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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jingle bulge, Jingle bulge...wobble all the way!

Ah the festive season! 
Turkey and Bacon - oh what a treat, apples-don't be silly, have some mince pies 'Eat' I said 'eat'  
Water I mean wine, seconds, let's be honest, thirds every time, 
Afternoon naps and chocolate dreams, fingers in pies, oh and dripping ice creams 
On the beach, biscuits dipped in tea, mum's hot chocolate made just for me, 
'Too much', 'give me more' groans the fridge to the oven, 'who me? What? How dare you call me a glutton!' New years' eve platters, éclairs smeared on my face, 'I can't believe I ate 5, I only wanted a taste' 
How did that get in there?
Why did you have to go and spoil all the fun?
Yuk, no thank you.

In my opinion diets are like that alcoholic uncle who always breaths on you, says inappropriate things and smells funny, in other words they shouldn't be allowed in the house, should be banned for life but somehow always manage to creep back in to your life.

I hate diets, the principal of them, the people behind them, everything to do with them.
I believe in Father Christmas more than I do in diets and this is why:
I once read the instructions on the back of a pack of diet pills that read; take 2 pills with 3 glasses of water 20 minutes before meals - 3 glasses of water before every!

Then there is the Beyonce diet - yes there is a diet named after the lady, whether she has ever in fact tried it herself remains to be established, it requires the participant (who is obviously insane) to live on glasses of hot water mixed with lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 2 WEEKS! Advice given states:
'It is very important to be focused throughout the regime and avoid being tempted to eat solid food. Initially one might feel weakness. However, it will go away in the subsequent days.'
Wow, doesn't that just sound like a treat!

Now, I know that there are 'diets' that help people to control their eating, portion sizes and the like, which makes sense. Cutting out the crap so to speak does work, but these ridiculous all or nothing routines I can't handle. If there was a miracle pill that actually worked everyone would use it -anyone who has a brain knows that ephedrine should not be consumed on a daily basis - it's not healthy.

So what then? Christmas is here and I for one am not going to hold back but I have come up with a simple diet that I think will work for everyone:
  1. Do your Christmas shopping in either Canal Walk or Sandton City; you can never find the store you're looking for and they never have what you want in the right size meaning hours upon hours of aimless walking around. Calculating an average shopper speed of 3 km per hour (allowances made for trying on clothes and bumping into irritating people you normally try to avoid) you could be walking up to 9km a day!
  2. Whatever you're drinking, keep your glass full, the calories burnt in lifting the glass to your mouth over several hours (especially when aim becomes a problem) should cancel out at least 3 mince pies a day.
  3. Invite annoying relatives over - this form of self-inflicted torturous stress will double your heart rate just by them walking through the front door, by the time they start talking you'll be sweating up a storm and those extra kilos will simply fall off.
  4. Watch Gary Rhodes' cooking shows - he is so awful he will put you off food.
  5. Go to the gym, not to exercise but to watch the men in the weights section, they will make you laugh so hard that a six pack will be yours in next to no time.
  6. If all else fails know that the person who shares your bed thinks you look hot naked, no matter what. 
To add insult to injury on the diet front here's my Christmas pudding  recipe:

Steamed Christmas Pudding

500g good quality cake mix (raisins, sultanas, currants & candied peel)
50g flaked almonds
100g chopped dates (chopped)
100g chopped glace cherries (chopped)
Rind and juice of 1 orange
Rind of 1 lemon
100g breadcrumbs
100g flour
150g brown sugar
1 tsp allspice
½ nutmeg
2 cinnamon
2 mixed spice
200g butter
4 eggs (whisked)
½ cup brandy
3 tbsp rum
For Brandy butter:
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 125g butter (at room temp)
  • 3 tbsp brandy

  1. Rinse a pudding basin/bowl and grease with a little sunflower oil.
  2. Get a large bowl and mix together the cake mix, almonds, dates, cherries, orange & lemon zests and the juice from the orange.
  3. Once that is combined stir through the bread crumbs, flour, sugar and spices.
  4. Lastly add the eggs and alcohol and mix well. The mixture should be thick and of the consistency that just drops off the spoon.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pudding basin. (Don’t overfill the basin; ensure you leave a 1cm gap at the top as the pudding will expand.)
  6. Take a large square piece of foil or wax wrap and fold it in half to make a rectangle, then in half again to make a smaller square, then in half to form a triangle and half again to make a thinner triangle. Snip the edge of wide end off as shown and unfold to reveal a large circle. Make a fold-over in the centre (as shown) as this will ease the expansion of the pudding. Use this to cover the top of the basin and secure it with a piece of string/elastic.
  7. Take a large pot, place 2 saucers in the bottom (they prevent the steamer from having direct contact with the water), pour enough water in the pot to come up to the second saucer and sit the steamer on top.
  8. Turn onto a medium-high heat and allow to steam for 5 hours (you will need to refill the water about every ¾ hour – hour. N.B. Be careful not to put your face too close to the pot when lifting the lid to check on the pudding as the steam can burn you.
  9. To make the brandy butter: Cream together the sugar and butter until pale and thick, then add brandy 1 spoon at a time and mix until combined. (You can store it in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.)
  10. Using oven gloves, remove the steamer and leave to cool for 5 minutes before taking off the lid. Scour around the edges of the pudding with a plastic spatula, and then turn upside down on a serving plate.
  11. Pour over a little brandy and light your pudding for dramatic effect!
  12. Serve with brandy butter, yum!

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