2011: The (pizza) wheels go grinding on

Well I’ve more than once intended to post pictures of groaning festive season tables over the last few weeks, but technical problems have gotten in the way of that venture (probably for the best, since no one really needed to see a picture of me wearing a paper hat that came out of a Christmas cracker). So this will instead by my customary grumpy “new year” post in which I express relief that all the silliness is over and we can get back to work/life/normal silliness.

So, back to work, which for me means continuing to read too much food media, and which at this time of year gets particularly annoying as most people are on the predictable “detox” curve. (Fortunately these are as predictably countered by detox-debunking stories like this one, though unfortunately stupidity is as stubborn as people who continue to buy and wear PowerBalance bracelets, or refuse to vaccinate their children (%^$#%$#%!!!!), even though it’s clearly bullshit – to paraphrase Penn & Teller once more).

Yes, January is predictably an echo of this remarkable cover from Time in 1972 – back in the days when such a magazine cost 50c! Perhaps there’s a correlation between stupidity and inflation (hmm, behavioral economists?).

OK fine, so I admit that I once again ordered a wagon for the first days of this year, and this time I remembered to specify that it should NOT be stocked with whisky. So I did glide into this new year feeling rather virtuous (and slightly more grumpy than usual). But I’ll be the first to reiterate the fact that the idea of modifying your behaviour based on the time of the year is just plain stupid. Anyone notice how the gyms were suddenly packed in the first weeks of December? Then they were blissfully quiet between Christmas and New Year when everyone was off stuffing their faces. Now they’re full of guilty people again. I had a good chuckle at the story related by someone who I meet there quite regularly, let’s call her X (because I don’t know her actual name) – X told me she had been working out next to some new and eager gym bunny getting “in shape” for Christmas, and when bunny asked her when she had started training, X replied “40 years ago”.

So, wha’ever – the time of sanctified excess is over, and yes, it’s time to get back to work. Now if people could just remember that salads do not mean punishment. Sometimes salads are the very nicest thing to eat, especially when it’s too hot to slave over home-made pizza. But sometimes that’s what you have to do, just like sometimes you have to cook on an open fire on the hottest day of the year. And when that happens, you better make sure you have some premium ice cream (preferably home-made, with lots of cream) to cool you down and send you into sweet dreams.

Sometimes on a working weekday when the sun is shining you also have to give it up and go have lunch somewhere nice by the sea. Just because you can, and because you better be grateful for the fact that you aren’t in Brisbane right now.

On that note, and with my best grumpy cheer, happy 2011. Let’s hope we make it past 21 May. Oh wait, that’s bullshit too. Bon appetit.