I worked at an ice-cream shop when I was at university. One of the perks of the job was taking home a couple of generous scoops of Chocolate Ecstasy and Chocolate Mud, topped with hot fudge, at the end of every shift. My sweet tooth became extremely well developed, and got used to a constant supply of rich, creamy chocolate.
My university years provided enough sugar to fill my lifetime quota. I don’t eat many sweet things these days, but when I do, I go for quality over quantity, and opt for something a little more subtle than a triple choc sundae.
We had friends over for lunch on Sunday and I needed something sweet to round out a simple meal of cauliflower soup served with ham, cheese and pear toasties. The market had offered up crisp, fragrant red apples as well as plump mandarins and I grabbed more of those walnuts I found last week. I had the beginnings of a winter fruit platter but it needed something extra.
White food. It’s all I’ve been eating for the last seven or eight weeks, thanks to a robust dose of morning sickness! I had the type that feels like the worst hangover you’ve ever had, lasts all day and can only be cured by second and third breakfasts, a constant supply of carbs, and TV marathons.
Writing about my kitchen activity over the last couple of months would have resulted in rather short posts. They would have focussed on four main food groups; meat wrapped in pastry, chips, bread and potatoes. Let’s not quibble that chips and potatoes are technically the same thing. Any variation, no matter how small, was important considering vegemite was my main source of vitamins.
The first trimester is now behind me and green food has made a welcome comeback to my plate. My latest challenge is feeding the voracious hunger this kid seems to be fuelling. I regularly find myself in front of an open fridge, willing interesting yet healthy snacks to appear. This week, with a second-trimester kick of energy, I’ve stocked up with high-protein snacks to keep this baby growing.
Sitting on a train, listening to music and watching your point of origin morph into your destination out the window is a lovely way to travel. But if you’re not into dry, sparse sandwiches packed in too much plastic, or greasy, limp offerings from the neon shopfronts at the station, then eating on a train can be disappointing. In preparation for a 3-hour trip on the Long Island Rail Road this week, I packed myself a little snack.
I generally choose salty over sweet; a bag of potato chips will not last long in my presence. Though if sweet combines with salty, well, that is an elevated snack.
Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a solid performing bite to eat on their own. When they’re roasted with a spicy-sweet combination of flavours, these seeds develop their naturally chewy, subtly sweet nuttiness into a richer, crunchier and altogether more satisfying treat.