We all make the occasional culinary mistake. I’ve been quite lucky in this sphere and aside from when I’ve used ingredients that have seen better days, I’ve rarely had to throw anything I’d just cooked away. So, seeing as I strive to keep this blog down to earth I’m evening willing to reveal some of my mishaps.

And so it goes: a beef stir fry that would have been perfectly good had it not been for the way it was cut. The sad thing is that I had an actual butcher chop it up; obviously one that I will not be using again, because SHOCK HORROR, he cut up my meat WITH the grain – thus here we are presented with what looks like a good dish but alas… the meat is far too tough. It far from melts in your mouth. Actually, you will need to chew this 54 times before swallowing. Painfully.

Why? Read here if you don’t yet know – and forever be warned of the threat of chewy meat.

The picture below is me trying to marinade the meat in a failed attempt to tenderise, after having made the discovery. Can you spot the muscle fibers going in the same direction as the cut? This cow made me work for every sort of exercise it ever underwent. Perhaps I should have tried to beat it.

Did you think the temptation would stop there? Did you think there were going to be only a few setbacks at the start? Hah! Here you are, trying to undo years and years of bad habits, trying to form a new lifestyle and trying to keep sane. Hah! again.. I’m sorry, you’re not going to have all three requests fulfilled all at the same time just yet.

Everyone around you seems to nonchalantly munch on high carbohydrate food – All.The.Time. Pastizzi, mini pizzas, pies and sandwiches look much juicier than they ever did. The scent of that chocolate cake hits you and enters your body through your skin. This is so not fair, I’ve already resisted chips AND another chocolate cake today. My friends are mean creatures. I kid I kid… Cocktails are trendy now and you’re offered all sorts of sugary concoctions that smell like a summer’s day. You’re not exactly hungry, but… a sigh of relief as the cheese platter appears. Even if you’ve just demolished a plate of lovely seafood that was cooked in butter hardly an hour ago. It was divine, you were bursting at the seams, but now you’re kind of peckish again. Already.

Your body feels so much better. You’re so pleased about your energy levels. And yet some of the time this is still not enough. Patience needed… lots of patience needed. Good things come to those who wait.. no?

By the way, one would think that obtaining something like an omelette or an English breakfast (minus the baked beans and toast) wouldn’t be so hard in Malta.. after getting a response on the lines of ‘le hi, ghadu kmieni mintix qed tara ghadni niftah? mur hemm fuq tal bar jaghmillek toast’ (roughly translated as: ‘Can’t you see it’s still too early? I’m just opening up, there’s a bar up the hill where you can get toast), I concluded that even a breakfast venue needs to be planned well. I didn’t quote the man in question verbatim. His response was actually more obnoxious. One would think that since you have eggs, bacon, mushrooms etc in the kitchen anyway, making an omelette and gaining clientele would be an agreeable option. Not for some, it seems.