Bad news from the scales. I have not only failed to lose the weight I put on over Christmas, I have acquired a couple of kilos more. Which makes me about four and a half kilos overweight in total.
Where did it all come from? All too obvious, when you start to think about it. Bread, cheese and wine - the three things I love most to eat and drink.
Working on any cookery book tends to pile on the pounds but acquiring a frugal mindset is even worse. You convince yourself that no ingredient must be wasted so you find a home for it. Human hoover syndrome . . .
This is a dilemma I'm going to have to get to grips with. I need - urgently - to lose weight. I need to test recipes. I simply need to eat less.
No more than 1 glass of wine and two modest slices of baguette a day for a start. Cheese only as part of a meal, not as a nibble. Cut down charcuterie (difficult in France). Cut out butter. No puds (that's the easy bit - I don't have a sweet tooth)
A good start with a scratch salad for two for today's lunch made from leftovers from the fridge - half a small cucumber, half a green pepper, a head of chicory, the green bits from a large, sweet spring onion and a handful of parsley. All chopped, sliced or cut into chunks and tossed with a dressing made from a dessertspoon of tarragon vinegar, 2 dsp of basil-flavoured olive oil and 1 dsp of grapeseed oil (cheaper and lighter than using all olive oil). To my portion I added a few fine shavings of sheeps' cheese and a small chunk of fromage de tete (a very frugal jellied ham paté, a bit like brawn) and half the day's bread allocation. Surprisingly delicious and satisfying but can I keep it up?