Saturday, December 03, 2005

A memory of food

Watching Out of Africa has reminded me of the other film of one of Karen Blixen's works - Babette's Feast. This is one of my all time favourite movies. And what a time to be talking about it when I am on limited rations! Babette's Feast is a short story written under her pen name of Isak Dineson. If you want an outline on the story read here. It is a beautiful story from beginning to end - a satisfying story as all short stories must be. Its central characters are women - including the unlikely character of Babette, formerly the head chef at a leading Paris restaurant. The feast for twelve people is a tour de force. When the movie was made, every country in which the movie opened enacted the feast. In Sydney, the chef who prepared the menu refused to include turtle soup - because turtles are endangered. In Chicago, a theatre staged the feast as a regular production. The difficulty for re-enactment is that Blixen gave no recipes and researchers have not been able to establish the historicity of the dishes named. This has meant quite a bit of creative licence for many of the dishes, particularly the extraordinary sarcophagi. But if you want to see what the Theater Oobleck came up with go here.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I had a farm in Africa...

This afternoon, I have been watching Out of Africa on the telly. Twenty years old - but still wonderful. Magnificent cast! And oh that scene in the Kenyan bush with Robert Redford washing Meryl Streep's hair. I love Klaus Maria Brandauer. And that house. Now there's a trad pad if ever there was one. And then there is the beautiful Kenyan landscape. What a pity it's various governments aren't of the same quality. You might not get to Kenya but take a look at the museum which is the Karen Blixen House.

The Journey to Lapbanding - 5

To-day I really broke harness. Lunchtime was a binge. I was ravenous. Lunch comprised a grilled chicken breast with lemon juice(the single breast, not the double), two tomatoes, sliced and grilled, and onion rings grilled. Previously I have spread that equivalent of chicken over two days. But as if this was not enough, I had entree. A 220g tin of SPC Baked Beans!

Never have baked beans tasted so sweet. Putting them on to heat, I spilled one and picked it up and put it in my mouth. Heaven!

Altogether, lunch was quite delicious and quite satisfying. I have made a resolution. While I will be eating far less in the future, I want to make every mouthful delivious and beautiful.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Journey to Lapbanding - 3

Lapbanding lunch
with the off-limits chicken,
vegetables, and my home-grown herbs.
That's Schweppe's Diet Ginger Ale in the glass.
Would be better with some Jim Beam in it.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Journey to Lapbanding - 2

I may never eat a Crabapplie Cupcake again. It will depend. You see, you can't eat bread - at least white bread. It turns into unpassable sludge. So we will have to see. Since Tuesday night last week I have been on Optifast. Optifast is for low calorie weight loss. It comes in different flavoured milk shakes, tomato soup (don't like it), and a chocolate dessert. The idea is to take it three times a day for two weeks prior to surgery. This is because many people having the operation have a "fatty liver". The low calorie intake for two weeks is to deal with this and lose the fat. The purpose of losing the fat prior to surgery is to give the surgeon more space to work - remembering that this is microsurgery.

My experience has been mixed. After a couple of days on Optifast I was quite ill. Wouldn't have dared to drive the car. On and off the loo. I think it must have been a detoxification effect. That's all I can think. Sunday afternoon my sister, J, rang. She had the operation two years ago. It was a welcome call because I was able to discuss the Optifast situation. She said she didn't do it. (Herself's friend, Nicole, hadn't either and gave me her unused Optifast). She said if she could have done that for two weeks she wouldn't have needed the surgery. She finished up giving her Optifast to "Smokin'" Joe Kilroy, formerly of the Brisbane Broncos. So together we planned some intervention - on the basis that the surgeon would not be too fussy how I lost the weight as long as I did. The intervention has been boiled eggs in the evening (they seem to have clogged me up - and the anti-cholesterol tablets will have to work harder!) and the addition of a small amount (125 g) of chicken to the veges that I am able to have as part of the program. So I do a very nice dish for myself using water in the bottom of the frying pan instead of oil which involves chicken, onion, tomato, mushrooms and cabbage flavoured with fresh herbs from the garden and a little salt and pepper. This I do for lunch. I have the Optifast in the morning. I may not bother with the egg to-night - and have Optifast. All this means much less time at the loo, more energy, and more normality. My GP said yesterday that she thought I was dehydrated. I said that I was keeping up the fluids but she said, more than likely, the body wasn't absorbing the fluid and it was passing right through me.

The result of all this is that I have lost 7kg in a week (too fast my GP says) and my blood sugar has declined to previously unseen levels. The start of things to come, I hope.

Crabapple Cup Cake Day

How wonderful to see the great write up in The Age to-day on Crabapple and their cupcakes. We get ours from the shopped tucked away at Tecoma. They are wonderful. Herself uses them as decoration at home and at Avec Amour - and guess what? They last forever (not to eat). If there is a special "do" at Avec Amour there is always an order for cupcakes. Nice tea-parties at The Trad Pad - more Crabapple cupcakes. God bless Crabapple and their Cupcakes!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Journey to Lapbanding - 1

The journey began with a referral from my female GP who is supportive of the idea of lapbanding for me and my health situation. So began my first meeting with Sean. There are quite a few hurdles en route to acceptance for the operation. So it's on to Pam the Practice Nurse via Lou the wonderful receptionist. Pam gives detail to Sean's broad outline. She weighs me - adding a few kilos to my bathroom scales! Then over the next week or two comes the Physician, the Psychologist, the Dietician. As well there has been a Barium Throw and a Chest X-ray. For almost the first time, I went through all these medical and allied health therapists without any of the patronising manner or bossiness which makes for more guilt and lots of naughty schoolgirl feelings. A fortnight before the operation I saw Sean for the last time before the Big Day. This was mainly an "informed consent" session spelling out the risks which, to me, appear to be bearable. This was also the day I receive my Optifast...........(to be continued)

Fessing up and facing reality

I have added a ticker to The Trad Pad. Counting down to my Lapbanding Operation. No, I really don't look like that sylph like creature drinking champagne in the sidebar. Age and Diabetes II (for which obesity is a causative factor) make it very difficult to lose weight. In addition, I am in a place where psychologically I feel calorie counting is beyond me. I feel that the diabetes will move further up the scale unless there is some intervention. So, after thinking about this for a very long time, I am having the operation. If you want to know more about Lapbanding go here. Posted by Picasa

Just call me Iris

Just did this flower quiz.
I'm Iris and isn't she beautiful.
Sharon at Beyond 'the blank page' has done it too. Posted by Picasa