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Food food food food food food food food. There’s a lot of it about lately. It’s December 30 today, which means we’re approaching the final hump before we can put aside obligatory festive gluttony. I’m starting to feel like I haven’t been hungry for a week: I have been either staying with family, had visitors over, or been out for meals. After five days and only three meals at home, I was starting to have wild lush fantasies about eating nothing except a poached egg on toast with a little black pepper, no butter. Sipping soda water with slices of lemon. Clean, light foods. The fantasies moved to things like shredded iceberg lettuce, so it was a relief to have a break and have my usual diet.

Don’t mistake me, I don’t regret a moment of it: all the food I’ve had has been fresh, delicious, homemade stuff. But there was just. So. Much.  Plum  pudding. Roast onions. Hokkein noodles. Clafoutis (that’s mostly my own fault: I have a neurotic twitch that means when cherries are near me I must turn them into clafoutis). Potato and rosemary pizza. Spicy black bean quesadillas. Carrot cake. (Ooooooh M’s carrot cake.)  See what I mean? There were, of course, seasonal treats available: where there’s socialising, there’s nibbles. Roasted macadamias, chocolate-covered sultanas; cherries (see also: clafoutis, above) and plums; wine, lots of wine; cheese…yeah. See? A lot of food., lush and tasty and over-abundant. I’m not one for penitent self-deprivation: but I reach a point where instead of going “a glass of wine! yes please!” I go “ah, wine again, is it?” It’s not so much detox as a blessed relief. I can hear my liver creaking like an old chair, begging for a break. The surrounding organs could use a holiday too, come to think of it. So, how to recover? After you take the initial step of eating less, which comes as a relief, three curative steps.

Part one. Compliments of the season, a friend brought over just what I needed:

Those fuzzy workers know what they're about.

That right there is a wedge of fresh honeycomb, wax and all, oozing fresh honey onto my yoghurt for breakfasat. Say it with me: honey and yoghurt. Fresh honey, homemade yoghurt. Oh yes. It’s as good as it sounds — it tastes heavenly, smooth and clean and fresh and nourishing.

Nourishing part two (of which there are no pictures because  it’s all frozen in tubs): ratatouille. Slow-cooked ratatouille is the total bomb. Chopped eggplant, capsicum, zucchini, onions (didn’t have any capsicum for this round), mixed with a couple of tins of tomatoes, a little water, and whatever spices and herbs are closed to hand. This batch got parsley, marjoram, thyme, paprika, cumin, the last spoonful of tapenade from the bottle, and a huge blob of chilli jam. Roast for a couple of hours, then eat hot or cold. I’ve been known to puree leftover ratatouille for pizza sauce, and it’s pretty good cold on tortillas. I’ve got enough stockpiled in the freezer for weeks.

Part three: go for a really long walk. If your life is as awesome as mine, you’ll go for a drive with some mates to the beach and go on a fantastic bushwalk for an afternoon. You’ll clock up a couple of k’s and see a brown snake and a goanna, and when you come home you’ll feel tired and clean and goooood. Moving around after a few days of, well, not, felt mighty fine. Powerful fine. Pass me my yoghurt, I’m feeling better already.



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