The American doesn’t eat tomatoes. Not on pizza, not in pasta, no tomato sauce – nothing. Anything red results in nose wrinkling and the look of a cornered animal about to be shot and skinned. Not even my irresistible puppy-face can convince otherwise.
And this is a bit of a problem in our relationship. Because I love them. And it’s about the only fruit that I will actually eat. And since the American doesn’t eat much meat, the dinners I can make are limited. As far as I am concerned, all the tastiest vegetarian meals contain tomato.
The American subscribes to my blog (because it’s important to know what I do on the internet) and will read this, so Dear American (and all other tomato haters), please consider the below.
A tomato is a pretty thing.
It’s red and shiny and looks great in a crowd.
It looks like a marijuana plant without the fruit.
It’s versatile in its uses.
It contains vitamins and prevents scurvy. I read somewhere that it increases the natural sun defence of human skin. And I know people who drink it as a hangover cure. It contains anti-oxidant goodness. So combined with the sun protection is likely the fountain of youth, if only people would consume more of it.
It’s still cold, but we all survived the mutant cold front and are stronger people for it.
I’m not going to lie – there will be cold fronts ahead and days where we all can’t feel our fingers and our cars won’t start in protest of the icy weather, but winter is really not that bad.
The solstice has passed. That Pagans have partied. That means the days will get longer, the sun will warm us for a few moments longer each and every day moving forward. And even the most hardened night-owl will admit that the sun isn’t a half bad thing to have floating around in our solar system. And just think about that extra vitamin D you’ll be getting. This has various health benefits I honestly can’t be bothered to get into right now.
We have passed winters peak and summer is on its way. Spring is around the corner, and everyone loves spring. So hang in there, and if you can’t, well, winter is not entirely terrible.
Just think about hot chocolate… Go get some, and then continue to read. It’s good, isn’t it? It’s making you feel warm right now. And it’s yummy.
Winter means it’s okay to pick up a bit of weight. And this is natural and good, don’t fight it. Your body needs a bit of extra padding to survive. So there is less than zero reason to panic because of a few extra rolls. No one is going to make love above the covers for a while still, and if you have half a brain, you’re wearing enough clothing to hide the winter flab when you aren’t getting frisky.
In winter you get to enjoy soup. Soup is great and you can have it at any point in the year. But if you think about it for a few seconds, it’s not nearly as satisfying as when you have it in summer. Throw in a tasty slice of ciabatta or rye bread and you’ve got a healthy meal that not only warms your body, but is yummy too.
Don’t even get me started on stews, casseroles and pasta bakes… These taste so much better when it’s freezing outside. So enjoy your food, go wild, eat chocolate… Being chunky can be solved by reading Cosmo or Women’s Health next month. They will have you bikini ready before you can say September.
If you aren’t working in education and are still doing the whole 9 to 5 thing, getting up is an achievement every single day. Getting out of the shower is about as fun as chewing on sandpaper, but if you have half a brain, your clothes are warming near the heater. So get smart and stop whining.
Getting into bed at the end of the day is now better than ever. And two days of every week you get to lie in and enjoy the toasty cosiness. Is there anything better? Yes, probably, but on those days there aren’t. And while you work, you have warm and lazy mornings to look forward to for an entire week. This is awesome, admit it.
And then there are movies in bed. It gets even better, because reading in bed becomes a refuge, something you look forward to because it’s warm and stimulating.
When it’s cold and no clients are hanging around your office, it’s okay to wear a blanket at your desk. This not only endears you to your colleagues (themed blankets even more so), but makes you feel like a Mexican. When you get over wanting Tequila, you get to experience a tiny part of a different culture. If you’re really brave, wear the blanket around your clients. They will probably admire your attitude and sensibility meaning more business in the long run.
If all of the above are not enough for you, think about the balmy winter afternoons that we so often experience in South Africa. Don’t take them for granted. Go for a walk – you won’t sweat profusely. Lie in the sun – you won’t get sunburnt. For me, there is nothing nicer than being outside on a mild winter day. There are more of them than you realise too. You’re just too caught up feeling sorry for yourself to take advantage.
Winter also means there is the chance of snow. In South Africa, snow is cool (until you play in it – then it’s just wet and cold). But snow is pretty, and filled with nitrogen or something, which is great for plants growing in spring. That means your steak will taste better and your soy products will have higher nutritional value. So winter is the foundation of happy dining in summer.
I don’t love winter. I just don’t mind it that much. And I’m done complaining and whining about how I have frostbite (no one believes me anyway). But being a human is about looking and moving forward. And that’s what we’re doing.
And in a few months we’ll be moaning about heat. And I’ll have something else to write about.