Full to Bursting

The lady in the dry cleaners looked at me and looked at my gigantic rack of fresh-pressed clothes. Or perhaps I mean my rack of gigantic fresh-pressed clothes. “You and your clothes are not the same size” she said. “Your clothes are much bigger than you are” I grinned, and when I got home I sorted out most of the clothes in plastic to donate to charity. Now, admittedly the lady in the dry cleaners makes her living through alterations, and so there was everything in it for her to mention that my body dysmorphic disorder was causing me to walk around looking like a small animal caught in a large sack. But it is nice to be in a position where I am not saying “Just let that out an inch or two” and am instead moving the other way. (Read more about my campaign for calorie control here. Read about my London friend’s experience of life after gastric bypass here)

This said, in the last month I have put on at least 8lbs. I could tell you the gain is the result of stress, attending conferences, celebrating easter and entertaining family with lusty appetites, but actually it is the result of eating and drinking too much. Back on the beans and the calorie controlled portions and the glasses of water next week….

I will tell you that I enjoyed every bite and swallow, not least because so much of it was eaten outdoors. The feasting began in Miami FL where I was part of a conference (read about it at my work blog here) at the swishy Loews Hotel, and the guest of my friends Lee and Ray. Ray has had heart surgery, so he is very careful about what he eats. Lee is tiny and toned. It is fair to say that they exercised more caution than I when we went to the Makoto restaurant at Bal Harbor shops. This is sushi, but not as you know it. The rice is crispy, the textures are surprising and the sake slipped down very easily as we sat under palm trees listening to the sound of fountains and admiring the windows of the high end shops.  On another evening, Lee made a spectacularly good pizza. served with Rioja. She also had a good snack–Jicama cut into fingers and served with salt, pepper and lime juice. The great thing about Jicama is that it feels (and fills) like a starch, but isn’t.

The next weekend was Easter, which I celebrated with Tom and Mike in Rhinebeck, NY. On Good Friday, we ate at Mercato in Red Hook.  Mmmm, chicken livers. Oooh, risotto.

We were in Rhinebeck to visit Georgia and Lucy, who host a giant themed party at this time every spring. This year’s theme was Germany and so the menu included hasenpfeffer, (a rabbit stew we ate cold with bread), a lot of sausage, schnitzel, spaetzle, goulash, roast lamb, potato salad (the kind with bacon, onion and oil, not mayo), matzo ball soup, strudel and a lot of beer. Lite fare, it wasn’t, apart from the 650 stalks of white asparagus. There was also quite a lot of candy. The photos below don’t feature the food much, mainly because fat isn’t photogenic, and the hosts and guests were so beautiful. I ate everything except the goulash which I was just too full to tackle. By the time the Easter wheel was sent flaming down the hill to celebrate the end of winter I was not entirely sober.

My brother and his family were staying at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington DC, the hostelry that is home to the Dubliner pub. In 12 years in the nation’ s capital, I have never darkened its door, fearing that I would become too, too much of an Irish stereotype. I had fish and chips. It was both terrible and wonderful.

For the Itchy Ankle leg of their visit, the rellies were staying in Annapolis in a B&B above Chick and Ruth’s delly.  This diner challenges its diners to consume colossal milkshakes–6lbs of thick, creamy sweetness in a very tall glass. My niece and nephews, spawned from my own greedy gene pool, were more than equal to the challenge.

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About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Blarney Family, Cooking with the Crone, Culture with the Crone, food, friendship and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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