Ishtar =/= Easter, Geez!

The Ishtar = Easter meme is doing the rounds again, with even more inaccuracies and visual lies than previous years. I'll start with the worst offending parts, from the point of view of mythologists, historians and anthropologists... and rant on from there.

The Grass Is Not Skinnier On The Hips

Last year, due in part to reading 30 Days of Good Stuff after a tweet from a friend, I decided it was time to get back to being fit. At school I was super sporty and active, and until some asshole stole my bike I biked to work in my late teens. Then uni happened and aside from long walks through the Welsh hills, exercise fell by the way side.

Moving to a big city didn't help matters. I can't cycle to work on these roads; they're terrifying. That and two years of wage slavery shift work that pushed even my ability to tell bosses to fuck off when they try to abuse your good nature killed my energy and free time.

So, along with getting my finances in shape (I got into the black for the first time in a decade in just over a year, fuck yes!), I figured I would put more effort into not sitting on my ass all of the time. This was not about losing weight. 5'8" and a size 14 constitutes, in my mind, a perfectly reasonable amount of energy reserves. No, I wanted to improve my stamina, core strength and flexibility... and my knee joints. Holy crap my left knee joint hates me. It's an old war wound.

Obviously an increase in physical activity is going to result in a drop in fat stores if food intake is not upped. An inevitable by product of improving my fitness was losing weight. In twelve months I dropped to a size 10, and have stabilized at that. That's two dress sizes, for non-UK folk. There was a large drop when both myself and my bunny got sick. I was not getting enough sleep or food, and carrying a 3.5kg bunny (dropping to 3.1kg, poor boy) and his carrier a couple of miles twice a day for a week to and from the vet. Seriously, a huge drop. That was a bit scary.

So yes, I have lost a fair amount of fat reserves from around my waist. There never really was anything on my arms and legs. My legs are, and always have been just muscle mass due to all of the sports I played in my teens. Kids; exercise in your teens will give you a lifetime of benefits, both habitual and physical. Wiggle out of sports at school and suffer the consequences in your adult years. Heed my warning!


Where am I going with this then?

Fudge Making; It's Not THAT Difficult

I got a bee in a my bonnet a few weeks ago about fudge. Fudge isn't something that's ever been a big part of my diet. You try finding fudge that's made with organic dairy produce on the high street (Thornton's used to do some but the shop in my town stopped selling it suddenly). I've made what I'd call "cheat's fudge", or vegan fudge, with peanut butter, chocolate and icing sugar, but never real fudge. Proper fudge that's just sugar, butter, milk and a flavouring of choice.

I'm not even sure why I decided to give it a go, but I did and now I'm slightly obsessed.

I'd assumed that it was something hard to make. Something that required years of practice at mom's side in the kitchen, so I did a LOT of reading. All the marshmallow cream (whatever the hell that is... Americans), condensed milk or icing sugar using "cheat's fudge" recipe intros say it's difficult to make, and all of the expert blogs and articles I read implied the same thing. Fudge is hard science, it's chemistry and timing. There's no fudging with fudge!

Okay, so maybe to make the utterly perfect, show stopping fudges from professional small traders on the continent you need years of practice. But to make something that's consistently fudge-y and tasty, if not artisan grade? I've been doing this every other evening for about three weeks and, seriously, it's not that hard. Don't listen to the gate keepers!