Sunk in the clinging pool of self pity (O isn’t it warm here? Isn’t it comfortable? I’m just going to stay here for a little while…), I wrote a blog post (called “Rear View”) about being caught by surprise at a video of Jonathan that cropped up on Facebook. Specifically, I was surprised to feel sorrow, not anger, at the sight of him.
I’ve been angry for a while now; I guess it was just sorrow’s turn.
In that blog post, I noted that I’d been eating a lot of sugar and I thought it might be a sign of mourning; we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of my husband’s death, so I was going to cut myself a little slack on the Ben and Jerry’s front. That was a mature and thoughtful thing to think (and write, of course). I flattered myself muchly over it.
Then, I used it as an excuse to eat container after container of ice cream. Not because I was sad, but because I was ALLOWED to be sad and maybe a little sorrow was going to creep up on me all unawares and I’d best be ready with the Oats of This Swirled. And then, since it was in the fridge anyway…
So I sort of went off the deep end. (Because if you’re eating ice cream anyway, then how bad could the pizza REALLY be?)
And with bad eating comes the self-loathing. Which inspires bad eating. You know this story, don’t you?
But THEN two things happened that were tremendously helpful.
First, my dear friend Sue came to visit. The word “darling” was created because people needed a word to define Sue. She stayed with me for two blissful days and we discussed food and fat and exercise and dead husbands (hers isn’t) and Patagonia (where she’d been, and OH HONEY I think I need to plan a trip). And we went for lunch to True Foods at the Angelika Center and had silly discussions about oatmeal versus yogurt over breakfast and before I knew it, I’d gone for TWENTY FOUR HOURS without any ice cream.
One full day – you know what that is? It’s a start. It’s the breaking of a bad cycle.
The other thing that happened was that Sue and I went to visit our delicious friend Ceci. (The word “adorable” was coined for Ceci.) When we arrived, Ceci was just finishing up a batch of homemade apple sauce for her wondrous partner Ashby (“charming” – that’s the Ashby word), who is having eating challenges.
Well, there’s only so much greeting and hugging and “how long has it been-ing” that one can do before surrendering to the inevitable question of “WHAT IS THAT SMELL AND CAN I EAT SOME??”
So Ceci dished us up two bowls full of piping hot applesauce, which I only didn’t gobble because I needed to savor every single mouthful and then lick the spoon. After groaning orgasmically for a while, I demanded the hard truth. “How much sugar is in this?” My tone was unintentionally accusetory.
“Nun,” said Ceci in her honeyed South Carolina drawl. “That’s just apples.”
“No way,” I said. (See what a good writer I am?)
“Ye-huh,” she insisted. “Apples. Crock pot. Immersion blender. Boom.”
Gentle reader, I thought – even I could follow that recipe.
So today I went to Whole Foods for the usual (pumpkin seeds, pears, and organic Greek whole milk no sugar plain yogurt, from which my plasma is made by this time) and I bought six apples – each a different variety.
And I came home and peeled them. (Knife or peeler? Jury’s still out.) And sliced them. And put them in the crock pot. And turned it on high and mostly left it alone for five hours. (Not entirely alone; Ceci said I could stir it every now and again, which – as it got to tasting better and better – I did often, just to lick the spoon.)
And then I dished myself up what I swear must be the inside of the best apple pie anyone ever made. It was UTTERLY satisfying… and suddenly it was 48 hours since ice cream. And counting.
So you see? I get by with a little help from my friends. Thanks, ladies.
The door of my fridge. This is like a greatest hits. On the bottom shelf, three containers of OGWMNSPY. (Organic Greek whole milk no sugar plain yogurt.) Some wheat germ. Some half-and-half left over from before Rusty went back to college; just about to expire. And one Tupperware of applesauce. Can’t wait to eat it. Might that not be good in OGWMSNPY?!?
On the second shelf, ALL THE NUTS AND SEEDS, which Chip now says should be refrigerated. NOW he tells me. I don’t understand; the grocery stores don’t refrigerate them – why do I? I’ll ask him later. For now, I moved my nuts and seeds. You should, too. (That’s walnuts, almonds, pistachios [cost a fortune but GLAHHHH they’re tasty], and cashews. The seeds are pumpkin, sunflower, golden flax, and chia. I can’t boil water, but I have an EXTENSIVE nuts and seeds larder, by damne!)