Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Fat

Where would I be without the good old Times to provide me with starting points for my daily blog?   Up the creek without a paddle most of the time I am afraid.   Somehow the Times gets my brain working early in the day (I read it and do some of the Mind Games over breakfast - stops the need for intelligent conversation at that early hour).

Starting points today  revolve around fat. First of all the death, at the age of 66, of Clarissa Dickson Wright - the remaining one of the Two Fat Ladies, who used to whizz around the country on their ancient motor bike and side car cooking enormous meals which seemed to consist of butter, cream and something Dickson Wright had shot.

Always larger than life (in all senses of the phrase) and with a penchant for over-spending, a recovered alcoholic, definitely upper class - and yet compulsive watching in her cookery on TV days.

Fat (around her hips or in her cooking) never bothered her in the slightest, and now I see in the Times that Scientists, after forty years of telling us that things like butter and bacon are bad for our hearts, say that there is little or no evidence to prove any link between fat and the heart.  Apparently, the best way to stay heart-healthy is now deemed to be don't smoke, stay active and eat a healthy diet.  I may well go back to bread and butter instead of that disgusting bread and some spread or other, although I would add another way to stay heart healthy and that is to choose to be born to parents who themselves have healthy hearts!

And I shall certainly call Kingsley Amis's quote to mind whenever I have any feelings of guilt about my diet.   He said, " no pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a retirement home."

The trouble is that with us ladies (note the polite word, Tom) there is a tendency for all fat to settle in one place.   Or as my father, rather more rudely, put it - "when to the age of forty they come, men go to belly and women to bum."

22 comments:

Robin Mac said...

How wonderful not to feel guilty about cooking with butter. I have given up taking much notice of any of the health tips and I think that quote of Kingsley Amis is brilliant - except I hope NEVER to have tp enter a nursing home as a resident.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Love the Amies quote!
We love butter here, in fact we are often asked "are you having some more bread with that butter?", but I never cook with it.
I'm also partial to a slice of bread and dripping with salt.
Gill

Twiggy said...

A bit of what you fancy....I always fry my mushrooms in butter as they taste so good. However, I probably only eat mushrooms once a month. I like the occasional crumpet with butter too!
Twiggy

Arija said...

Well, I have never liked margarine or like products. I fry in a mixture of lard saved from bacon fat and butter, have thick butter on my bread and, having had three open heart surgeries and no clogged arteries, cannot see the point in changing my diet. No doctor I have ever asked could assure me I would live a second longer by eating unsaturated fats or oil.
Exercise and being happy makes for a healthy heart and rest of the body.
My mother always said she'd rather die on a full than an empty stomach.
All things in moderation is my motto and since with two replaced heart valves I have made it to 77 not out, I'll stick to my guns.

Bovey Belle said...

I've always hated margerine and chose to eat butter instead- in moderation.

As for Clarissa Dickson Wright, I shall mourn her passing. They have thrown away the mould for such as she - outspoken and forthright, insanely intelligent but never one to throw it in your face, and someone who stuck by her beliefs, a sensible cook (I have no time for recipes which have names which list their ingredients!) and who - good for her - was as totally non PC as it is possible to be. My heroine.

Crafty Green Poet said...

moderation is definitely key.

and the sooner the Government and GPs realise that fat isn't evil and that cholesterol isn't as bad as its made out to be and stop trying to force statins on everyone over 50 the better....

Cro Magnon said...

Butter is a natural product; 'spreads' are not. We should eat everything sensibly, and as natural as possible. I'm sure Clarissa would have said the same (even if she didn't abide by it).

Gwil W said...

I've started eating a product called yoghurt-butter, don't know if it's more healthy but there you go, another fad no doubt.

MorningAJ said...

Actually, whether your fat settles around your tum or your bum is also a genetic trait. Those of us with family histories of bad hearts tend to have big bellies. No-one is really sure why.

My family's average life expectancy is early 70s, with a few key figures who went in their fifties or early sixties.

That's life, I'm afraid.....

Mary said...

Have never given up butter or eaten substitutes on bread items, but do usually cook with a little olive oil plus a wee bit of Irish butter for mushrooms and sauces.

At present butter is out though. I'm following the Paleo Diet for a couple of weeks to kickstart losing some Winter pounds that appeared over these awfully cold months, and to see if my digestion is happier without gluten and sugar! This is basically the 'caveman diet' with no foods other than what Paleolithic man/woman ate. For me being a non-meat eater it means only the following - fish, eggs, fresh fruits, non-starch veggies, nuts - NO dairy, NO sugar, NO salt, NO wheat (gluten), NO pulses, rice etc. None of those things were available to Paleolithic man and our bodies were supposedly not built to consume them and remain healthy. It's not an easy diet but I have lost 5 lbs. in week one and do feel better. Not really hungry, can't be after consuming $50 worth of fresh fruits and vegs within a few days - but would love to have a slice of bread and butter, a chunk of cheese, a crispy cracker, a sweet biscuit…..and so forth!!! Meanwhile, back to chopping the vegs for another supper.

I will miss Clarissa - read more about her after your previous post - she certainly was a character!

Mary

rachel said...

Great quotations, both of them! I gave up all synthetic alternatives to butter years ago, after reading how many chemical processes were involved in creating them, and how many chemical residues were left for us to eat. And what is nicer than good bread and butter? (maybe good bread toasted and buttered!)

But moderation and portion control have never been my strong points......

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hi Pat. Oh, I loved watching the Two Fat Ladies on TV. They were a hoot and a half.

Alas, I like butter, but butter does not like me. The only thing I really miss on no dairy, no wheat, no gluten diet is...toast slathered with butter. Sigh. Broke down and had a slice on Sunday. No good. Double sigh.

Reader Wil said...

Your father was right, Pat! Fortunately we were advised by a doctor on tv to eat at least two pieces of pure dark chocolate every day, for that seems to be very wholesome!Well that's okay with me!
Have a great week!
Wil, ABCW Team

Elizabeth said...

"There is no pleasure in this life worth sacrificing for an extra five years in the Sunnyside Old People's Home"

Rumpole of the Bailey (John Mortimer)
He probably lift it from Amis.

Fresh air, exercise, good fellowship......and eat what the hell you want (unless allergic or diabetic)!
Avoid packaged/tinned/processed food.
Other than that -go for it.
It's all in fate and the genes anyway.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

My rule for eating - is eat close to the earth - the less processing the better - fresh when possible is always better than canned (too much salt) though frozen can be ok if you check.

What they aren't telling you in most articles is the discovery that margarine turns to plastic in the veins and will not come out - it is the main reason for bypass surgery. There are companies comprised of only doctors in the US that own margarine making companies - hmmmmm You can easily find this information on the internet.

At one point I saw a cartoon - it said basically that with all the health "trends" that in 20 years they would revert to saying "eat 2 tablespoons of shortening to stay healthy". That is how I feel about food trends - they are diets thought up to profit one or another food company - they seem to take turns. East sensible - eat close to the earth and exercise a bit - always good advice.

Heather said...

Your father put it so well - I am inclined to be broad in the beam myself. I have heard some health food followers say that they would choose butter over margarine as it is a more natural food. I am cursed with a good appetite and not enough willpower but eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegs and enjoy my food.

Penny said...

I use butter in moderation, was told to use one of those cholesterole stopping margarines, I am a dairy farmers wife for heavens sake! Read the packaging and I had to eat twice as much butter as I do for it to work Ridiculous, eat in moderation and back to walking after my knee op, yes more weight on the bum than I would like but what the heck I hope no nursing homes for mr. Loved the 2 fat ladies.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comments - I now feel a lot less guilty when I eat butter. As for chocolate - alas I don't care for it all that much.
But mushrooms in butter - my mouth waters at the thought.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comments - I now feel a lot less guilty when I eat butter. As for chocolate - alas I don't care for it all that much.
But mushrooms in butter - my mouth waters at the thought.

thelma said...

Glad the missing hen has turned up, they are all probably confused by the move.....

Hildred said...

I am with Kingsley Ames!!! This morning I am going to sing with the senior's choir at the local facility for people who have outlived the time when their bodies and minds were adequate to maintain them in their own homes, and I wonder if modern medicine is really doing us a favour in prolonging life under these circumstances. Live, love, laugh and be happy and eat what pleases you!!!

Rachel said...

Nothing better than cooking in lard. I never use anything else. I bought a Czech cookery book purely because when glancing through it I saw that all the recipes started with lard. And lovely the food is too.