Oh you guys! I am so sick of holiday food.
Back to basics, then.
Okay, many of you are American, and will be incredulous when I say that every Christmas, I gorge myself on fruitcake. And I think there is simply no way for us to understand each other unless you 1. grew up in a Commonwealth country where Christmas cake is taken seriously i.e. drowned in booze and thus greeted with glad cries or 2. come over to my house next December and let me feed you something that doesn’t have green cherries in it. You will die! <- my promise.
(Note: I myself was born and raised in America, so please know that I know I am a big weirdo. Still, I will try to persuade you that you are really missing something worthwhile if you lump all fruitcake in with Classic Joke fruitcake.)
Anyway, the point is, I look forward all year to eating fruitcake, without which Christmas tastes of drought and sadness. And that’s literal, the years I start soaking the fruits in rum months in advance, and then baking the cakes and wrapping them in cheesecloth and giving them little drinks of booze once a week as the holidays approach. See? Taking things seriously.
Then what? Then I eat tons of fruitcake at Christmas.
Also maybe some mince pies and gingerbread and marzipan and toffee and chocolates that people send (thank you, friends!) and gougères and eggnog and figgy pudding (jk; haven't had that since my grandmother last made it) and all manner of system-challenging foods that I get my fill of plus some and then can’t stand the sight of.
Every year ends this way. Sick to death of fancy food. Goodbye to all that, I say!
And thus every year begins this way: A return to basics. The simple meal! The simple ingredients! Bring me the whole foods and nothing but the whole foods, I say.
I noticed something was different this year, though. There was no shame in feasting. And no shame driving me to reform my eating.
I mean, I know I’ve written about this no-shame thing, extensively, so why shouldthere be shame in feasting?
And yet: shame is a habit like any other, and it lingers. “Feeling fat” is a habit, and it lingers. “Needing to go on a diet, probably,” is an idea that if not found lingering in our own brain, is loitering right outside - despite the No hang out! sign you posted - and trying to get in all day, every day, especially in January. (And May.)
It actually requires some effort and discipline to yank our attention away from these habits. Until the day that withdrawing your attention is something that actually doesn’t require effort, and that is a Great Day. That is the day I had this year, sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when I realized I was sick of party food and tired of feasting and ready to eat differently.
AND I DIDN’T HATE MYSELF at all.
So without shame, punishment, or worry about what the scale said, I sat down and adopted this excellent savory breakfast, which I've eaten a lot since, and which you might like too. It comes from the recent cookbook Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes by Alison Roman. It tastes like relief, arrival and fulfillment.
Smashed Cucumbers with Yogurt and Savory Granola
(adapted from Dining In)
makes one serving
- Squeeze a bit of lemon or lime over a serving of plain yogurt, whatever kind you like. I like Greek.
- Grate a bit of garlic over it - no more than a small clove for one person - add salt and pepper, and mix
- Smash one small Persian cucumber or 1/3 of a long English cucumber (inside a plastic bag) or just chop and add
- Sprinkle the top with a few slices of green onion and some Aleppo pepper (or if you have access to them, dried and crushed pulla chiles. THEY ARE THE VERY BEST.)
- Add some of Alison’s Savory Granola to the top (see the book for this recipe, or just combine lots of seeds and some nuts, salt, pepper, chile flakes, and a little soy sauce, an egg white or two, and bake as you would a sweet granola). Enjoy!
Now is a good time for me to remind you that Amazon shares some money with me if you buy a book after clicking that link (aka affiliate link). I think they'll send me about 9 cents US. But I tell you what: that book is so good I would pay THEM to share it with you. I have never made so many things in the first month of owning a cookbook ever before. It is exactly as advertised: Highly cookable.
By the way: My job is to show you how to quit bingeing, quit dieting and start losing weight immediately. Most of my clients stop bingeing permanently after one meeting, even if they've been out of control for decades. Here's a page that describes how I work: maxdaniels.com/bok.
If this is what you've been waiting for, hit Reply to this email, and we'll set up a quick chat - no cost, no pressure - to see if we're a fit.
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