On reading through the events, it occurred to me that we are serious social butterflies. Though we share a flat, there has been a dual flitting from here to there, occasionally meeting for a concert, lecture, art or a bowl of soup, a peck on the cheek, but then quickly separating and going on to our next hot thing. If we could lose weight by doing London, then we'd be regular starved IT girls existing on fresh air and Louboutins. Which for us is impossible; 1. We don't own any and 2. We like eating.
The mushroom recipe guidelines seemed to go down well and there have been a couple of Clare concoctions this week which have produced a pleasurable eating silence. And an inevitable denuding of Charlie Chive plant.
The first was a chick-mush-corn soup. Roast a few chicken thighs and drain a little of the fat from the tray to saute a knackered looking onion, 'how long has that been there' celery and plenty of mushrooms. Whilst the thighs are roasting, add chicken stock to the veggies and leave to simmer. Add a bay leaf or 2 and salt and pepper. Start watching Blackout with the delectable Christopher Ecclestone. Rescue spitting burning thighs, (do we have an oven cleaning fairy?) remove and discard their fatty skin and add to the pan for a bit. When everything is nice and soft, fish out the chicken, debone and roughly chop meat. Remove bay leaves, add chopped chillies. Liquidise, add fresh sweetcorn, a dollop of double cream and the reserved chicken. Sprinkle with chives and another swirl of cream (or not if you're on a proper diet). I had a photo but my soups never look good!
The other chicken thing was even easier. Start simmering an amount of barley in chicken stock and put on the fab Richard II BBC play. Roast chicken thighs again (different ones obvs) for a bit. Fry scarily old hairy carrots, a 'should it look like this' onion, the rest of the droopy celery, an unhappy looking potato (social services will be round for veggie neglect) until fragrant. Tip in softened barley with its stock, the chicken thighs, top up with more hot stock. Add thyme, bay and pepper. Cook until mad with hunger. Dirty cheese on rye bread snack optional. This needed a nice glass of chilled white wine.
The diet is now reaching critical levels - it's hotter than a hungry Clare oven on meltdown whilst waiting for midnight potato croquettes to roast. I have rashly booked a beach holiday and my bikini will be very tight still. So one week to go to become a Nereid, though frankly who cares? After seeing Titian's Diana this lunchtime, I certainly don't envisage her getting worried about a wobbly bottom.
I'll raise a glass to that!