Sunday 22 February 2009

Neo-Classical Batch food.

Regular readers will have heard me allude to Furry's style of cooking BPG (before purple goddess) and APG (afte... oh, FFS, you work it out). His BPG was characterised by "Batch food", meaning anything that could be whipped up whilst hungover, on shore leave, with a random hook up passed out on your couch. It usually involves a can of Stagg beans and a microwave. At its best, batch food can be hearty, uncomplicated and stick-to-yer ribs.

At worst, it ends up leaving you nostalgically longing for the out-of-stomach experience of Bali Belly

Furry's batch (short for "Bachelor") repertoire consists of wraps, rolls, deep-fried things, deep fried things with cheese and bacon.

LOTS of bacon.

He also has his APG repertoire. which has been oft chronicled here.

But it's his neo-batch food I was craving this weekend.

We've done 4 months off the fags. The weight gain has stabilised. We've been exercising a little more and eating a whole lot better. Out alcohol consumption is waaaaaay down, and we're finally feeling the benefits of giving up the coffin nails.

So this Sat night, I had a hankering for nachos. And Furry has combined the best of his BPG and APG skills to make a mean nachos. It is part of his repertoire I like to call is Neo Classical Batch food.

It's batch food that's been pg-ised. Once upon a time, it would have been Doritos, Ole El Paso salsa and Chris' "avocado" dip, but these days he uses organic corn chips (he once did it with the blue corn disks and that was AWESOME!!), makes his own carne mix (mince, red kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, Tabasco, garlic, ginger, onion slow stewed for hours), his own salsa (this time, tiny wee baby tomatoes, halved, with Vietnamese mint and lime juice) and his own guac (avo, sour cream and lime juice)

So a lazy Sat night, down at Chez Fur, with my gorgeous hubbie, some comforting batch food, and a beer.

But here's the thing. Like all wild beasts that have been tamed, his veneer of civility is thin, and lurking beneath that Eastern Suburbs, MCG tie-wearing facade, is the same Furry who fished with det cord, spent 16 years in the wilderness of the Western Suburbs, can fart on command and who once streaked (stroked?) drunk down the front straight at the Turrumburry race meet.

How do I know this?

Dinner was served using a paint scraper.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Fear and Self-loathing in SpringVegas.

THIS is what is sitting in my 'fridge, for my lunch today. Pretty hot, hey?? Pretty sexy?? Pretty me.. you know, the whole fresh/local/SOLE/Asian with a twist thing that pg does so well. Yup. It's perfect, and given that Furry and I are trying to lose weight, perfect on the fat/lo cal front too.

See, here's the thing. I can't work out WHY I am hating myself at this weight so much. The very fact I am experiencing self-loathing for the very first time, at 44 is weird.

At school, I was the odd girl out. I was the only one that DIDN'T have an eating disorder. I managed to avoid the teen age angst of yo-yo diets and Israeli Army lunch boxes. I ate whatever I pleased and stayed the same size (9st 2oz).

Then I had my children. And over the course of 5 years, I doubled my weight. But I had discovered feminism by that stage, and so the weight gain bothered me on a health level, but certainly NEVER on a physical "I repulse myself/ I am not attractive/ my husband won't like me" level.

My husband at the time actually DIDN'T like me, but that a whole 'nother post!

I gave up the 2 a night wine, and cut out sugar in my coffee and within months, was at a healthy weight range (AUS size 12), which I maintained with no effort until the day my daughter started high school. I was wearing her size 12 jeans that day.

That was years ago. And in the interim, I've been divorced, re-married, turned 30.. turned 40. I navigated my daughter through her own minefield of adolescence and PCOS. And yes, my weight has fluctuated but never once did I experience anything like the self hatred I am going through at the moment.


I feel like I went to bed some time last October (the month I gave up smoking) and woke up being anally probed by fat-firing alien gamma beams.

No matter what I eat, I continue to put on weight. I can feel myself physically spreading before mein very eyes.

This is not just middle-aged spread, or a bit of a muffin-top. This is hard core McValue Upsize Supersize Mc Muffin Muffin Top (Royale, with Cheese)

I can no longer fit into most of my clothes, and went on a week long crying jag over Summer, when I realised that I simply HAD to buy a pair of elastic waisted pants.

Come on.. this is me.. PG.. Self-esteem Girl... the one all my friends look up to BECAUSE I REALLY DON"T CARE about my weight... crying like Tammy Fae Bakker over the numerals one and eight.

When I wear low waisted jeans I look like a warfie, or a garbo. And when I wear higher waisted work pants, I develop this weird double-bulge. Like twee English villages, I have named them Upper Pork-Gut and Lower Pube Porch.

Anapurna I and II are currently residing in my hideous new bra, fashioned by ex- Nazi industrial engineers. I refer to it as the Spandex Monster, and it makes me feel about as sexy as an outbreak of smallpox.

And the other symptom that I am noticing, is the fatter and more repulsive I get, the more I crave crap.

While the above lo fat dish is sitting in my 'fridge, I am fighting the urge to slam my face into the tub of leftover Pizza Hut Oven Baked Creamy Pasta that some pillock has left in the 'fridge.

Seriously, I had this reaction after Furry's heart attack. While he was lying in the cardiac ward, I had craving after craving for KFC. And this time, it's the same. The fatter I get, the harder it is to resist racing out and buying a Chicko Roll.

I will NOT go back to smoking. But any head way I have made, health-wise, by giving up the fags, has been eaten up by this massive and continuous and UNEXPLAINED weight gain.

I look like the love child of Jabba the Hut and Demis Roussos.

I'm on Fat Highway, heading North.

And, for the first time ever, I feel like the fat chick at the school dance.

And I am certain that everyone is looking. And sniggering.

I fucking hate it.

Fat Bottomed Girls

you're all sick to death of me harping on about my weigh gain due to giving up the fags, aren't you?

Well, here's the thing. I don't even know what "healthy weight" is any more. I've always been succulent. As an adult, my weight hovers between a AUS size 12 to a 16.. ish. It depends on the time of the day, month, year. Most of my clothes are a size 14-16. And at that range I was pretty happy. I've never subscribed to the "you can't be too thin" school of thought, and I am lucky that Furry like women with a little meat on the bone. After me, his pin-up girl is Kate Fischer.

So, what is "healthy"? How is a "normal" woman meant to find and maintain a healthy weight for her age?

I haven't even bothered looking online, as I am sure Google will provide me with 11 basquillion different answers and am equal number of online Shysters willing to sell me a product for INSTANT WEIGHT LOSS!!

Since we gave up the coffin nails, Furry and I have been extremely conscious of what we eat. In particular, I KNEW that I was going to put on some lard.. last time I gave up, I put on 17 kgs in 3 months.. got depressed at my weight gain.. took up the fags.. and discovered I was a fat smoker.

So we really REALLY have been watching what we eat. And of course, it's Summer here in OZ, so living on BBQ and salad is uber easy.

Even so, I have managed to pack on 15 kgs of pork in nearly 4 months.

Pretty frickin' impressive, eh wot?

Clothes I bought on Boxing Day are now snug.

And I freakin' HATE it. Not enough to fall back into smoking self-loathing. but nearly.

So, we're upping the exercise and cutting back on carbs, thanks to the advice of my uber luscious cousin, The Princess. And repeating our mantra "I can get rid of fat, I can't get rid of lung cancer".

So here's our latest fairly healthy recipe in our Battle of the Bulge. The key to us losing weight is taste. Both Furry and I refuse to live on a lettuce leaf and a bottle of water. When we eat, we like FLAVOUR, and this healthy salad delivers it in spades, yet has less than 16gms of fat per serve.


1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium red onion (150g), chopped coarsely
1 clove garlic, crushed
24 uncooked medium king prawns (1kg)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil, extra
1 tablespoon lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 lime, cut into wedges

400g green beans, halved crossways
1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
4 small vine-ripened tomatoes (120g), quartered
1 medium red onion (150g), sliced thinly
1 teaspoon coarsely grated lime rind
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar


Blend or process spices, oil, onion and garlic until mixture forms a paste. Shell and de-vein prawns, leaving tails intact.

Make bean and coriander salad.

Heat extra oil in wok or large frying pan; stir-fry prawns, in batches, until just changed in colour.

Cook paste, stirring, in same wok about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Return prawns to wok with juice; stir-fry until prawns are heated through. Serve prawns with salad and lime wedges.

Boil, steam or microwave beans until just tender; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain. Combine beans in medium bowl with coriander, tomato and onion. Whisk rind, juice, garlic and sugar in small jug to combine.

Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to combine.

adapted from The Womans' Weekly Lean Food Cookbook