Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Food, glorious food


I’ve been suffering from a bad attack of frozen shoulder which has been agony and meant not being able to type or write – bit of an occupational hazard for a writer. Today it’s feeling a bit better but as I have to transcribe an interview I did on Friday, and am interviewing Ian Rankin on Monday (a phoner, sadly, not meeting the man in person), I am saving my energies, so here is something I was asked to write some time ago. About food.

About 15 years ago I developed an intolerance to caffeine which means that tea, coffee and chocolate turns me into a hyperactive lunatic incapable of sitting still. My heart pounds, my hands shake – it’s like having a panic attack. A high price to pay for a few moments of indulgence.

So now I drink decaff coffee, Rooibosh tea and pass on chocolate. Occasionally the odd bit is tolerated, but only a little.

But oh, I do miss it. Looking at a piece of chocolate cake the other day, I could taste the rich velvety sweetness on my tongue. The seductive way it would stick to my teeth. I would sample the dark heaviness for minutes, hours later. Chocolate should be made by kings and queens for royalty, I think. When indulging in chocolate, it should be eaten slowly, every mouthful savoured, lingered over.

I long for the rich bitter taste of freshly brewed coffee that goes so well with bacon sarnies or buttery croissants. When I smell fresh coffee drifting out from someone’s window I sniff, like a Bisto kid, and the smell of it invigorates me, even if I can’t drink it. If other people have a cup, I grab it and inhale, like a glue sniffer. I can imagine the seductive way it slips down my throat, seeps round my system like a snake, winding up the parts that other drugs can’t reach.

I remember, years ago, having friends over for a meal and someone brought a home made tiramisu. This was a way of combining all our favourite foods in one. A smorgasbord of secret delights. A marriage of two powerful families: the rich, powerful coffee with the sensuous, fecund chocolate. Their union resulted in a dish of previously unimagined decadence with an ermine lacing of cream, topped with teasing shavings of chocolate.

Who could resist that?

16 comments:

ADDY said...

Ooooh, you're making me crave chocolate with that beautiful description and I was doing so well on my diet too!!!

Flowerpot said...

sorry Addy! Actually I am so tired today I might well have to have a bit to get me through the interview I'm transcribing!

Talli Roland said...

Oh dear, no COFFEE!? I'm not sure how I'd make it through life! :) And now you've made me drool...

Hope your interview with Rankin went well. Colour me envious!

Akelamalu said...

I've drunk decaf tea and coffee for years and being diabetic chocolate is a rare treat. You make it all sound so delicious I could be tempted. :)

Flowerpot said...

Ak - ah you know what it's like then!

Flowerpot said...

Talli - I used to think like uou but it's amazing how you get used to doing without. Interview with Ian R not till next week so time to brush up those questions...

Melissa Marsh said...

No chocolate??? Forget the coffee...NO CHOCOLATE??? ACK! I honestly do not know what I would do. I'm so sorry you have such an allergy. I have to eat chocolate every day or I am a grouch. I must be addicted to it! (which probably isn't a good thing...)

Sally said...

Tiramisu never tasted so good as that left in my taste buds by your wonderful description! I'm missing singing but the Arizona sun is doing me the world of good and the sights of the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Vermillion Cliffs and, tonight the sun setting over Monument Valley are doing my spirit good too.
Love to you and all with whom we sing
Sally
Xx

Flowerpot said...

Sally - sounds like you are having a wonderful time and your senses are rejoicing! Look forward to hearing all about it - what a lovely surprise to hear from you! xx

Flowerpot said...

Melissa - it's a tough life! I did sneak some chocolate in yesterday just to keep me going - but otherwise no. You do get used to it but it takes a bit of readjusting!

Debs Carr said...

I wouldn't miss coffee, but can't imagine going without tea or chocolate. Poor you!

Mind you, I can't help feeling envious that you've chatter to Ian Rankin on the phone. How exciting.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

A co-worker of mine also cannot tolerate chocolate, and says she's able to eat it in small moderation--Something that I know nothing about when it comes to chocolate!! I'll have some for you, okay? ;-)

Flowerpot said...

Kim - you go ahead - enjoy it all!

Flowerpot said...

Debs - well I'm now hooked on rooibosh tea - life has its compensations!

Trubes said...

I like the taste of chocolate but more than two pieces of dairymilk makes me feel quite sickly, so I can live without it..I used to drink loads of coffee but strangely enough, after a bad attack of bronchitis I couldn't bear it, all I wanted was a nice cup of tea.
I'm sorry you've been in pain with your frozen shoulder and hope it has eased of a bit now.
Take care,
Di..xx

Flowerpot said...

Trubes - the issue of chocolate is a fierce one! Sorry to hear bout your bronchitis - horrible thing to have.xx