• Mohana Prabhakar

Just eat it

It seems to be that everyone is talking about January being the month to cut back on all the over-eating from last month, to go back to feeling like a butterfly rather than a slug. I am obviously still stuck in the month of indulgence as I seem to be thinking about food constantly.

I don’t get food cravings too often, but when I do, it is with all the fervour of a five year old. I remember my husband being forced out on midnight drives to find me tandoori chicken in the last few months before my son was born. Considering the amount of tandoori chicken I ate, I am amazed he wasn’t born the colour of Hellboy.

My current craze is cake, more specifically a plum cake, a traditional Christmas cake and I’ve just used the word ‘cake’ three times in one short sentence. I don’t know where January has gone and we are almost a month past Christmas, and I still can’t stop thinking about it. Obviously, whatever was there on shelves somewhere, it’s all long gone and going by reactions, nobody seems to have ever wanted to eat this but me.

I asked my friend, an undisputed Dessert Queen, where to get it and not only did she have no idea, but added that Christmas cakes, plum cakes or fruit cakes (or whatever they are called) were not her cup of tea and she never

baked them. She also told me to stop thinking about cakes. Another friend was even more brutal: “Why on earth do you want to eat that? Sounds terrible.”

I haven’t been able to figure out why I started the year so enamoured with little bits of candied peels and dried fruits in a cake that has a bit of a bitter aftertaste. The problem is that unless I find it somewhere, I have a feeling I am going to eat my way through 2018.

I knew I was in trouble when I found myself having a conversation with a luchi. For the uninitiated, a luchi is a puffy, crispy bread made with white flour, a close cousin of the puri. It is, unfortunately, quite delicious and easy to consume in alarmingly large quantities.

The conversation was quite one-sided and this is what it sounded like: I really shouldn’t eat you. You look small though. You also look incredibly tempting. A small bite can’t hurt. No, better not. Why not - I’ll just go work out tomorrow morning. Actually, I will eat all of you – it can’t hurt.

It ended with one becoming nine and this has generally been my norm every day since January 1. The closest I have got to a workout this month is following a ridiculously fit friend’s Instagram posts where he does superhuman (and completely unnecessary) exercises, bike rides and so on.

I am trying to eat healthy at the same time, but what’s happening is that along with all the healthy snacks like carrots, cucumber, celery and so on, when at home I also find myself raiding the fridge a bit too often. What’s even worse is that on such raids, I will even eat stuff I actively dislike.

The other night I ate goat cheese, which always makes me feel I am biting into a goat. Not a dead one that gets dished up as a stew, a curry or a pot roast, but a live one that may, at any time, turn around and bite me back.

All I want is a piece of that deliciously dark cake filled with raisins and currants and candied peel and for the sake of health, happiness and my wardrobe, I really don’t think I should wait until December 2018 to have it.

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