Friday, 11 October 2013

Beef Dreams

Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK
Published in Sept/Oct edition of Vale Life Magazine

The latest edition of my food column in Vale Life Magazine is now available to view online. For those who haven't seen it yet, here it is in full.

food writing, columnist
September / October column in Vale Life

As I write this I am on the verge of a major breakthrough, a breakthrough back into the world of proper food; and by proper food, I mean everything I've been forbidden during pregnancy.

While the advice changes from generation to generation, and from country to country, the NHS these days say no raw or undercooked eggs (goodbye pert poached perfection), no undercooked or raw meat (bye-bye Beef Wellington), no unprocessed cheese (au revoir Camembert), plus zero liver and pate (so long chicken liver parfait). Basically, lots of foodie favourites go flying out the bloomin’ window.

You may feel a (very small) pang of sympathy for me then, to learn my pregnancy was confirmed just one week before Christmas… a Christmas that involved a giant family feast hosted by MrF and I, including garlic & rosemary infused baked Camembert, charcuterie platters, stunning pates and enough booze to keep AA occupied for days! Grrrr, if only I’d found out a week later.

Oh how I'm bored of food restrictions, of having to analyse restaurant menus, avoiding all the best sounding dishes; in some cases, avoiding whole restaurants entirely because their menus are compiled purely of all my restricted items. In honesty, I'm looking forward to simplifying my dining experiences almost as much as I'm looking forward to the bounties that await me.

Beef steak platter
My dreams are made of... THIS!

I've certainly gained some insight into those with permanent food restrictions – I can only imagine the frustrations for vegans, vegetarians and coeliacs, constantly having to choose from a reduced selection of dishes. The mixed knowledge of waiting staff, when asking about safe ingredients, has been somewhat disappointing too; one waitress amusingly told me she thought I should eat the questioned dish (featuring liver) anyway, as the restrictions were basically petty. Thanks for that, but I think I’ll pass.

During my last pregnancy, my main craving was for pate; MrF won major husband points by bringing some to the hospital for me, the very day after MiniF was born. There I sat, sleeping newborn by my side, blissfully tucking into a long awaited pot of pate. This time round, it’s been all about the beef; for eight long months, it’s all I've been craving... but not just any beef – medium-rare, juicy, lip-smacking, perfectly seasoned, caveman style, carnivoretastic beef! Nothing else quite compares or scratches the itch.

It is now, while I'm within weeks of my due date, that I can finally start preparing to tuck into a decent steak. So, dear readers, the next time you hear from me, I will be a new woman; I’ll be a sleep deprived, Mum of two, joyfully tucking in to plate after plate of juicy, pink steak! See you on the other side…

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