In praise of the Hairy Bikers.Now some of you might think a cook book, and a diet cook book at that has no place in a blog about expats – but you’d be wrong. It might not be important for all expats, especially those who have managed not to gain an entire ring of lard. Those of us who have, and by those I mean me and Mr Sunshine. Well we have come to look on The Hairy Bikers (known to some as Dave Myers and Si King) as something akin to saviours. It’s not motorbike helmets I see them pulling over their heads but the great helms worn by knights in the middle ages. Take it a step further and those huge two wheeled beasts they ride could be replaced by four strong long silky legs. The Hairy Bikers perched on pure white stallions galloping past the windmills and across the flat lands of the Nederlands charging to our rescue (try and picture it without smiling!).
Personally, I can’t speak for Mr Sunshine, I haven’t had this big a crush since a group of tartan clad youths exploded in my life singing Shang-a-lang and tempting me to take a brief but passionate interest in roller skating.
|My first crush - I had the trousers - yep I had the trousers!|
I’ve wandered off the point, which was I believe the ring of lard we gained as expats. Of course there are no excuses; the lard is there because we put too much in our mouths, despite the fact I have zero culinary skills and have spent the last year cooking on a camping stove. People gain weight for all kinds of reasons; I should know I’ve tried them all: comfort eating, too much booze, chocolate addictions, boredom, pretending to eat healthily. As expat however we had another reason – we (Mr Sunshine and I) craved the familiar. All around the expat is the unfamiliar, the language, culture, street signs, is there any wonder we started to hanker after familiar tastes. Yet no matter how I tried the food just tasted odd. We’d need a bottle of wine to ‘take the taste away’ or Mr Sunshine would plead for a takeaway treat (we needed many treats each week). I can’t list the times Mr Sunshine dry retched his final mouthful of one of my meals and said ‘It’s not your fault honey; it’s the supermarket/meat/saucepan/gravy mix’.
He doesn’t say that anymore.
|Minted peas and feta omelette|
The Hairy Dieters have revolutionised our lives.
That may sound dramatic, but its true and we needed a bit of a revolution. I’ve discovered there is nothing wrong with the food in the supermarkets, the meats are just fine and there was never anything wrong with my saucepans. I now make weekly meal plans, I draw up shopping list, freeze extra portions. The bicycles are no longer covered in dust, Andy’s shirts are way too big and I’ve lost 5 kilos.
With the help of the Northern hairy lads we sit down to delicious food every day. Is there any wonder I have a bit of a Hairy crush going on? I can get into my pre expat jeans, our food bill has halved and best of all, I have daily compliments on my new found culinary skills from Mr Sunshine, an all-round win-win situation!
|It's no good licking your lips Alfie, this omelette's not for sharing.|
Actually not quite all-round win-win. Our little hairy meal hoover, Alfie has been looking quite glum recently.