It’s not that I have lost my appetite – far from it – I am eating in huge quantities. What’s changed is what I eat and how I think about it. I used to spend hours thinking about different ideas, ingredients, combinations, ways of doing things, planning future meals and treats, as well as reading about food, where it comes from and how. I’ve lost the spark, the joy.
I want to eat quick, easy and filling – comfort food. Mainly bread. I fantasise about bread and toast and crumpets and potato cakes, ideally warm and oozing with butter, perhaps with eggs. I’m carb-loading like an athlete, except I barely leave my bed, let alone the house. Complex flavours are out – the most I crave is sweet and salt. Sweet, plain biscuits, like hangover food. I eat Pringles by the tube (luckily Asda has them for £1 at the moment). At best, handfuls of dried fruits and nuts. And if there’s nothing else, I eat sugar with a teaspoon straight from the packet. My teeth ache.
I suspect this is partly about hibernation eating – my body wants more insulation from the cold, although aesthetically, I’d rather not. I’ve always eaten for comfort. That’s fairly normal. It’s just where has the rest of the food love – even the food self-respect – gone?
We’re having the same few simple meals in a cycle. Going through the motions. Pasta, stir fry, chips. The other night some friends came round for dinner, and everything went wrong, despite using tried and tested recipes. I even burned the rice. When a boy came round, instead of trying to impress him, I let him cook for me. In a way, that’s good, but I feel perhaps it’s gone too far. In the mornings, porridge seems like too much effort. I can’t even be bothered to bake! Not even a Christmas cake yet – I have a bowlful of sherry-soaked fruits sitting sadly in the kitchen who haven’t made it yet.
It’s partly to do with motivation, of course, partly financial, and I suppose I still don’t have the kind of community and food-loving peers I had in London. I’ve also learned important lessons about being too much of a control freak with the food. It’s probably best not to become too much of a snob. I hope it’s a phase that will pass and perhaps in the meantime I’ll have more time for ‘more important’ things. It was one of the sources of joy in my life, though, at a time when I feel they are needed.
I look forward to getting that back, and any ideas, recipes, suggestions, challenges you have for me would be very welcome!