vendredi 12 février 2010

A Fat and Sugar High Diet

Forget about meals, avoid proteins, neglect fibers and, above all, despise vegetable oils. Focus on the real things : sweets and nothing else. Here are a few rules which, associated with a physical activity like working in a pastry lab, seem to work out fine for me: FIRST of all eat mainly BETWEEN and not during meals, EAT things only made with SACCHAROSE and PURE BUTTER and -this is not negotiable- NO TRANS FAT.
As an apprentice in pastry making who gets up at 4.45 and finishes at 3.30 in the afternoon I follow a special diet, the one my job dictates. It is quite at the antipodes of the ones fashion magazines and health books recommend, but who cares.
4.45 A.M. : At home: tea and a piece of bread with jam or honey (jusque là tout va bien vous me direz)and off to work. I reach the bakery after a half hour walk in the night. But I enjoy that part (i.e. passing by the same empty places seing the same delivery truck, meeting the same people:the woolen hat jogger and the lady opening her café).
6 A.M. : I say hello to the whole team, grab a "pain au chocolat" on the viennoiserie shelf and start my work by selecting which cakes will be "restored" and put back in the shop and which ones will "restaure" us for lunch (i.e. the broken up ones, the infirms and ugly ones; they will be delicious, mis-shapen as they are).
By 7. 30, I am already starving but lunch is hours away at around 1.30 I nibble a piece of "mille feuille puff pastry" ( with a layer of "crème légère" (made lighter with a third of whipped cream, mind you)
9 A.M. : my stomach is still rumbling. Just passing by le poste "petits gâteaux", I eat the remainders of a delicious pecan "praliné feuillantine" used for the montage of the Swan (that's the name of a cake) and realise that the more I eat the more hungry I feel.
10.30 A.M. :While preparing for the montage of the "Miroir des elfes"(N.B. that's another cake and I am not responsible for the stupid names given to the cakes ) I nibble, no let's be honest, I stuff myself with the delicious "abricot financier". It is just imposible to stop and I feel I won't survive until lunch.
11.3o A.M. : Just a taste of the Swan's chocolate mousse since I still feel a bit hungry but lunch is in two hours and I should stop eating sweet things or else i won't be able to eat anything at lunch
12. A.M. : colleague friend of mine offers to share a "tatin tart". I love "tatins", so yes. After all, "les bonbons valent mieux que la raison."
1.30 : At last! Our lunch break. The "communard" (that's the name of the person who prepares lunch for us) has arrived and has fixed a lunch for the team: bits of the left overs from the caterers, a dubious meat with rice and mashed potatoes (the mashed potatoes being the only vegetable part of the meal). We have very little time for our break and hardly ever sit down. We pay for the food, mind you, and it is lousy. I pay and and I don't eat because I don't want to eat the brownish thing they call meat or the soaked damp and unpleasant looking "tourtes" (meat pies). So I decide to skip lunch and instead to choose a more than decent desert, i.e. what will suit my fancy among the cakes from the day before : "tarte poire pamplemousse", a piece of "charlotte" or a "delice de Ninon". I keep telling myself I should bring a sandwich of my own, a salad or a fruit. But I never manage to be able to do it. The fruit would be easy ; but not the sandwich nor the salad, I can’t see myself preparing lunch for the next day (it would not be fresh) and I can’t prepare lunch at 4 o’clock in the morning, it would make me slightly nauseous. So because I am lazy or disorganize, or because my stomach refuses in the morning that I cook anything else but breakfast, and because the lunch my boss intends for us is bad, all day I get alternately to starve and eat pastry.
2.30 : It has just been an hour since our lunch break but can't resist when I see the small pieces of pistachio "pain de Gênes" style biscuit ... yum yum...
3 : Soon I will be cleaning up if no one asks me to do some extra work
4 : It’s over. I don’t know whether I am hungry or full. I will think it over later. I leave work and head for the swimming pool where I swim for 3 quarters of an hour. Ah, the times when there is no one and I can do my laps without bumping into anyone. Well, that is bliss !

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