Start: 95.4 Last week: 88.5 This week: 188
Tuesday 26 December: I realize that I simply have no will power. Or rather, I have no ability to absent myself from the table when others want to eat. Over the past few days the eating has not been excessive, not by any normal standards. But there have been many occasions on which, had I been alone, I know that I would have simply skipped a meal. As it is, with friends all around, I have been more than happy to cook and eat with them. It is no big thing, I am sure of that. My appetite is pretty firmly under control, and when it is mine alone to deal with, as it were, I’ll be able to do so. But for now, I am actually enjoying the shared tables. As for the weight, on a different scale, in a different place, it translates to 85.5 kg, but that barely seems possible.
And in the newly-established tradition of also dealing with food items here, the past few days have included a couple of eye-openers. One was that it is perfectly possible to double up the quantities on no-knead bread. I made a double batch in a large oval casserole, and though the dough lifted the lid during the baking the bread was as good as ever. I think I could have left it longer, both in the second rise and in the second phase of baking, but it was perfectly good. I've also been introduced to the pleasure that is Cooks Illustrated. I won’t bang on here about why it is so splendid, and I am not sure how useful it would be in Italy, but it is a pleasure to read.
The big success was a herb-crusted roasted pork loin. But one thing struck me while reading the extensive testing that went into what was, admittedly a fine final recipe; the tasters and testers kept complaining that the meat was bland and tasteless. It was to overcome this that the illustrated cooks devised marinades and stuffed an additional pocket in the joint with a powerful mixture of herbs. My first approach would have been to find a tastier pig. But that, I’m told, is not really an option any more. Ain’t that a shame.