Friday, 5 February 2016

7 and a bit Quick Takes 25: Diet with the saints

1. Seven eclectic takes because I didn't have enough time to research a perfectly-themed post. Also, my mind is bouncing around all over the place right now as it's research essay time. Twenty-four students, twenty-four different topics to supervise, from "Are there extra-terrestrials", through "Cocaine Cartels" ("My cousin got busted and is in prison for 20 years, so I'm really interested in this topic."), all the way to "Affluenza." Actually, I really enjoy working one-on-one with students and the challenge of juggling all those subjects. I think I would have made a good governess if I'd lived a hundred years ago (and I would so have eloped to France with Mr. Rochester - sorry Jane).

2. Also crowding my mind is the lack of a kitchen floor. Our contractor finally came round to deal with the rotten boards. Bad news: the kitchen floor was unsalvageable. Good news: he managed to contain the damage for thousands less than the worst case scenario. Result: new kitchen floors (eventually), with money left over for counter tops, and maybe new bathroom floors while we're at it. Our dishwasher won't be hooked up again until the floor is laid, but that's not so bad, because it encourages us not to be profligate with meal preparation. Maybe I need to try #5 below.

3. Sometimes there are those news stories that leave you flummoxed. A royal aide to Prince Charles found drunk in her Land Rover. OK. Four times over the limit. Ooo Kay. While driving her children to school in the morning. I don't know whether to be aghast or strangely impressed. How do you get four times over the limit before school? Five Bucks Fizzes and a slice of toast? Gin over your cornflakes?

4. Kelly, our host for Seven Quick Takes, became my hero for deciding to go on a Hildegard of Bingen Lenten diet. And, since my mind is working like a bee in a jar (see #1), I immediately came up with other medieval-style Lenten meal plans:

5. The Pottage Plan: Get a large pot and throw in anything to hand. Set it to cook. Don't turn it off...
ever. When the contents get low, chuck in whatever you feel like e.g. hares poached from the Lord of the Manor, dandelions, dead pets. No menu planning for 40 days so you can devote yourself to spiritual things, plus you save time and the planet by not using all those extra dishes.

But if you really want to be zero waste, I suggest:

6. The Catherine of Siena Diet: Eat nothing. Amaze all who queue up just to watch you not eat. Early death might be a drawback, but sainthood is a plus. For those not quite strong enough to hack that, I recommend:

7. The Francis of Assisi Diet: Eat only what others give you. The catch is you're not allowed to ask for food - just go around performing miracles, and let matters take their course. Early death and sainthood also apply here.

7a. If this all sounds too modern for you, then go back to basics with the fifth century Saint Benedict Diet: two cooked dishes per meal, with a dish of fruit or veg if you feel like it, plus a pound of bread and half a bottle of wine per day. If you are breastfeeding, play safe and substitute beer and stout.

For the record, my rule while breastfeeding is only to have a drink if I really want one. Sometimes I go for hours days without alcohol.

Go visit the other bloggers linking up at This Ain't the Lyceum - some of them might actually be taking Lent seriously.

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