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My sugar withdrawal suffered a setback this week.  And it’s all my fault.  It all happened because D and I just really, really love entertaining.  As my elderly friend Albert says “There’s nothing quite like breaking bread together”.

He’s right of course.  Having friends over is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  I enjoy watching my friends unwind after a hard day, and have fun swapping stories and jokes.  Even better, I love watching people who haven’t met before connect with each other, and leave having had a really good time.

On Thursday night we had Albert over for dinner.  He’s in his late 80’s and can be rather curmudgeonly at times, although underneath his gruff exterior lurks a very lovely and compassionate man.  He’s one of my favourite people, and I hope that when I’m his age I will show as great an interest in the world and my fellow man as he does.  Being an old-fashioned gentleman, he came bearing gifts for us to have with dinner – ginger beer and fruit mince pies.

Last night we had several friends over, including some from South Korea.  I spent a year teaching English in Seoul, and we had a lovely time talking about life in Seoul compared to Wellington, and the complexities of the crazy language we know as English.  My Korean friends came bearing kimchi (yum!) and choco-pies.

I guess choco-pies are probably the equivalent of Twinkies in America (may they rest in peace).  I hate to think what they are made of, and I never want to find out.  They are a cream-filled sponge cake coated in chocolate.  They are very sweet, delicious, and something of a national icon in South Korea.  I hadn’t had any for years, and most of the other guests had never tried them before, so we all had one with the sugar-free dessert I had made.

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So it’s been a sugary week, which will drag out my withdrawal time.  It’s my fault for not communicating with my dinner guests that I am trying to withdraw from sugar.  To not eat or drink their gifts would have been unspeakably rude, and I really did appreciate the gesture.

Dinner parties are tricky territory because

a) most people in New Zealand would bring some sort of contribution to the meal, even when you’ve told them not to.  It’s just how we are.

b) friends who are not sugar-free often panic because they don’t know what you can and can’t eat.

c) who wants to be that annoying dinner guest who won’t eat this or that?  Not me.  Whatever you put in front of me, I will eat.  With thanks.

To make my withdrawal easier over the next few weeks, I am going to improve my communication.  Any guests that D and I have will be given plenty of warning about our sugar withdrawal, and I will offer to bring dessert when we are invited out.  I just want this phase to be over!

Right, now where’s that wagon?  I need to re-board today.

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