1. Curb my addiction to pasta.
Everyone knows that you shouldn’t eat so many carbs. They make you sluggish, choke your digestive system, wreak havoc with your blood sugar and basically just make you fat unless you are a marathon runner. But my favourite meal is still plain old spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino (garlic, olive oil and chilli). And it doesn’t matter that I’ve found a dozen things to put through my spiralizer – only pasta made out of super-processed flour cuts the mustard. If anyone knows a good hypnotherapist, please let me know.
2. Continue my war on kale.
It’s not so much kale itself that offends me, after all it’s just a green vegetable. It’s the whole range of things that ‘healthy’ people think they can do with it. Kale chips? Don’t make me laugh. Kale juice in the morning – oooh yummy, NOT. I’ve even seen a recipe for kale chocolate chip cookies – FGS. The only way you are going to lose weight while eating kale like this by it’s ability to either make you throw up, or put you off food altogether. And it’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.
3. Slow-roast more.
My friend Lulu bought me ‘Heston Blumenthal at Home‘ for Christmas. I think she has very great expectations, but all I was after was a shot of him in his PJs watching Corination Street on the couch and tucking into a bag of microwave popcorn. No luck, however, there is a whole stack of info on cooking food at 90 degrees and under. I did a super 10-hour roast pork shoulder on NYE (not his recipe, because it was too fandangled). Next step, a 4-hour medium-cooked Rib of beef…
4. Plant my tomatoes in October.
Oops. I did it again. Or, shouldn’t I say, didn’t do it. I’d have buds by now if I’d remembered, so will have to deal with flavourless hydroponic jobbies from the supermarket. Luckily the Farmers market is open again, so when I remember to go there I can recapture taste. Also fortunate is the basil, which has re-seeded, and the 15 chillies and lonely bunch of curry leaves growing on the compost heap. Zucchinis would be nice too – then I’d have something to put through my spiralizer.
I spent a fortune on a super-duper Weber barbecue last year, and bought the smoker attachment. It’s still sitting in the spare room in a plastic bag with a bunch of gourmet rosewood and hickory chips, and the godforsaken roller my Pilates instructor made me buy. Hot, hickory smoked salmon at the next Walton family BBQ I think … or maybe some darjeeling duck…? (and I might accidentally leave the dastardly roller out on the curb).
6. Convince Dubai wine importers to use their imaginations.
The only interesting places in the area to buy wine are at Rootstock and Le Clos, and both of them involve a border cross. It’s totally unfair that anything within a 40km radius only sells mainstream swill and top shelf first growths. I blame them for my declining palate. If they had a Muscadet from after 2011 or more than one Albarino, some Cava not made by Frexinet or Cordonieu, or some decent inexpensive Rhone reds, I wouldn’t be reduced to drinking rubbish that convinces my brain that the only reason to drink wine is to get drunk. Ideas welcome folks.
7. Get back to London for more nosh.
Had a blast for my birthday last year – a week of pork and wine fueled mayhem with my best pal. Managed to get through a swag of gastrogobbles but missed every single one on Grace Dent’s list, and need to take some more advice from Marina O’Loughlin, who has taken a similar attitude to mine regarding posh dining. Anyone want to babysit the kids for me? Husband’s had enough of me gallivanting around without him…
8. Go to Clé.
And all the other recent openings in Dubai that I missed in my pre-Christmas period of poverty and abstinence (I was saving up for Champagne). I also need to do brunch on the grass before the weather turns feral, take my son to the aquarium restaurant at Atlantis (only because I love him, not to sate my own desire), look into Coya, and try the rest of the offering at Pier 7. Ahhh – such a list, and unfortunately this contradicts my plans for number 10.
9. Charter a boat for Summer.
Still tossing up between the Balearic Islands, the Aeolian islands, the south of Turkey and Sardinia/Corsica. I’ve done cruising in the Mediterranean on a big boat and it’s really not my cup of tea (dressing for dinner, fighting over the buffet and absorbing each destination in four hours are not high on my priority list), so I’d like to do it with a bunch of sane people (well, at least I think my friends are sane), at my pace, and with my choice in food (or a personal chef). Now… just need to find the million dollar budget to fit my idea of a lifestyle.
10. Loose weight.
Well derr… Why didn’t Santa bring me a magic wand?