Elsie Hogfat

Lagom Food. Lagom Philosophy.

Archive for March, 2010

Protected: Elsie’s Food Log: 31.03.2010

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Other times, other customs…

In preparation for long voyages we would make ship’s biscuits we called Vemodsbroed .  We made them in the shape of  flat discs, with a centre hole, for easy storage.   These were not delicious items of food, but they were made bearable by the addition of butter and cheese.  Aboard ship, we all worked hard, and our bodies demanded energy.  As is the rule of ships, everyone must pull their weight.  All equipment and stores must also give a high yield or benefit in comparison to their weight and volume.  These hard, densely packed ship’s biscuits fitted the criteria and were excellent filler for the hungry crew.

Fortunately for my long term health, I was handy with a line and a net and a basket, and the cook’s favourite, so it was often the case that I was too full from a secret fish breakfast to need much of my share of Vemodsbroed.  In general I do not recommend this kind of food.  It is less harmful when it is eaten with plenty of lovely clean fat (like butter).  It is also less harmful when the body is working hard the way we worked on the ships; that is; a lot of lying about and then all of a sudden a bustle and a flurry.

Now I am a lady of independent means and I may eat what I choose.  I shouldn’t miss ship’s biscuit, but I do miss those times.  How quickly they passed!   I  remember fondly the pleasant CRUNCH of the Vemodsbroed and contrast of cheese, butter and biscuit, the salt spray, the deep blue, the horizon… and I think about how quickly Lovley Lentilla grew from a sweet babe to womanhood, and what it means to be the last of the Hogfats, and then I find myself very much fancying a champ on a Vemodsbroed.

Protected: Elsie’s Food Log: 30.03.10

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Mashed philosophy.

I have watched Lovely Lentilla’s diet with great interest and concern throughout her life.  So you might think I have talked about my concerns?  No.    I am a smart, smart cookie; I said not a word.

Sometimes Lovely Lentilla would try to interest me in whatever miss the mark, off the ship philosophy she was swallowing that particular moment.   I would quickly (too quickly!) agree but be sure to look very distracted as if I was wondering where I left my hanker and that way, she couldn’t take my agreement as considered endorsement.  When I thought she was receptive, for example a few weeks into a new way of eating with the initial burst of enthusiasm and confidence waning… I would lead by example and heartily enjoy whatever good food was currently off the menu, and praise its qualities and be sure to quickly follow that up with a demonstration of my fitness, agility and constant good humour.

Lovely Lentilla’s dietary beliefs were of course the usual tragic mish mash.  I have catalogued them, and intend to discuss each of the various malign forces of reason at work in forming her beliefs, later.

Protected: Elsie’s Food Log: 29.03.10

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Protected: Elsie’s Food Log: 28.03.2010

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Chocolate, like coffee, is an intelligent and benevolent being, with a gift to offer.   Whereas coffee tastes of the exhilarated joy of reason and discovery, chocolate tastes of unconditional love.   Oh, please, now, graduates and autodidacts, don’t reach for the low hanging fruit of some foolish Freudian analysis and compare coffee to the father principle and chocolate to the mother principle, and then deduce from that an absence or compensatory behaviours!  It is just not that simple, though of course, there is some truth in that as well.

We shall discuss chocolate (and coffee) further but at present, I am in the business of issuing edicts to my splendid niece Lovely Lentilla.

Nobody should eat any kind of chocolate other than dark chocolate.

The corrupting of chocolate with sugar was a terrible dietary evil, and milk has no business getting involved either.  If you want the benefits of dairy products, have butter, cream, cheese or yogurt.  Eat full fat!  Don’t let them stick any surplus fruit muck in it either.  If you have a perfect metabolism, like myself,  a little milk will be fine, but it is not suitable for most.

Milk contains milk-sugar.  Too much.

Cream may have a little trace, butter has hardly any.  In cheese and yogurt, the milk sugar has been digested for you by nice, helpful small creatures, and you can safely eat them up too.

Even so, these friendlier dairy foods still have no business getting messed in with chocolate at the product level.  At home, you may like to add some grated dark chocolate to some cream or yogurt or marscapone and put it in an ice-cream maker.  Add some egg yolks while you’re there, perhaps a splash of brandy, vanilla, coffee and crushed almonds.  I don’t mind.  That’s fine in your own kitchen.

I encourage the consumption of chocolate.   I think a good rule  might be that a person with a good metabolism may eat chocolate of 70%.

I hope that when your broken metabolism is fixed, Lovely Lentilla, you may also eat chocolate of 70%, but for now it is not safe for you to eat it because even that small percentage of sugar will likely sap your will.

You may eat chocolate of 85%, and I hope you do.  That is why I have bought a dozen blocks of it for your pantry.