and it’s great having the kids and their friends  around. Caitlin went to the theatre and then her friend Annie came back with her to watch a movie. 

Later we got a take away from Asia Bay in Hout Bay. It wasn’t very nice. Meh. We desperately need a good Chinese restaurant in HB. We have loads of sushi places. We all just chilled out Saturday, it’s a decent telly night with Graham Norton and Saturday Night Live both on. 

Last night I saw on Facebook that a local woman had committed suicide. I had met her once or twice but didn’t really know her personally at all. She was due to be married yesterday but her fiancé had also recently committed suicide and her heart was broken. Such a tragic story, now her children will have to survive without either of them to guide them. That is yet another hanging linked to someone we know, I went 50 years without hearing of a single hanging and now they occur so frequently, unlike an overdose it is  so final and full of despair. I do understand that desperation, I have been there. I hope that none of my loved ones ever feel that level of darkness. I wish protection over the souls of this woman’s 2 young children. My heart breaks for them. Their destiny is changed forever.

RIP C.

Today Josh drove back to George after he and Lily went through to collect the secondhand couch they bought in Stellenbosch. They tied it to the back of his truck and he Clampetted off up the motorway.

  
Today I did a big grocery shop for the week. I stopped for brekkie at Allegria Cafe at Mainstream Mall. 

  
Photo from their FB page.

I ordered a latte and the waitress disappeared briskly off and was gone for ages. She eventually brought it and apologized about how long it took. I ordered my usual choice of Eggs Benedict with bacon.

  
I asked for soft eggs and well done bacon. It arrived quite quickly, especially in comparison to the time it took to fetch the latte. I removed the sourdough bread and got stuck in, it was after 12 and I was ravenous. The eggs were almost well done, not at all liquid and the hollandaise needed more lemon. It was about a 3,5 in comparison to The Riverway Cafe, my current leader in the local Eggs Benedict Championships. 

  
I finished all my chores and Lily and I intend to relax for the rest of the day. It’s boiling hot and gorgeous outside. We are parked off in front of a fan and the Crime Channel. 

Happy days.

I hope you enjoy the remainder of your weekend. 

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One thought on “The Pleasure Principle

  1. Pingback: Holiday Squared | Kitten in the City

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