My favourite television show at the moment is ‘Little Paris kitchen’ (SBS, Thursday nights @ 8 pm), where a young lady from the UK is living it up as a cook and food writer in a tiny apartment in Paris. I’m completely obsessed with the show, and so are a lot of people around me. So, apart from the whole living in Paris scenario, what makes this show so good?
- Rachel Khoo (the cook and food writer) is wearing her excellent collection of vintage outfits, which includes funny coloured knitted socks. Of course everyone loves vintage, so it’s sure to be a hit.
- She’s got a fringe extraordinaire going on (from one fringe queen to the next).
- Apart from a super cute British accent, she speaks perfect Françoise, enough to make me embarrassed I ever tried to learn it for five years in school only to end up with a half dodgy ‘tu t’appelle comment?’
- She lives en PARI! (Ops, already said that).
- She cooks in a tiny kitchen, with one stove top and a tiny oven, which should make any poor student living in dire conditions ashamed of their baked beans on toast diet (ashamed, I tell you!).
- She gets to eat all the baguettes and cakes she wants because quite frankly, it tastes too damn nice to resist and besides, she lives in Paris for God’s sake.
- And staying on the matter of eating, the absolute BEST thing about this show is that Rachel is cooking with…drum roll please…. cheese, cream, sugar, chocolate and BUTTER!! (iiiikk).
Now, can I please at this point be allowed to have a nervous breakdown about all the guilt that exists in my life…….I mean, I eat BREAD (in fact I love bread so much I tend to have it for breakfast AND lunch!), I eat butter (oohhh), I eat cheese (Greek feta, goats cheese, brie, cheddar, you name it and I eat it, several times a week), I eat cream, I eat eggs (why hello cholesterol, and by the way: how un-vegan of me!), I eat potatoes after 7 pm and I eat pasta whenever I see fit (ravioli, spag bol, carbonara, sometimes even a cheeky mac and cheese however always homemade, not the processed stuff…ehhh). So please allow yourself to point the finger at me, because I have already declared myself well & truly guilty! I have absolutely no knowledge of any super foods; I have a dodgy old blender which hardly blends, inherited from my mother in law; my favourite drink is red wine (no healthy juices here) and every day, I eat a big, fatty avocado, as if it was some kind of healthy fruit! (duuuhhh..)
So here I was, looking at websites where women had substituted bread with dust, pasta with quinoa and coffee with something green and slimy (gives you great energy, apparently! Well, so does coffee!!!!!), thinking that ‘gee I must be half dead already’. As it that wasn’t enough, I also visited some strange online airwaves where super skinny women were photographing their super toned abs (steroids?), and their firm bums in the latest Nike run wear, whilst proclaiming their love for the gym (at least 7 times a week everyone, oh wait does that mean every day of the week, hmmm oh well who has a job and a life anyway!). The same women were cooking their gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, and hold on, sugar free foods, in other words food without the nasties, ‘the horrible stuff’ (i.e. flour) and at this point I felt just about ready to curl myself into a ball and rock back and forth whilst singing a hymn from my child hood.
But please, don’t get me wrong, I own both a gym membership AND a cookbook by Michelle Bridges. I also make a lot of wholesome home cooked meals, but I am not prepared to die of shame the next time I discover I don’t have much in the fridge because I work hard and catch public transport, and instead end up devouring boiled pasta with butter and parmesan cheese (and a maybe tiny bit of cheddar…!) for dinner. Or for enjoying sitting down at a street cafe with a cappuccino and a croissant, and for putting the finger up at the buckwheat chocolate cake. For me, life is all about give and take. I go to the gym, I love working up a sweat, and I love getting strong & fit. However I also cut myself some slack at the same time. Meaning I don’t always eat five a day (although I try my best) and I don’t need to be slaving in the kitchen for hours to make every tiny ingredient from scratch (and quite frankly, who the heck has the time to do that anyway)!
So here I was, feeling beyond guilty about my ‘crazy’ lifestyle: involving anything from coffee first thing in the morning, to a sandwich for lunch, and wait for it, roast potatoes and pan-fried fish (in butter of course) for dinner! And then Rachel came along, rosy cheeked and all smiles, cooking with beautiful French cheeses, cream and more than a dollop of salty, French butter! Can I just say….THANK YOU RACHEL! Not only for preparing and endorsing mouth-watering dishes on telly, but for being normal, and by that I mean having a normal body weight and cooking with simple, old-fashioned ingredients like white flour, caster sugar and filo pastry. I will not proceed to have a nervous breakdown then, after all, because at least now I know that there are two of us out there with our crazy, normal ‘eat everything in moderation’ diets!
Now, where is that smart phone so I can get a photo of those abs……..
#guilt #nervousbreakdown #howaboutsomechocolatecake?