Thursday, 30 January 2014

Return to the Drunken Duck

January is so unremittingly grey, isn’t it?  I don’t suppose it helps that I work for the civil service, whose favoured decorating choice of gruel tones matches the current sky exactly.  But the lack of sunshine is beginning to drag – I’ve even taken to swigging a foul tasting iron and vitamin supplement every morning in an attempt to perk myself up.
D and I decided that a brief escape somewhere was entirely necessary to soothe away our January blues.  We first visited The Drunken Duck in Ambleside last year on our way to L’Enclume, and, on the strength of a very decent lunch, identified it as a place to which it would be prudent to return.  It turns out that they offer exceptionally reasonable midweek deals and so it was Monday morning found us striking out for the Lake District instead of heading into the office.  Hurrah.

Whilst (being a fully paid up tea drinking typical Englishperson) money is not an area that I like to dwell on too much on this blog, I really do have to marvel at the incredible value offered by the Duck on this occasion. For two hundred and fifty of your English pounds the two of us got not only bed, breakfast and evening meal but lavish afternoon tea on arrival and lunch before departure, arriving home as plumptiously well fed as a couple of foie gras geese (as sadly confirmed by the Scales of Doom the following day).  The quality throughout was unfailingly good – perhaps not haute cuisine but rather warm, generous, heartfelt, extremely accomplished comfort food all served up in a breathtakingly beautiful location.  And there was a pub cat called Dotty who curled up in front of the fire with us while we indulged in a post dinner single malt.  I think there is a room in Heaven that looks a bit like that.

Food wise, as I said, all good.  Afternoon tea, consisting of sandwiches, scones and a variety of cake, was fabulous with passion fruit and chocolate macarons being particular highlights and an appropriately lavish amount of cream arriving to smear on the scones.  I was also gratified to see the delicately trimmed crustless sandwiches.  It's just not afternoon tea if there are crusts.
Dinner was also excellent.  Our stand out dish of the evening was a kipper scotch egg with brown sauce – a stroke of absolute genius, perfectly executed. 

We shared roast duck for a main course.  The leg, in particular, was intensely flavoursome.  The breast could have been a little pinker for our tastes but it was still crispy skinned and succulent and the accompanying honey roast parsnips were positively ambrosial.

Even our greed has its limits and so we opted to share a dessert – Arctic roll with plums and pink peppercorn meringues.  A good reimagining of a childhood favourite and those fiery little meringues were an interesting addition.

The feeding by no means ended there – we waddled down for breakfast the next morning where we forced (forced, I tell you) ourselves to partake of Eggs Benedict and pancakes with bacon and maple syrup respectively – it simply would have been rude not to do so.  I was all for hunkering down in the lounge with a book at this point but we both felt that it would be a shame to come to the Lakes and not partake of some fresh air – albeit with a side order of drizzle.  So we donned waterproofs and went for a plod around Ambleside.  Which appears to completely shut down in January. 

And then we were back to the Duck for lunch.  I was struggling at this point – four months of Weight Watching has reduced my capacity for gluttony considerably but I (wo)manned up and got stuck in to an absolutely gorgeous smoked haddock and Lancashire soufflé which was feathery enough to allow me to pretend that it was a light option, but, in reality, cheesy enough to be a fitting final hurrah of indulgence.  D opted for cod with Indian spices which looked and smelled excellent.  We turned down pudding regretfully – I had the scales to think about and D had to drive back to Leeds with no time for an afternoon snooze. 
I guess it is a real measure of how much we liked it that we started talking about our next visit before we had even left the car park.  We plan to maybe stay a bit longer, research some proper country walks (mainly to build up decent appetites) and continue our on going although sporadic quest to discover if the centre of Ambleside has a decent pub.  The Drunken Duck is an absolute dream of a little bolthole and definitely succeeded in brightening January’s last few dark days.

And, anyway, I want to spend some more quality time with Dotty.
The Drunken Duck Inn
LA22 0NG

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

First bump in the road

Weeks 1-17: -34.5lbs
This week: +0.5lbs
Total loss: 34lbs

So, the inevitable happened and today, for the first time since getting my WW groove back at the end of September, my weigh in card has a gain recorded on it.

That it was a fair result, there is no question. We spent most of Monday and a good portion of yesterday overindulging in the Lake District in a beat-the-January-blues mini break. There was no time to pull it back and the relative paucity of the gain speaks volumes for my efforts earlier in the week.

I am also going to pat myself on the back for going along to the meeting at all, knowing full well what the result was likely to be. Certainly in the past I would have been guilty of skipping it. Well done me.

But, of course, there is a slight pang of disappointment at the end of my losing streak. And what Lesley would call the crooked thinking begins to creep in – the “you might as well have one more night off” type of impulse. I am not yet finding it easy to be spurred on by failure, I am a natural sulker and wallower. But, this is a journey and not one that is likely to be short or easy or straight lined. Next week I want to come on here and write that I laughed in the face of defeat and zipped on into that new stone bracket (a pound and a half away now). And I think, I think that I want it more than I want to indulge in further off-piste eating.

Monday, 27 January 2014

MPM: 27th January 2014

I am so enjoying my day to day food at the moment.  As someone who writes what purports to be a foodie blog you’d have thought that was a given.  But I fell a bit out of love with cooking and meal planning in 2013 and it’s lovely to have it back as part of the regular routine.  It is also lovely to be looking forward to all of the yummy things that I am going to be eating in any given week – although possibly slightly sad that on a Monday morning I am already salivating at the thought of my Saturday supper!
And, having rhapsodised about rediscovering a love of home cooking, two evenings out of seven this week we are eating out.  Well, I am nothing if not inconsistent. 
So, in vague order...
Surprise Tatin (leftovers from Sunday night), salad
An obligatory soup night
A curry night.  I’m cooking a couple of old favourites that I’ve posted on the blog: cumin spiced chicken and a simple, zero point mushroom curry as well as a shallow fried version of these spiced potato “burgers”  
Steamed buns (a la Momofuku) with spicy prawn patties
Pappardelle with butternut squash and chanterelle mushrooms
As always, more meal planning fun over at Mrs M’s.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

This time last month...

I can’t believe it is one month since Christmas Day, when I was presented with a New York guidebook in a box.  One month since I discovered, via a series of obscure clues, that my New York based general knowledge is utterly pitiful.  Although would anyone here have known who Allen Stewart Konigsberg was?
I’ve primarily talked on here about some of the meals we had.  My thoughts on New York itself are…well.  I’m not quite sure.  It is a wonderful city, and one to which I would (I will) return again and again.  Blisteringly vibrant, it sweeps you up with its sense of immediacy and bustle.  And I love that it feels strangely familiar, where so many of its aspects have appeared so many times on well loved television shows that they’ve become inscribed on my consciousness.   But the scale of it is just so big, so sprawling and yet so soaringly tall, that it can be – it is - overwhelming.  I don’t think I could live there, for all I joked to D about settling down in a Greenwich writers’ commune.
But yes, I definitely need to go back.  Aside from anything else (and let’s be really clear what is important here), there are so many things that I never got round to eating!  We were, for example, frustrated in our final day quest for a slice of proper baked cheesecake – the carefully selected bakery had sold out when we arrived (we took some solace from their cupcakes which were very good indeed.
We dipped our toes into the (mayonnaise) pool of NY deli by taking a trip to Katz’s.  It had to be done but I think both of us feel that we wouldn’t go back – while the juicily pink beef in the Reuben sandwiches was, undoubtedly, very good, the sandwiches themselves were not necessarily special enough to counterbalance the slightly scary experience.  Next time, we want to check out Barney Greengrass “The Sturgeon King”, whose deli apparently inspired a couple of the dishes we ate at EMP.
I can’t believe I didn’t get round to having a hot dog!  And while we did have pizza, I don’t think it was an example of NYC’s finest.  Mind you, if you want somewhere to escape the press of crowds around Times Square, Osteria al Doge is a welcome retreat and not ridiculously priced considering its location.   Worth going for the deadpan waiter alone.  But in terms of street food in general – a bit of a fail this time around, definitely an area to sample more widely. 
Oh, and thank you for the tip Beth, I now actually NEED to sample crack pie.  I may end up making some at home it looks…just…D, meanwhile, quite fancies trying to get into David Chang’s two Michelin star joint.  He is currently buying lottery tickets with feverish resolve.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Weigh In Wednesday: 22nd January 2014

Weeks 1-16: -31lbs
This week: -3.5lbs
Total loss: 34.5lbs

I think I might have to make these posts monthly. While I love the accountability aspect, there are only so many ways that one can write "I stood on some scales. They read a number that represents the force of gravity on my, in relative (although not actual) terms insignificant, person. I was happy/sad (delete as appropriate."

But yes, a good result this morning. Half a pound more and I'll hit the two and half stone mark. One pound more and I'll be into a new stone bracket, which is always a nice milestone.

My daily points allowance is reducing at a rate of knots though. I lost another one this morning. I'm going to have to start being a lot more savvy with my choices - I'm already feeling quite hungry quite a lot of the time and if there is one thing that my brief flirtation with fasting taught me it is that I am not nice to know when I am hungry.

Monday, 20 January 2014

MPM: 20th January 2014

It's the start of the week so it must be time for...

Yes, another Monday has rolled around. Why are weekends so short? Mind you, complaining seems churlish when I had a particularly nice one. I finally got to see my future second husband (professionally known as David Tennant) on stage and very wonderful he was too, although I was unsure about certain aspects of the production (Richard II at the Barbican for the theatre lovers among you). And, after all of the faux medieval excitement, it was home to an absolutely beautiful confit duck leg (thank you, D) and a day of watching Breaking Bad, barely moving from the sofa.

There are currently two separate threads to our meal planning. The first is that the freezer needs a defrost, so I need to try and base as many meals as possible around the contents. This may involve doing a full inventory at some point. What it may not involve is any particular interest or creativity. The second is that we are planning to cook a New York inspired menu for my parents in February and some of the dishes will need practice runs, so may well be popping up over the next couple of weeks.

This week:

Fresh soup (this seems to be appearing a lot of my recent meal plans and it doesn’t make for the most interesting reading, I know, but we just happen to really like fresh soup)

Chicken fajitas (chicken breast and wraps from the freezer, refried beans from the store cupboard)

Spag bol (mince from the freezer)

Corned beef stew (last of our homemade corned beef from the freezer – although fear not, D will be working his magic on a new brisket soon)

Haggis, neeps and tatties with caramelised onion gravy (it’s Burns Night this week!)

Surprise tatin” from Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Plenty”

More meal planning fun over at Mrs M’s.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Food for Thought: CBT and weight loss

It’s been a while now since I finished my sessions with Earnest Ross and I have been meaning to commit some of my thoughts to virtual paper ever since, but life and Christmas and travelling and all sorts of things got in the way.
It has not escaped my notice that since September I have been on the most sustained and successful weight loss drive in the history of this blog.  Not quite the history of Seren – I’ve achieved the nirvana of goal weight a couple of times – but unlike these other occasions I am relaxed, I have eaten out, been on holiday and generally tried to make dieting (I hate that verb but it is the most appropriate in the circumstances) a part rather than the focus of my life.
Now this could be down to a number of things.  But I do think it is, in no small measure, down to some of the work that Earnest Ross and I did. 
I believe that people who are overweight often fall into one of two, very broad, categories.  There are those for whom nutrition and the actual calorific worth of food are something of a mystery – who genuinely do not know that the whole pizza that they eat for supper contains a day’s worth of calorific content.  Then there are those for whom food and drink are weapons and armour against stress, misery - generally, any negative emotion.  These people know full well the calories in that pizza and they eat it anyway.  And I, and I think many of the people who read this blog, fall firmly into the latter fold.
Now there are many lessons to be learned about identifying the cycle of emotion, thought and action that lead to people making these destructive decisions.  And we talked a lot about self compassion and the strength and conviction it takes to practice it.  But, for me, the thing that really stayed with me is something Ross said in one of our later sessions.
He said: “We need to hold our stories loosely.”
I love that phrase.  I love the idea of holding my stories loosely.  The stories of my past. The fact that I have always been “the fat girl” in my head and the sad floundering when I wasn’t, physically, her anymore and didn’t quite know what to do with myself.  The stories of disappointments in love, of career paths that didn’t quite wend the way I expected them to, of confounded expectations.   They are there, lightly clasped in the palm of my hand, but they none of them define me or my future.  I do not have to do what I have always done, or to seek solace where I have always sought it.
And while I am not so naïve as to think that the battle is over and done with, still I feel the most tremendous sense of optimism, especially at the beginning of a brand new year, that by holding my stories loosely it will give me the strength and the freedom to write shiny new ones full of health and hope.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Foodie Abroad: Third Avenue Alehouse

Given that we were going to be in New York for New Year, we initially pondered the possibility of going the whole hog and spending it in Times Square.  We were quickly disabused of this notion.  It’s horrible, we were told.  You arrive at five, you’re not allowed to carry liquids, you can’t leave to go to the loo, it’s cold, it’s crowded, it’s unpleasant.  I think that we were both secretly quite pleased to let go of the scheme and resolved to spend the evening in a warm bar instead, watching the ball drop on the TV.  And we went to see the spike that the ball would be on.  So that counts for something.

 The Third Avenue Alehouse did not look like anything special from the outside but it was a couple of blocks away from our hotel, and we popped in on the way back from a long day of museums not expecting anything in particular.  But by a very happy accident, as sometimes happens on holiday, it turned out to be one of our favourite locations and somewhere that we already talk of in wistful tones.  It may be the wrong city, but everyone secretly wants to find a Cheers when they go to America, don’t they?  You know, a bar where everybody knows your name?  Third Avenue Alehouse was ours. 

It wasn’t just the fact that it served an excellent range of artisan ales (D particularly enjoyed the coffee porter).  Or the fact that I spied one of my favourite wines, Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, lurking in the fridge the first time I hopped up onto one of the comfy bar stools.  Or the range of whiskies that would put many a Scottish bar to shame.  Or the friendly staff who were happy to chat and laugh at the English girl who didn’t have a clue about American football (“But why do they throw it backwards?”).    Or the to die for, truffle and rosemary popcorn (I’m quite upset that I didn’t get round to sampling the mac and cheese pie).  It was all of these things in conjunction with the fact that it so quickly felt like a little bolthole in a bewilderingly large and frantic city. 

So, New Years Eve 2013 found us propping up in the bar in our home away from home, astonishing Louis the barman with our drinking “fortitude” (he was so impressed that he gave us a free drink when we rolled in the next evening!)  It may not be quite as iconic as Times Square, but I couldn’t have asked for a nicer corner of New York, nor better company, to enjoy it.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Woe in Wednesday

Weeks 1-15: -29.5lbs
This week: -1.5lbs
Total loss: 31lbs

Despite being resolutely on track, I was convinced that this week was going to be my first gain. I was mentally composing this post as I walked in to work this morning along the lines of “Every journey has its hiccups”, but kept finding myself breaking off to mutter “Snassun frassun” and scowl at random passers by.

It’s daft, isn’t it? We know, logically, that our bodies aren’t machines and that weight loss, for all that the basic biology is calories in versus calories out, never seems to work on a straight line basis. We comment on blogs when fellow dieters post a gain or stay the same to the effect “Keep going! It will all come good!” genuinely meaning it. And then it happens to us and we sulk mightily. Or, at least, I do. I apparently sulk when I only think that I’m going to gain. God knows what will happen when I actually do (and I use the word when rather than if advisedly.)

But, this week at least, the scale gods have looked down on my efforts and lo, they were pleased. My weekly points have been re-set (hurrah!) and D is making very tasty sounding Sicilian cod for tea. All is currently well in the WW World.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Foodie Abroad: Momofuku noodle bar and The Spotted Pig

Some people list iconic sights to see when they go on holiday.  Us – we list restaurants.  If ever I wonder how I managed to obtain quite such a remarkable state of plumptiousness, I need not look much beyond my NYC to-do list.  Which basically read:

See stuff. 

D is very good at picking places in which I want to eat based on descriptions and hearsay alone so I tend to trust his instincts on this.  He came up trumps as usual as evidenced by a fabulous lunch and brunch on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day respectively.

Momofuku noodle bar was an unassuming kind of place from the outside.  We arrived early and killed time in a coffee bar a few doors down.  Although it didn’t take reservations, the area was so quiet that I was in no particular rush and couldn’t understand why my dining companion was getting twitchy as the clock edged towards noon.  At about two minutes past we went back.  And got the last seats in the place.  Five minutes later and the queue was out of the door.

Momofuku is famous for its pork buns and these were undoubtedly absolutely delicious.  The buns themselves are steamed, which achieves a very particular, pillowy texture, and then filled with sliced of melting belly pork, cucumber and a punchy hoi sin sauce.  We had one each and could quite happily have scoffed more – although I am not sure that I didn’t prefer the spicy shrimp buns, where the pork was replaced with a punchy little prawn cake.  We’re going to try and make these at home, so I will report back if I have any success.

Buns! - shrimp

Buns! - pork

D then manned up to tackle an enormous bowl of pork ramen – seriously, small children could have swum in it.  I opted for chilled spicy noodles which were tossed in enough chilli oil to provide instant lip augmentation but very tasty nonetheless – I loved the addition of candied cashews which provided interesting sweetness and crunch.  Again, the portion size was redonkulous, but it enabled me to ask for half of the bowl “to go” and I think I uttered a little keen of delight when this was delivered to me in a quintessential brown paper bag. 


Noodles! (buried)

Despite nursing noodle babies we had been told that desserts here were not to be missed so we forced (forced I tell you!) ourselves to try out the Captain Crunch cake truffles.  I have no idea what these little golden balls of deliciousness actually were but they were sweet and squidgy and wholly lovely. 

January 1st was a somewhat different kettle of fish – not least because we had been shipping industrial quantities of booze the night before.  We abandoned any pretence of budgeting and staggered, bleary eyed, from hotel room into the cosy confines of a taxi cab to head for Greenwich Village and, that most American of institutions, brunch.

The Spotted Pig calls itself a gastropub, and the chef owner, April Bloomfield, is a Brit so clearly knows what that entails.  It tends towards the gastro side of the genre – this is no scabby local where you could pop for a pint and a packet of scratchings.  It felt rather…well, cool for want of a better description, which is not an adjective I’ve ever associated with similar places in this country, but there you go.  The staff, while friendly, were a bit…young?  Trendy?  Slightly annoyed to be working at noon on the 1st January?  Something made them appear a tad disinterested.  I’m going to forgive them for that though because they served me the best cheese toastie EVER.  Although they called it grilled cheese.  I’m not kidding, this was AMAZING.  Look, see the capitals I am using because it was JUST THAT GOOD.  It was just bread and cheese of course but the raw ingredients must have been stellar and the cooking was just bang on – I think it was fried rather than grilled.  That, and a stiff Bloody Mary, and I was almost ready to face the day.  D’s burger looked rather luscious too.  But oh, the grilled cheese. Heaven. 


Look at that beauty(*author drifts off quietly into a (literally) cheesy daydream...)

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Ave,
New York,
NY 10003,
United States
+1 212-777-7773

The Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St,
New York,
NY 10014,
United States
+1 212-620-0393

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Foodie Abroad: Eleven Madison Park

They say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and up until a couple of weeks ago, I may well have believed them.  But let me tell you, beloved blog readers, there is no place in the world guaranteed to make you happier than a trip to Eleven Madison Park.

Let's face it, a surprise trip to New York is always likely to put you in a good mood.  But there is no way D could book such a trip without throwing in a decent birthday lunch.  EMP has no less than three Michelin stars and pops us in the top ten of the "World's Best" list, so good pedigree.  However, what attracted him to this place over the other swanky NYC locations (of which there are undoubtedly many) was the restaurant's ethos, which tends towards the localism approach becoming increasingly popular in the high end restaurant world.  In other words, food inspired by a sense of place.

Most of the ingredients we enjoyed during our lunch were sourced from New York state and some, like the beer which accompanied the cheese course, were created especially for the restaurant itself.  So that's great.  But as well as place there were some real nods to tradition and nostalgia in amongst the courses - black and white cookies, sturgeon and cream cheese on rye, egg creams...These were dishes that were rooted in the city itself, scattered throughout the menu like little love notes to New York. 

Of course, localism and nostalgia are all very well and all very interesting to read about.  But unless food can deliver in terms of taste as well then they are ultimately empty gestures.  EMP didn't so much deliver as present to us in personalised, hand wrapped, be-ribboned boxes and give us a foot massage while we ate.  It was that good.  There was not so much as an element of a dish, not a single leaf of a garnish that was not perfectly judged and an absolute joy to eat.  It was, I think, one of the only times in my life that I have looked back on a meal and felt genuinely sad that I would never get to eat it again. 

Some courses were quirkier than others.  A personal favourite was the carrot tartare which was basically a steak tartare only with carrot.  No, really.  Carrots, lightly cooked in stock and butter were put through a hand mincer at the table and then presented with a range of traditional accompaniments such as raw, lightly pickled egg yolk, horseradish, salt, mustard seeds...The diner then mixes the carrot up and spreads the resultant gloop on thin, rye melba toasts.  It sounds like it should be style over substance but it was ridiculously delicious. 

And talking of fiendishly tasty vegetables, what that kitchen could do with a humble squash!  Paired with chanterelles, cranberries and pumpkin seeds, this was squash as you have never tasted before.  Even D, famously dubious of vegetables, was prepared to lick the plate for this one.

Don't think the kitchen couldn't rise to the challenge of cooking meat beautifully as well though.  The main course duck was a thing of true beauty - and a side dish of braised leg, foie gras and mashed potato (essentially a very posh duck Shepherds' Pie) was ambrosial.
And desserts as well.  Sometimes this is where really good restaurants trip up - it was certainly my least favourite section of the Noma menu, for example.  Not here.  Here, from the sour sweet apple sorbet that accompanied the crème brulee tart, to the chocolate covered pretzels that made an appearance alongside excellent coffee, the pudding end of the menu more than held its own.

A word about the service as well.  D, being a typical Englishman does not believe in making a fuss about birthdays.  He happened to mention once, very briefly, during an email exchange, that he wanted a table for his wife's birthday - mainly because he needed to know when exactly to phone to book a precise date.  He thought no more about it.  I asked if I should expect a cake.  He snorted and said he'd stick a candle in a cupcake for me later in the week.  However.  The restaurant picked up on the comment.  Not only did several members of staff wish me a happy birthday when we arrived, but we also got the chance to visit the kitchen and enjoy a birthday cocktail (made with liquid nitrogen, natch) and I received a little box of birthday truffles (PB & J!!) to take away.  My point is that all three Michelin star restaurants will provide immaculate service.  EMP took it one step beyond.  It was exemplary. 

As I said, Disneyland has been ousted as the happiest place on Earth.  I don't think I have ever quite so whole heartedly recommended a restaurant before, and if I never do again then I will still consider myself an extremely lucky girl.  If you ever find yourself in NYC then do whatever you can to get a table here (and if there's a seat going then I have a kidney that I'd be perfectly willing to sell so that I could pop over and join you).

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave,
New York, NY 10010,
United States
+1 212-889-0905

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Weigh in Wednesday: 8th January 2014

Weeks 1-14: -29lbs
This week: -0.5lbs
Total loss: 29.5lbs

Words fail me, they really do. I knew, from my morning communions with the bathroom scales, that the numbers were shooting down - seems Sunday was a rather fluid retain-y sort of day. But I half wondered if they were wrong. I mean, I didn't go mad over Christmas and while we were away but I certainly didn't skimp. Still, a loss it is.

Contrary to the last I began to worry that NOT seeing a holiday gain would lead to complacency setting in. So you, my loyal readers, are appointed my guards against it. Feel free to slap me with a handy kipper if I start trying to get away with things. I have been back on plan since Sunday and I will continue on plan - I don't want any stealth weight creeping up on me (no, that probably isn't a real thing.)

Monday, 6 January 2014

MPM: 6th January 2013


Still jet lagged, so meal planning has been a little bit sluggish today and does feature soup twice - which is fine if you like soup.  But am excited for the weekend when we're going to cook an NYC inspired Saturday night tea...

Tonight: smoked salmon and scrambled eggs
Tuesday and Thursday: fresh soup
Wednesday: warm salad with parsnip rosti, crispy bacon and poached egg
Friday: D out - goats' cheese and caramelised onion pizza for me
Saturday: Reuben sandwich using our home made corned beef, baked cheesecake
Sunday: Roast chicken, roast potatoes, carrot and swede mash, stuffing, best ever braised red cabbage

As per usual, more meal planning fun at Mrs M's.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

No more champagne, and the fireworks are through...

So, we're home from NYC.

D says I shouldn't be allowed to go on good holidays because I get so upset at the end of them.  There were tears on the last night. 

And then, as Peridot so presciently guessed in her comment, there were almost tears at the airport when our flight was cancelled.  The weather hasn't been brilliant on the American East Coast, you see.  By an absolutely remarkable stroke of luck, we managed to get seats on a flight out of Newark just twelve hours after our original departure time.  So, we got to see the New Jersey Turnpike (which is referenced in one of our favourite Simon and Garfunkel songs.  And I'm sure all the people on the bus with us were delighted when we started singing about men in gabardine suits).

Weight news: today (I am a daily home weigher for better or for worse) saw me two and a quarter pounds up on my last pre-holiday weigh in and four and a quarter pounds up on my all time low back on the 16th December.  That's not bad at all.  While I think I have mostly grown out of the habit of all out gluttony I certainly didn't stint on food (or drink) over both the festive season and our American sojourn.  I have been tracking today which has been relatively painless as, after the epic 36 hour journey, I was utterly exhausted and didn't wake up until two this afternoon.  Tomorrow may be more interesting.