Anyone of Greek descent (like me) knows that January is so not the month to embark on a health kick, a detox, a diet, or any new eating regime. I’m certainly more foodie than healthy in January.
There will be a stash of buttery nutty shortbread cookie known as kourabiedes made by our mothers at Christmas. There’s still Christmas cake. My mother’s supreme version is topped with her own marzipan, made from the best almonds she can source, shelled, blanched, and ground by her. We also have a stash of melomakarona cookies made with orange juice, honey, walnuts, flour and cinnamon (no sugar, no fat, healthistas might class as sugar-free). Then there’s New Year Cake vasilopitta, only there are likely to be several of these as Greeks like to get together (a lot) to cut the New Year’s cake.
And of course there’s chocolate.
There is certain chocolate I associate with late December and January. I only indulge in it during this period. Someone will bring me a box and I’ll be delighted. On a grey, cold January evening how could I not be cheered up by a lurid pack called Celebrations? I love the ritual of unwrapping each individual piece of retro chocolate brands and the tinkly sound of festive foil wrap. Here’s an entire sweet shop in a box. I’m a kid who can have it all. (I wasn’t allowed to have any when I was a kid.)
I don’t make my way through the whole box – I can and do stop, enjoying the ritual over three evenings with favourite TV (Spiral, Last Tango in Halifax, Broadchurch to be specific.)
I admire anyone who is knocking back green juices in January. I want warm soups and comforting carbs not cold green sludge. Come the sunshine though, and oh yes, those juices are super appealing. Come the sunshine my sugar comes from the rays.
So if anyone is feeling despondent about the whole January detox diet thing, please smile. And embrace your inner Greek.