I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to lose some weight.
Nothing too drastic—maybe cutting pork pies out of my diet, or restricting myself to one pudding per meal, or drinking more tonic that gin…
I’ve been in denial about the gentle weight gain that’s a by-product of this blog—convincing myself that the tightening of jeans was down to my poor grasp of washing machine settings rather than my exceptionally ‘healthy’ appetite.
But I was forced to face the few extra pounds head-on a couple of months ago. I popped by to visit my granddad who, on opening the door, frog-marched me to his scales, stood me on them and promptly announced I was overweight.
Over the last 25 years I’ve learned to take most of what my grandad says and does with a pinch of salt, so I wasn’t especially upset. Though the incident did register enough for me to investigate the reason for behind this specific ambush.
Sure enough, it transpired that mum had been on another weight campaign with Lucy (Grandad’s particularly beautiful, though undeniably plump golden retriever). Whenever granddad and Lucy visited, she was ceremoniously placed her on the scales, declared fat and her dinner had been rationed.
This makes granddad very angry. There aren’t many things worse than insulting another man’s dog. So, the obvious revenge, (obvious to grandad anyway) was to insult mum’s daughter in return. Me. (—there’s no way that mum’s dog could classify as overweight, so I guess I was next in the firing line).
Well, there’s nothing I like more than disagreeing with granddad. But on this occasion, he did have a bit of a point. So the idea began to creep into my mind that maybe I should be a little more selective about what I eat (it’s too cold to exercise).
This would be a super plan if I had even a smidgen of restraint. But I don’t. And it’s coming up to Christmas so my body needs to hoard fat stores to get me through the winter (especially as I still can’t work my heating—as mentioned in a previous post…incidentally, I’m disappointed that nobody’s taken the hint and come and shown me how to switch it on yet.)
So, the punch line to this post is that I don’t really care enough. The punishment’s not worth the prize. Life’s too short not to eat puddings, et cetera.
…which is why I made a beautiful little batch of sticky toffee puddings last week. And I’ve eaten three. Yes granddad, if you read this, I’ve eaten three. So I suppose the only fair thing to do is to go and make Lucy some too…
150g caster sugar
2 beaten eggs
175g self-raising flour
175g stoned and chopped dates
175ml boiling water
½ teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional)
2 teaspoons of coffee essence (optional)
¾ teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
(for the sauce)
175g soft brown sugar
6 tablespoons of double cream
Pour the boiling water into a measuring jug, then add the dates, vanilla and coffee essence then the bicarbonate of soda. Put to one side.
Meanwhile, cream together the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl until it starts to turn pale and fluffy. Add two eggs, then fold in the sifted flour with a metal spoon.
Add the watery-date mixture, and stir gently to make sure that it’s evenly mixed in. At this point everything will look unappetizingly brown and sloppy, but don’t worry—it’ll look beautiful very soon.
Spoon the mixture into muffin moulds and pop into an oven at 180C for 25 minutes. In the meantime, put the butter, cream and brown sugar into a pan and stir cover a low-medium heat until it comes together as a dark, rich toffee sauce.