Members 35. Wild East 7. Food.

I wasn’t always in the Irish Pub. Honest.

It’s a terrible oversimplification, but Central Europe and I expanded our food horizons together.

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Living the Dream – 30. Harvest

My mum always jokes that if you throw a rotten tomato into the garden in Cyprus, months later, you would have a tomato plant. The soil here is incredibly fertile. Fruit and vegetables grow in abundance and taste divine.

Winter is citrus season and we are fortunate to have some trees in the garden.

The harvest is grapefruit, clementine, mandarin, orange, lime and pomelo.

I was looking forward to a little fruit. A little fruit? I’m fond of understatement, but holy moly…what a harvest!

Mandarin Harvest
Masses of fruit

So much fruit, I’ve never seen. There is something very special about walking down the garden in the morning and picking breakfast from the tree.

The huge yellow things in the title picture are Pomelos. I now know,(thank you, Google), that the Pomelo pre-dates the Grapefruit, which is a hybrid of it and the orange. It’s a curious fruit. The bright yellow skin promises a super-grapefruit. Cut open, the fruit presents as a pale grapefruit wrapped in papier-mâché and a yellow leather jacket. The size comes from the protection that the fruit wears.

The papier-mâché, more properly called pith, is tough and as well as encasing the fruit, it acts as a skeleton. The flesh, which is the fruit, is lovely and sweet.

That said, its best not to be too hungry when choosing a pomelo for breakfast. Getting to that sweet flesh is hard work and the rewards seems scant in proportion to the effort.

Marmalade

However, it is alleged that one can make marmalade from pomelo, so even as I type, Mrs L is doing battle with pomelos.

Meanwhile, I’m having a grapefruit every morning and as many mandarins and clementines as I can. Visit the house in winter and you get force-fed citrus fruit.

In between writing and editing this post, Mags presented us with an honest to goodness, absolutely authentic, damn tasty, pomelo marmalade. My type of harvest.

The harvest, bottled
Pomelo Marmalade

Fame and fortune awaits!

Eating Food

eat-real-food

Now, we are on to one of my specialised subjects. You don’t get to be twenty one stone without packing away a fair amount of food.

It is not completely new to me that twenty one stone is, shall we say, a little on the heavy side. Like seven stone on the heavy side.

As I gave up smoking two and a half years ago, that excuse is wearing a little thin now.

After hours of research (sitting on my ample arse), I came to the conclusion that I may need to reassess ‘my relationship with food’. This is quite a revelation for someone wholly unaware that I had a relationship with food. Relationship? I just eat the stuff.

Another conclusion was that moving was far better than not moving. Walking is a big part of that – and I am doing lots of it – as you may have read here. 

So, the long-suffering Mrs L and I are making some changes to our diet. We are going back to basics – and trying to eat as much ‘good’ stuff as possible, while cutting out the ‘bad’ stuff.

If you actually get into researching this, you soon realise that nobody has the first clue as to what is good and what is bad. It changes on an almost daily basis.

I suspect that this is partly because the workings of the human body are incredibly complicated, and partly because the vast majority of the research is funded by people trying to make money.

The dairy industry for example funds studies that unequivocally demonstrate the health benefits of dairy products. Try telling that to the Association of Soya Bean Producers though…their proof is much more ‘proof-ier’.

My head hurt as I sorted claim from counter-claim. I opted for an entirely unscientific approach and am making up my own rules…

  1. Lots of colours are nice. (Careful cooking stuff, in case you lose the colour.)
  2. Mucking about (or processing as the industry calls it) with food never does it any good.
  3. All things are fine – in moderation. (That last word is a challenge for me in many, many areas!)
  4. Cooking is fun.

So far…so good. We have made more dishes ‘from scratch’. Tasty. We are eating more colourful, unprocessed and uncooked food.

It’s fun. We ‘feel’ healthy, and we are losing weight. I’m a positive sylph-like figure as I passed the nineteen and a half stone mark. (Admittedly – a bloody big sylph.)