31st August 2011 Wednesday
The pear and green tomatillo chutney won’t thicken up. I’ve been boiling it for hours even though the recipe says only one hour. The whole house smells of vinegar now - not my favourite aroma. I dip my spoon into the saucepan - it tastes pungent and garlicky and also very sweet. We have been on a restricted sugar and fruit diet for over a week now - all part of a cleansing/healing plan for my husband. So I’m joining in. I felt cross and deprived at first but now I’m coping without sweetness by overeating roasted almonds and salted pistachio nuts.
I notice that it’s not really the taste of cake and ice cream and chocolate and wine that I miss. It’s the sense of occasion I associate with them, the sense of a treat, a reward for being good, of looking forward to pudding, of going out for a meal, of cooking for the people I love - they all seem to include the luxury of sweetness. Or just reaching for an apple in the fruit bowl as I pass by without thinking. A second helping of green beans, however delicious, doesn’t really hit that spot.
But it's just another change to get used to - another thought to re-think.
Today I sat with two gorgeous women at our kitchen table sharing an almost exclusive vegetable lunch funded mostly from the allotment - a hot mustardy dressed potato, runner bean and courgette salad, roasted tomato quarters and warm sliced beetroots. I felt so nourished by the sweetness of their company that I didn’t mind saying no to the beautiful pale plums from my sister’s garden.
And I know there is a big bag of pistachio nuts in the cupboard if I need them later on.