Questions, comments, or a free recipe card for Nana's Garlic Brisket? Contacting Cherie at Kimmons@chartertn.net.
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Food Resolutions for the New Year
Apr 7, 2008
Ah, January first. The beginning of the new year. Or, “New Year,” if you are a Hallmark card. Or “NEW YEAR!” if you are my mom sending her annual greetings to family and friends. Just add italics and color for the full effect.
For many, this is a day devoted to recovery from the night before. When you are young, the process moves along at a pace discernable to the naked eye. Each passing hour brings a closer approximation of normalcy. In fact, you may even decide a good long workout will burn the remaining poisons out of your body and afterwards, you will be ready for a nice fluffy egg-white omelet.
If you are more ah, shall we say, seasoned, the recovery process is a bit slower. Feeling better is an elusive concept that won’t really kick in for several weeks. The only snapping back going on involves elastic waist bands. You can estimate the number of celebrations you have witnessed by totaling up the number of bags under your eyes, much like counting the rings of a tree trunk. Work outs are a pale memory. Omelets require too much effort to prepare, much less eat.
And eating is a key concept for January. Each month has its own identity. For example, February is known for romantic love, March is all about spring, and April is taxes and/or depression. May is graduation, June is escape. July is red white and blue, and August is the end of vacation. September will forever be remembrance and October is crunchy leaves and pumpkins. November gobbles and December gives.
The focus for January is, unquestionably, food - or the lack of it. This is the natural progression from the previous month’s excesses. Who hasn’t experienced the waning of the will power brought on by the endless sweet and savory temptations of year’s end?
The beginning of December finds us strong, partaking carefully of the veggie tray at parties and keeping the workouts regular. But then someone brings in Christmas cookies and soon boxes of candy and honey hams start arriving at the office. Before long, cream cheese is our constant companion and we don’t even fool with ordering skim milk in the latte. What’s the point? By the end of the month, eating is our only regular workout, and peanut brittle is the breakfast of choice.
Come January, we attempt a return to discipline in our eating habits. Self-control peeps out of the hole in which it has been hiding, prairie dog-like, to assess the likelihood of a warm reception. Once again it matters whether or not you actually are hungry before you eat something. (Remember feeling hungry??)
To be honest, my favorite part of the January return to sanity is cleaning out the cupboards of naughty eats. (And speaking of cleaning out, let me mention Bubba’s Hott Nuts #218 – little peanut rotor rooters of unstoppable efficiency.) We have learned the hard way that no matter how well the candy or chips are hidden in our house, they will be found and devoured in a moment’s weakness. So out they go. For a couple of days, we fix every package of no-no’s we have lying around, and meals are an odd array of the good, the bad and the ugly. Eclectic, if you will, and definitely not on any published eating plan.
But once the good-luck black-eyed peas are gone, we begin the serious pursuit of guilt-free eating. No more peanut brittle for breakfast. No more fried bread or razzleberry pie. Anytime. We return to my brother’s formula for dinner: a grilled protein thing and a guest vegetable. The only good carbohydrate is one missing in action.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go fire up my new indoor grill. But first I have to clean the peanut brittle out of this keyboard.
Cherie Kimmons can be reached at Kimmons@chartertn.net