Monday, 13 June 2011

A rant and a recipe FOR PIE

Because I am weak, and have started doing yoga regularly thus thinking I am An Athlete, which I can assure you I am not, I bought Top Santé magazine at the weekend. This was a magazine I had not read before. I thought it might have things in it like ‘how to do your couch to 5K in the local park without attracting lots of surprisingly furry and enthusiastic dogs who want to run with you and make you look like a comedy turn’ or ‘where to buy a top for yoga which costs only £3.50, is produced ethically and does not show your middle when you lift your arms up’ as I imagine these are both common problems. (Look, surely it can’t just be me. Do I give off a dog-attracting scent?).
Look pretty and be scared of everything! I think I've got the style. I shall pitch an article
I have not read a Wimmen’s Magazine for a long time. My magazines of choice these days feature knitting patterns/ 153 ways to furnish your house with only a ball of masking tape and a pair of old knickers, that kind of thing. Therefore I had forgotten that the role of Wimmen's Magazines was to make me feel neurotic and guilty. I should have known with this one to start with because of the line on the cover about, Is Exercise Making You Fat. Well – no, it isn’t. That is the absolute least of my problems in life. I am not even putting that on my list of things to worry about even though that is a list of epic proportions and covers such things as what if we get flying ants in the kitchen and if I give my mother something made out of Kureyon Sock Yarn will it bring her out in a rash.

Then I read the Editor’s Letter which is all about how guilty we all feel when we eat cake and how we all think about eating every minute of every day. ‘I suspect it’s a question that pops up pretty frequently in the course of your day too’ says the (thin) editor, blithely, who is ‘trying to lose a few pounds before bikini season starts’. Well, no, actually I try not to feel guilty about eating food. I mean, I can understand why people might want to lose weight and get fitter (because I am indeed trying to lose weight and get fitter), and I think it’s quite difficult for anyone to have a marvellously uncomplicated relationship with food in our society, but actually I really enjoy food – it’s pleasure, not guilt. Besides, I don’t want to read a magazine about how to be neurotic. I mean, I have OCD which I embrace & accept and is a part of me blah blah blah but I don’t want to read articles about how, actually, checking you’ve locked the front door for the third time at 3am is a really wonderful idea, either. I don’t see how this is any better.
Partner demonstrating how ludicrously small our alpine strawberries are. He says the garden centre saw me coming. He is not supportive. Summer term is now over and he will next wear clothes in September so currently every day is Nude Day
So I shall spare you my trenchant analysis of the article later on about how if you leave your miserable heterosexual relationship you will never get another man, but your ex will turn up to the next social function with an 18-year-old on his arm, because men can go out with younger women and so ‘have a wider pool of potential partners and get snapped up very quickly’. So you’d better get eating those fat-free meals because otherwise how will you compete? Honestly. I will only say that when Susan Faludi read made-up nonsense like this she wrote Backlash. In honour of this magazine, I will wear things that make me look fat and not care. I will embrace my muffin top. I will enjoy my food more than ever. And when a lifetime’s good nourishment and loving my body lets me go trekking in the Himalayas when I am 75, I will be glad I didn’t waste one minute of my (relative) youth worrying about whether I was too old to be attractive to men or whether it was ok to eat bananas (apparently only if you do it before they go brown as after that they’re too sugary. God.).
I have had that knife for 18 years. I bought it in Woolworths in Chesterfield in 1993
Pie I made yesterday from apples and blackcurrants from the lady on the WI stall at the farmer’s market. Stew 1 1/2 pounds fruit with a bit of sugar until it is soft, then taste and add more sugar if it needs it. Make pastry from: 4oz wholemeal flour, 4oz SR flour, 4oz butter/ marg, couple tablespoons water to bring it all together. Line a sandwich tin with half the pastry, put the fruit in, put the rest of the pastry on top, seal the edges (pinch them together then kind of roll them inwards. Don’t worry too much, there are worse things in life than a split pie crust. For example, exercise might be making you fat. That’s very important). Brush with milk, sprinkle with sugar, cook for 30 mins at 200 degrees C. This is the joy of seasonal cooking, you can drag out your boring old pie/ crumble/ ice cream recipe over and over but use different fruits so it is like a different recipe every time. Serve with cream (unless you are Vivianne) then put leftovers in fridge and eat for breakfast, yum.

11 comments:

lexisjen said...

Wow, yes- reading those kinds of magazines is a waste of time and sanity. I stay away, too.

Women, as a collective, don't need magazines to tell them what to worry about, what's important, etc. We are not stupid. Unless we write for said magazines... then... well.

Maria S said...

I too have teeny strawberries (no, that's not a euphemism). They're delicious, if weeny...

And yes, you're absolutely ABSOLUTELY right about the magazine thing. Drives me up the wall. Or it would if I ever read that sort of thing. Though I do like the sound of those *other* magazines - you know, the ones with the masking tape and old knickers... Tell me more...

Lien said...

I stopped reading those magazines because I realized that I would finish one thinking that £1400 was a perfectly reasonable price for a handbag.
Of course, given a copy of Selvedge...

pagesofjulia said...

you forgot to say... AND FEEL GUILTY

great indictment of the Wimmen's mags. Yuck!

Rachel said...

Those magazines have a lot to answer for! Their persistent attacks on women's self esteem is so heinous as to make their endless promotion of consumerism seen almost insignificant. It's not just women's magazines though - even nice gardening mags in which Dave Hamilton tells you how to protect your seeds from mice and magpies, even they have pages devoted to buying stuff, and I don't just mean the adverts.

and... breathe. Sorry for going off on a tangential rant, but I've successfully avoided women's magazines for so long (I honestly can't remember buying one - ever) that their crimes pass me by.

mooncalf said...

oh good grief!!!!

I thought the magazines I read were full of petty trivialities (and indeed they are for that is what magazines are for in my opinion. If I want to learn something worthy (maybe instruction on grammar and the proper use of punctuation) then I will buy a book) but that magazine takes the biscuit. The guilty biscuit.

A Playful Day said...

I couldn't agree more. I think most magazines are poison mixed in with advertising. They are largely dictated to by the brands they need to keep them afloat. I loathe them

Pearly Queen said...

Your blog makes me laugh. I love it!

Susie said...

Moncalf, I don't mind a few petty trivialities myself. I don't know what I want from magazines really: something funny, nice pics, ideas, a bit of inspiration? I don't know. You can get it all on the internet but I still like a physical magazine to flip through, I'm a throwback ;-).

Ironically this magazine also has an article on Why Women Always Feel Guilty. So now we can feel guilty about feeling guilty as well. It's tucked in there next to the adverts for laxatives and vibrators, I don't know who the target reader is!

Into the recycling it goes ;-). I'm going to explore indie magazines, is there such a thing?

(Rachel, I'm very worried about you. If you've never read one of these magazines how do you know you're not eating bananas when they've got 5 more calories and that you're exfoliating the right bits? You'll all be telling me you're not considering cosmetic labioplasty next. Yes indeed there is an article O_O).

Marushka C. said...

These days I subscribe to Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, and Quilt... And they never make me bad about myself. I can feel bad about myself without paying for the print version, and besides isn't that what my mother-in-law is for?

yvette said...

Oh so good to hear Susan Faludi namechecked - I work with a lot of people who think that Feminism is a) about hating men and b) not needed any more because everything's okay now! Where do I start....? Yes, magazines very dangerous for my self-esteem too, and soooo seductive sometimes - if I read too many its very easy to lose track of what really matters and start to believe that lipstick colour is important!