Thou Shall Allow, but Limit, Thy Vices
We’re almost a week into January, which means that 2016 is bracing to rush past us like all of his predecessors. Even after the time that has passed since New Year’s Day, I still feel a lingering layer of puffy evidence that I overindulged during the holidays.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets; every Tom & Jerry , every bacon-wrapped date, every one of those sweet cardamom cookies that my mother makes was totally worth it. Nor shall I now sentence myself to a week of miserable food celibacy now that it’s “national diet week” either. Eating healthy shouldn’t be a punishment, it should be an enjoyable habit. I’m going to continue to celebrate the season with good food and drink – just with a little more balance.
My vices are not unordinary: caffeine, alcohol, sugar, excess fat. When it isn’t the holidays, I’ll limit myself to one or two servings total of those indulgences a day. For example, if I drink a latte in the morning, I won’t have a cocktail later. If I eat a croissant for breakfast, I’ll moderate my butter intake later in the day.
Of course, the most luxurious yet healthy snack is a little cheese plate. My soon-to-be mother-in-law gifted me a jar of Quince Fruit Puree from The Fine Cheese Co. for Christmas (http://www.finecheese.co.uk/quince-for-cheese-3523.html) Quince is a fruit that tastes kind of a like a tart cross between a pear and an apple. It’s fantastic when paired with salty, nutty cheeses. Per my cheese monger friend Yahn’s suggestion, I paired it with classic a wedge of Spanish Mahón, a cow’s milk cheese that’s really simple and approachable. It’s the kind of cheese you want by your side when you’re vegging out on a cold winter’s day, slippers kicked off, feet elevated comfortably, a cozy blanket wrapped around your body, a glass of nice whiskey in one hand, and a wedge of Mahón in the other. You can pair it with almost anything, but I love it with a touch of quince and a rosemary Marcona almond. It’s a little guilt-free celebration for your mouth and your soul, healthy enough to enjoy every day.
Hope you’re having a wonderful start to this new year!