Troughing is a verb I use when I have been overeating. It stems from ‘trough” i.e. where pigs eat. There may be other animals that eat from a trough who are not associated with gluttony, but to my mind, a trough is associated with a pig which is associated with overeating. And troughing is what I have done plenty of in the past few days.
Sunday was supposed to be a day of restraint. Indeed I started the day admirably. I confess my primary motivation was the desire for a shower rather than fitness but two goals were achieved by my early morning swim at the pool in Cranbrook. I was in the water by 7:45 and swam non-stop for about 40 minutes. I was pleased with that and came home and had a reasonably healthy breakfast. It was healthy as it had a lot of nutrients but it was calorie/points heavy. I rationalised it to myself as I had been swimming and it would sustain me until lunch time.
I had 100 g Greek yogurt, 40 g granola (end of the pot 😦 ), 1 tsp honey and 1/2 a punnett of strawberries which I blitzed to a smooth puree.
It looked beautiful and tasted lovely.
On to lunch. Our friends Kath, Matt and Henry came for lunch. I met Kath at work in 1990 and we have been good friends ever since. I decided to do a roast chicken as everyone likes that and dieters can eat some of the lower fat breast meat. I was going to do new potatoes but remembering the duck fat I had saved in the fridge from yesterday , I made roast potatoes. Well, one or two won’t hurt will they?
Lara made a fabulous cauliflower and broccoli cheese. It is one of our favourite dishes and she is planning to eat this at University, using whatever veggies she can buy cheaply at the market. She will probably live on cheese on toast like everyone else but it’s good to have a few recipes up ones sleeve anyway. I also did a large bowl of steamed broccoli and green beans. Harvey can’t eat dairy and needs some green veg and I was planning to eat the steamed veg rather than the cheesey alternative.
I also cooked sausages to help feed the boys who had been playing rugby and football all morning, corn on the cob and gravy.
Here is a great corn on the cob tip from Kath, whose family used to grow sweetcorn back home in New Zealand. She was watching me struggling to cut the cobs in half (a whole one looks unseemly on the plate) and asked why I didn’t just snap them. It had never occurred to me how easy that would be. So never struggle to cut a corn cob again. Just hold it firmly at each end and snap it! It snaps surprisingly easily.
So on to lunch time. I did eat what I had planned to eat; chicken breast, steamed vegetables, 2 roast potatoes and some corn.
Unfortunately I also ate 3 helpings of the cauliflower and broccoli cheese and several sausages and had gravy and butter on the corn. Even if I do say so myself, and probably shouldn’t as I cooked most of it, it was lovely. But oh so calorific/pointastic. Look how loaded up my plate is – and these are large dinner plates.
Pudding. Using apples from the garden I made one of my favourite hot pudding recipes ever. It is in Delia’s complete cook book and is apples with an almond sponge. You chop up the apples, cook them gently with some brown sugar and a tbsp water and then tip the apples in to a buttered dish.
You then make up a standard sponge recipe (110 g butter, sugar, 2 eggs and then ground almonds instead of flour). Put the sponge mix on the apples and bake in the oven for an hour. The moist almondy sponge sits on top of the brown sugar baked apples. It is delicious. So delicious I had 2 helpings, with cream, and then with coffee I had one of Kath’s macaroons. And managed to drink copious amounts of NZ Sauvignon Blanc and Prosecco with Cassis.
We had a wonderful time and I enjoyed every mouthful but why did I eat so much? Surely I would have enjoyed myself as much if I had eaten less. And why have I been able to restrain myself recently and lose loads of weight and now I am really struggling again?
I spent the evening on the sofa. I was tired and so very full that doing anything was an effort. I watched X Factor and then the splendid Downton Abbey. The residents of Downton Abbey were served incredible food but there was no troughing there. All meals were a model of self-restraint. I know it is a made up drama but I am sure Mr Fellowes researched how they lived in that era and so it is a true reflection of the way an aristocratic family lived in 1916. They ate amazing food and those who lived upstairs didn’t even do much exercise to burn it off. But they were very slim. How did they eat 3 good meals a day and remain so sylph like? Definitely no troughing, that’s for sure.