[this post is a bit of a ramble, but as part of this experiment in writing I’m going to leave it as-is and see what happens.]
Ides of March, 2014 – 12:30pm
So far today I got a lot done – it’s the first time in a while I’ve felt productive at home. I already got a lot of things off of a long-neglected to do list and finally got around to cook my pork belly. The only problem was *someone* decided to put taco seasoning in the smoked paprika container – I only noticed this after mashing up the stuff in a mortar and pestle and rubbing it in.
Yes – I did wonder why the smoked paprika looked funny…
So now it’s ‘Mexican Pork Belly’:
I started with one pound of the fattiest pork belly I could find. The guy at the meat counter always gives me a strange look when I ask for the ‘fattiest pork belly’ – good – less competition. Mine is locally produced which means that it is coming from a smaller farmer, which means a (somewhat) better chance that the pig who is about to be my dinner might have had a somewhat tolerable, albeit short, life prior to slaughter. I *do* consider the fact that a creature – a relatively intelligent one – gave it’s life for my benefit. The least I can do is support small farmers who are more likely to take better care of their animals, and remember something died so I could have a great meal.
It used to be much more common at one time to ‘say grace’ before a meal. No matter your faith – or even no faith at all, it’s important, I think to reflect on the origin of our food and express some gratitude.
OK – this is a recipe – not a sermon – off the soap box.
I rubbed the dry belly with 2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Taco seasoning, 2 teaspoons salt and about a dozen turns of the pepper mill. I rubbed it on all sides with the seasoning, drizzled maybe 4 tablespoons of olive oil on the top. and tossed it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 2 hours.
If I subtract the fumbling time I spent finding the mortar and pestle, and cracking my shin trying to get it off the top shelf of our cabinet, the total prep time was about 5 minutes.
Now it’s back to chores – I got a lot of them.
Pork belly. Yum. My Mexican pork belly came out – can I say it? Superb. The pork belly did a very odd thing, however: it rose like a cake. When done, it was 3 times the original thickness while it shrunk in length and width. Delicious, though. My older daughter also had some and enjoyed it. Other than minding the oven, very little work involved.
I lamented to her that I couldn’t mop up the pork fat with bread because of my diet. This is one aspect of low carb that Really Sucks. there are no low carb foods on my list for absorbing liquids. There’s many reasons bread is awesome: this is one of them.
I experimented with microwaving a pork rind but there’s no moisture and it came out crunchy. I gave up. My daughter noted that I certainly seemed desperate. I eventually mopped up some of that great fat with some peppered salami. I made her laugh with that one.
I also had some almond milk. My daughter said: “I think that almond milk is the first thing I’ve ever been addicted to – I craved it every day last week. I don’t even know why.”
I told her that I thought it was because almond milk has – as food industry pros might say – an appealing mouth feel and flavor profile. It is creamy and silky in the mouth and the flavor profile disappears with a subtle, pleasurable almondy taste.
We both agreed that coconut milk just doesn’t cut it – less creamy, and none of the complexity of flavor.
In my opinion: you drink coconut milk because you think it’s good for you. You drink almond milk because it’s tasty.
Afterward, both my daughter and I were getting sleepy – my energy was flagging, probably from the late hour I went to bed and my morning list of chores I tore through – her from attending a sports program in the late morning. We decided to take a ride to the mall where I got to do what men typically do in malls when going with a female: stand around and wait while they shop.
Men – at least this man – treats a mall like a surgical military strike: Get in. Get what I went for. Get the hell out. Women – at least the ones in my life – tend to linger, and seem to need to look at every damn item in a store.
That pork belly fat infusion could be felt – I’ve read it could take a few weeks to become fully keto-adapted and my energy was still going up and down. I had a good, productive run until mid-afternoon, then the energy began to flag – and being in a mall probably worsened it.
Luckily there was a Dunkin Donuts in the mall and I got an extra-large coffee with cream. That restored me for the remainder of the trip.
I checked for ketones when I got home – really high.
I think I’m done for the day energy-wise. I’m going to do my best to chill for the rest of the day.
Will the lack of energy be a problem? I found myself ‘grazing’ – some pickles with cheese, a few pork rinds, more salami, then some almond milk. I could have continued – but I stopped myself.
This could be the beginning of the screw up I’ve been waiting for.
One commenter on these rambling posts – a long-time reader – said my problem is two-fold: pizza and work stress – and that I give myself a free pass on cheating because I don’t moralize my cheats. My impish reply:
As the only place in the US without pizza and stress is a coffin I guess I’m doomed to a diet fail.
While my current porking up is a little out of my comfort zone, I wonder if part of what success I’ve had is because of the cheating – or to add another layer, perhaps *that* thinking is WHY I fail at all – but then if I didn’t fail I’d have little to write about, so perhaps I fail so I’ll write.
It’s deep. Like the movie ‘Inception’. A left-handed Scorpio thing, maybe.
OK – she might have a point about my cheats – perhaps I *do* give myself a free pass too often, but what if I had the same amount of cheats and beat myself up about them?
Aldous Huxley once said: ‘the end cannot justify the means because the nature of the means determine the type of end produced’ – or something close to that.
So if I became a slim by berating myself – would it result in a happier me? Or would I be thin and miserable?