Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Comfort Zone

I am the QUEEN of my kitchen. It is my kingdom, my fortress and my comfort zone. It is full of the tools that I need to be healthy and everything that I create there is delicious and abs friendly. I tend to get a bit twitchy if someone else wants to (dares to?) do the cooking, especially in 'my' kitchen. I am working towards a more relaxed relationship with food, but still I have 'issues' when it comes to eating something when I know not what lurks within it. It's a very inconvenient hang-up but I'm working on it. I've been working on it this evening .....

Tonight I had to go into work to finish up a complicated flavouring job for a high-end workout formulation. It's what I like to call an 'idealist' mix with all the good stuff in there. Unfortunatley, most of the really good ingredients taste like bats fart and the customer gets a rude shock when they get their first sample mix. They always start by requesting minimal or nil flavouring and, by the time it gets shelf-ready, it's just as cranked up with flavourings as anything else. I much prefer this sort of product though to say, a product that has been designed to taste great naturally - that is, the effective ingredients that taste evil (e.g. Creatine Ethyl Ester and the BCAA's) have been removed and it's been heavily buffed up with sugars. So, there I was, working way past my dinner time and when I got home I discovered that dinner was bubbling away in the oven already. It seems to me that an appropriate emotional reaction to this find would be to smile broadly and deliver a well-deserved kiss to the cook. Instead I felt the beginnings of a rising panic and went to consult with the chef de cuisine.

Me: "thanks for getting dinner on, what are we having"

CDC: " Venison Shanks"

Me: "Mmmmm, nice, what have you done with them, it smells divine"

CDC: "I found a recipe on the internet"

Me: (Uh oh..) "So... I suppose there's olive oil in there?" (panic, panic...I hope I'm keeping that tone of interrogation successfully masked...)

CDC: "just enough to braise the shanks so that they don't dry out"

Me: "So, a few tablespoons of oil maybe, or more like a few teaspoons?" (dammit, doesn't everyone know you have to MEASURE oil?)

CDC: *blank look* "uh, possibly" (at this point I catch him trying to look around me and notice that there is a rugby game on).

Me: "Sounds GREAT, so... what are the other ingredients?" (Smile, remember to smile... just asking about dinner, nothing out of the ordinary..)

CDC: "nothing else"

Me: (phew) "can't wait to try it, I'll just make a big salad to go with that"

I trot off to the kitchen and notice a half empty bottle of chardonnay on the bench.

Me: "Did you buy some wine?"

CDC: "The venison shanks and veges are cooking in it"

(.....brain grinds to a halt while trying to estimate the calories of an unknown sized venison shank cooked in an unkown amount of oil with veges that would soak up an unknown amount of wine which contains uncertain sugars....)

At this point I decided to just reeeeelax about dinner and appreciate the effort and the aroma. The meal was divine and I bulked it up with a huge salad and green beans. In any event, I have to become savvy with the far side of my comfort zone because in just over a month I'm heading off on my next overseas adventure. I always have some anxiety before travelling, imagining that I'll go carb-crazy and bloat like a puffer fish. In actuality I have never had a problem because my usual overeating stimuli (boredom, stress, cold weather) are absent and my mind is fully occupied with the experience while my body is in almost constant movement. This next trip is a little different to previous excursions however and presents some interesting challenges. More about that tomorrow.

BTW, fellow bloggers, is anyone else getting the 'blue screen of death' with a memory dump message when publishing a post? It has been happening to me about 50% of the time and only when using blogger. Any ideas would be appreciated.


  1. I'm sure you can find a way to market bat's fart as a new flavour for your products...

  2. I've been thinking of how to turn it into a marketing angle. I thought of an unflavoured range called 'NASTY' or something like that.I'm sure some people would go for the hardcore aspect... once.. and then they'd be crawling back and asking me when I might be putting it in capsules..


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