The long weekend was a welcome opportunity to take a break from work and the gym, but my sore muscles tell me that this weekend was not without a good dose of working out. It turns out that gardening and clay oven construction is amazingly good exercise. After two days of hauling bricks, shovelling dirt and general physical exersion, my biceps and back are feeling the burn, and my heightened appetite tells me I need food. Good food. Food to refuel from the work and make me stronger for what’s to come.
I admit, my four day weekend wasn’t as restful as I would have liked it to be. In addition to exhausting myself outdoors, I also drank a fair bit of wine and beer. Nothing crazy, but enough to make me feel less than my best self. But nevermind, it was all good and well worth any minor feelings of ropiness. I discovered a few delicious beers from St Peter’s Brewery and a very drinkable (and affordable) organic merlot from Terra Viva.
I haven’t forgotten that I was intending to make April booze free, and this weekend was clearly in contrast to that intention. Lets just say I’ve changed my plan slightly.
Instead of a month without alcohol, I’m going to practice “moderated abstinence” for as long as is humanly possible, or at least until June 12 to start. I’d really like to be booze free, but there are some events in the coming months that are going to make that very difficult: I have some friends visiting the farm in a couple weeks, and they really like to get their drink on; in May, I’m going on a cookery course in France which involves a wine tasting; also in May is a belated Christmas party and a friend’s wedding. So instead of kiboshing booze altogether, I’m just going to say no booze at home except for the aforementioned friend visit.
What’s with all the exceptions? Well, that’s why I’m going with “controlled abstinence” rather than absolute sobriety. Though, having written all this, I feel kind of weak for not just screwing convention and sticking with the original plan. Plenty of people in the world just don’t drink. Why not join their leagues for a little while? To put it simply: I like having a cold beer or a glass of wine with my friends once in a while. It’s a nice way to celebrate food, friends, and togetherness. I know I don’t need alcohol to enjoy these things, but the reality is that alcohol is a huge part of social culture (especially in England) and I’d feel left out if I didn’t join in once in a while. Am I starting to sound like an alcoholic? Maybe this is telling me I really should lay off the booze altogether. We’ll see how I feel after June 12 – that is the date of our long awaited summer bbq at the farm, when we will fire up our clay oven and celebrate our country life with friends, pizza and some local cider if we’re lucky. Who would want to miss out on that?
How do you guys feel about booze? Do you imbibe? Are you a teetotaller? Do you drink at home? How does it fit into your social life?
But enough about booze, lets get on with the food. Here is how I stoked my oven-building engines this weekend:
Bircher Muesli with Greek yogurt and bananas
Refried Bean Tostada with Mexican Rice and Cilantro Slaw
Tudor Ale – Uncompromising and Unashamedly Real
Vegan Buckwheat Crepes with Greek Yogurt, Toasted Almonds and Fresh Fruit
Spaghetti and Tofu Neatballs with Broccoli and Rocket Salad
More buckwheat crepes
Roasted eggplant, peppers and tomatoes with polenta, toast and rocket