I've decided that I want to be Nigella Lawson.
There's lots of reasons why. She was on the arm of Geoffrey Robertson QC for a long time (another one of my celebrity crushes) She went to Oxford - not that I would ever be smart enough to get into Oxford - but again, its a long held fantasy of mine. Also, if I look that good in my early fifties, I will be very, very pleased - okay, she has the money behind her to put some significant dosh into dermatology, but still, she's not doing badly at all.
And Nigella and I also have very similar views on cooking - the easier and more fun the better.
I've not been a Nigella fan at all up until now. Other than Masterchef, which I watch religiously, I'd only periodically drop in on a cooking show. A bit of Heston Blumenthal here, a bit of Luke Nguyen there, I'd have a chuckle with the Two Fat Ladies - but really, cooking shows, although fun, and interesting, don't have the draw on my time.
However, a couple of weeks ago, one show that I don't like missing, the BBC's superlative production of "The Hour" came back to our screens. I love this show. The BBC at its best.
On before it - Nigellisima - Nigella's take on Italian food.
And she made this no churn coffee ice cream which looked easy and heavenly. Four ingredients. Made in minutes. Ice cream. My type of cooking! Ice cream. My special food group.
As with most things ice cream, this has been stuck in my mind for a while. It kept popping up at inopportune times.No ice cream maker needed. Quick ice cream. Wow.
This could be very dangerous.
Oh bugger, I'm behaving myself with food at the moment too.
It's a pain, stuck in my head is four ingredient ice cream along with sourcing decent accommodation in Bali for the last week I'm there, a couple of songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Thankfully it's been "The Sword of Damocles" and not some of the raunchier tunes) and working out how I'm going to work out six times a week until April and get my running back.
After a long week at work, little sleep after a hot night and a dreadfully mis-timed leg wax - I succumbed. (Note: Never get your legs waxed when you're really tired - it really, really hurts rather than just being an annoying pain).
The four incredients:
Sweetened Condensed Milk
(For the original recipe and instructions, see here http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/ONE-STEP-NO-CHURN-COFFEE-ICE-CREAM-5550)
I don't have a proper kitchen aid mixer - just hand held beaters.
Needless to say - the recipe works a treat. Okay, I swapped the coffee liquor she uses for Tia Maria - the expensive espresso powder for instant coffee powder.
It's magic. This stuff is absolute ambrosia!
I'd also forgotten the pure joy of licking out the tin of sweetened condensed milk. Is there a finer ingredient on the planet? It's a taste from my childhood - Mum used to make mayonnaise out of it, combining it with eggs, vinegar, a bit of mustard powder and salt and pepper. I used to like out the tin then, being careful not to cut my tongue on the lid where the can opener left sharp edges (the cans come with ring pulls now).
So this no-churn ice cream is in my freezer. A teaspoonful a day I can have. A little bit of ice cream every day - like a teaspoon of it - will not do any harm. Call it the responsible management of my sweet tooth. Better than downing a tub of the stuff. Besides, I have a two piece bathing suit to don in three months. This fact should keep me on track.
And in the mean time I can imagine what I could do with other ingredients - amaretto and roasted almond toffee instead of coffee... passionfruit pulp with midori.... limoncello with lemon curd mixed though....
Right, I must stop fantasising.
And if I can't be Nigella Lawson in my next life, I would like to be a well loved cat. Like Maow Maow - but without the allergies.