The Ice Cream and Mortadella Diet
I saw my doctor yesterday morning for a periodic blood test, a flu shot, and a weigh-in. I weighed exactly twenty pounds less than at my prior visit in August (I started dieting on September 22). Weeks ago I promised myself ice cream as a post-weigh-in treat. I'd only had one real dessert since I started my diet, at Tanoreen a few weeks ago. I had a specific craving for Almond Joy ice cream from Emack & Bolio's, a place that I may have discovered after I wrote my ode to ice cream. I'd only been to Emack & Bolio's, a Boston chain that has three Manhattan outlets, once before and I fell in love with their Almond Joy flavor. The ice cream itself is creamy enough without being unctuous, and very fresh and clean tasting. Almond Joy is coconut ice cream with almonds and chocolate flakes. Much to my disappointment, the branch on Houston and West Broadway wasn't serving Almond Joy yesterday. They rotate their flavors. Still, to deprive me of the flavor I'd been craving on the day of my weigh-in was rather cruel, don't you think? I had to come up with some alternates (I was going for two scoops this time). I perused the list and went with white pistachio and caramel moose prints. The white pistachio was wonderful: intensely pistachio-flavored without any of that extract overkill, if you know what I mean. The caramel moose prints, on the other hand, was disappointing for its cloying sweetness; it's described as caramel ice cream with a caramel swirl and chocolate peanut butter cups mixed in. Based on the Almond Joy and the white pistachio, though, I think E&B may be second only to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for Manhattan ice cream in the non-gelato division.
For dinner I made myself a mortadella sandwich. I'd been eating so much lean turkey breast during my diet that I wanted to celebrate with a cold cut where the fat flaunts itself. Mortadella is one of the world's great cold cuts, one of the culinary jewels of Bologna, and it's unfortunate that it was the inspiration for that abominable thing called baloney. In addition to the splotches of angelic white fat, this mortadella had proscuitto, pistachios and black peppercorns mixed in. I bought it at my favorite Park Slope food shop, D'Vine Taste, which is run by a charming, cosmopolitan, and culinarily erudite Lebanese Christian family. I made a sandwich on a baguette with some Delouis Fils green peppercorn Dijon mustard. I also treated myself to a little piece of baguette with some James Keiller & Sons Dundee orange marmalade, a jar of which had been lying neglected in my fridge since I started the diet. I love orange marmalade (it's my topping of choice on waffles), and Keiller's, which claims to be the original marmalade (commercially marketed since 1797), is perhaps the best (though you really must try St. Dalfour's kumquat preserves if you like marmalade).
That was celebration day. My diet's not over, though. My new goal, modest and easily attainable, is another five pounds by my birthday on March 8th. My original goal was fifteen pounds by Christmas, and I've already lost twenty, two weeks early. My secret new goal is another ten pounds by my birthday.