Dieting comes as natural to most grandmothers as lying comes to a politician.
I find a small bit of comfort in attempting to discern which of the old wives tales contain a small scintilla of truth, not only for the obvious reasons, but to pass them on to future generations.
Many believe that if you eat standing up, the calories automatically drop to your feet and at worst your size sevens will become a half size larger. Okay, I concur there is a bit of sense in this, gravity and all that. But, try as I may, I can’t get it to work for me. Sure my feet get fatter, but so does everything else. There is definitely something wrong at the very core of this theory.
Eating while standing serves no purpose other than to get less exercise by foregoing pulling out a chair that must work off a few calories. It is also more labor intensive to walk an entire cake to the table than to rationalize standing and eating said cake over the sink. Eating upright leads to the evening off process, leading to the shoveling of more bites into the mouth process, which ultimately leads to the you’re a fat pig result.
I shall explain.
You grab a cake or pie out of the fridge. You must be somewhere in twenty minutes, so you say to yourself, “I have no time to eat. I’m in a hurry! I’ll just grab a piece of this and run. I’m so busy I’ll work these calories off in no time.” (Let me know if any of this sounds familiar).
There is something very strange about eating cake or pie with a fork sans knife. It is difficult to cut perfect pieces. The grooves of the tines seem to stay in the food like fingerprints on a victim’s neck. Screaming SHE ATE CAKE! SHE ATE CAKE! OINK!!!!
My overactive imagination? I think not. Otherwise, why would everyone go to such great lengths evening off the piece they ate. Making certain to cover the fork marks and make the edge smooth to the eye. This eliminates any evidence and usually very little cake or pie for the next person. By the time you cover your tracks, one of two things has happened. Either you’ve eaten an extra five hundred or a thousand calories during the evening off process or there’s so little cake left you’re forced to finish the evidence and tell everyone you had to throw it away because it got moldy or the cat walked across it.
Oh sure the story would stand up in court because who could prove otherwise? Except on the scale and when you are bulging out of your pantyhose. So, if you think I’m telling you not to eat standing up, no way. I know you will, but I guess it’s okay if you’re eating while running around the block three times or jogging cross country or, oh for goodness sakes if you’re a jogger, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place!
Of course there are also those who claim eating food from someone else’s plate is best since the calories stay with the initial owner of the food and do not transfer to the interloper. I have yet to prove this theory, but will continue to probe further until satisfied if it be truth or legend.
To add a positive spin to my diatribe, I must admit as we age our appetites do decrease. Ergo the sharing of the sandwich when out to lunch in lieu of a whole one, smaller portions and filling up more quickly. I suppose one must find comfort in this revelation although the fact our metabolism seems to move in a turtle-like fashion must offset this happy occurrence.
I am not one to judge since my metabolism and I have been at odds for years and it is the Rip Van Winkle of the metabolism world.
Or as my friend Yolanda so often points out, she now has the metabolism of a corpse.
So I shall continue to downward dog and Tai Chi my way into some semblance of fitness hoping against hope that my Grammy pants remain loose and I can keep up with my grandsons. This of course is the best form of exercise and I embrace it fully.
Chicken Paprikash Soup
4 large Chicken thighs
2 cans chicken broth
2 heaping tablespoons Hungarian paprika (more may be added if your tastes run to spicy)
Salt and pepper
Flour for dusting
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ½ teaspoon hot sauce
½ cup each of sour cream and half and half
½ cup crumbled crispy bacon for topping (optional)
Season and dust chicken thighs
Sauté chicken in butter and oil mixture (Easy on the fat is okay)
Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent and soft
When chicken is browned drain excess fat and add chicken broth to deglaze the pan
Add paprika and cook until incorporated
Add salt, pepper and cayenne or hot sauce to taste
Temper sour cream until room temperature and begin to slowly add to broth and chicken. When creamy, add half and half.
Finish warming and serve with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche or crumbled bacon pieces. Chicken may be served on the side or shredded into the soup and spaetzle may also be added to soup before serving.