Just in time for my high cholesterol diagnosis, it has finally happened. I have succumbed to my husband’s request for a deep fat fryer. Now it is sitting on my worktop, dwarfing all the posh accessories and generally emanating an aura of menance. “Deep fried bread and butter pudding,” I said to my mother in a ‘family style restaurant’ in a suburban mall on my last trip with her to America. “That’s appalling. No wonder so many American’s are obese,” I said, stuffing the final mouthful with same monstrosity and wondering if, as it was the last day of our holiday, I could feasibly justify inhaling my son’s leftover knickerbocker glory when I’d finished.
Of course, I didn’t want a deep-fat fryer. It was his idea. “We’ll use it for tempura,” I said, as we unwrapped it from it’s box and sat the fat, white monstrosity on the worktop, “and onion baajis. We’ll have Japanese and Indian themed dinner parties. Yes that’s what it’s for. It’s not just for chips. ”
No. Not just chips. It’s not like I’ll feel like eating deep-fried frozen food for dinner every night. That would be awful. I’m a ‘salad’ person. Fried food. Yuk. I much prefer salads – yum – freshly picked salads at this time of year, what could be nicer?
Well, home made chip butties in white bread slathered in butter for a start, accompanied by a cup of tea you can stand a spoon in with a generous splash of full-fat milk and two spoons of sugar. Fresh fruit for dessert? I don’t bloody think so – pass me a Magnum.
Maybe I am just a girl who does not know when to stop, but I think that men and women eat differently and it is just not fair. Before I got married I just did not own a frying pan and never ever had chocolate in the house. Then I got married and having aquired a husband and clearly caring somewhat less about being thin, I began to buy biscuits so that my husband could enjoy one with his cup of tea. And like every man in the country, two days later when he goes to the biscuit tin looking for another, single biscuit with his after dinner cuppa, he finds they have gone. Down his wife’s gullet, en mass, in one sitting in a frenzied sugar attack for no other reason than they were just there! My husband wanted a deep fat fryer because he would like to eat home-made chips occassionally, a dozen perhaps once a week, as an accompaniment to a nice chop. He is a civilised eater and he can be trusted with one. I cannot. Rather in the same way that I cannot be trusted to shop sensibly in Marks & Spencers or walk through the Lidl ‘sweet things’ aisle without throwing myself arms-apread onto a display of hydrogenated-fat bars and grabbing them by the armload into my trolley. What does not help people like me is the misinformation that gets bandied around about food. The most henious of these is that chocolate contains anti-oxidants which are good for you. There I am in my larder ¾ of a way through a catering sized bar of Green&Blacks reassuring myself that, in actual fact, I am eating spinach. Not so. Apparantly. What would be infinitely more useful would be if somebody could identify the societal dysfunction that has resulted in so many people being obsessed with food and teach us how not to be weird around it in schools before our obesity problem reaches American proportions and we start deep fat frying our puddings. Except that would be Jamie Oliver and he is too annoying. Alright then - lets have a blanket ban on chips. And chocolate. And husbands who can, infuriatingly, eat them in moderation.