Taking My 20% All in One Day

by Bella Rum

img_2289Saturday, we took a day trip to Smithfield and stopped off at the Virginia Diner on the way home. It was to be one of my 20% days to indulge a little.

I’ve written about Smithfield before. It isn’t a big-deal place at all. It’s a pleasing little town with a few antique stores, an artsy place, a bakery, a café, and a Smithfield ham store/restaurant.

img_2283We checked out Taste of Smithfield first (a.k.a. The Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe). They have a nice array of hams and offer samples of Virginia peanuts and all sorts of other nuts. We bought a can of double-dips (peanuts double dipped in chocolate).img_2280

Then we checked out a few antique stores (found nothing to buy), took a few pics and headed to Wakefield to eat fried chicken at the Virginia Diner: featured in an episode of FoodNetwork’s Diners, Drive-in’s & Dives. I’ve mentioned the Virginia Diner before. Not a fancy place, it’s an honest to goodness diner that serves home-style Southern cooking: pork chops, ham, fried chicken, collards, black-eyed peas, stewed tomatoes, spoon bread, etc.img_2290

It’s a curse and a blessing to be raised with Southern cooking. To indoctrinate a child to it at a tender age should be a crime. You never get over it. Nowadays, we’re all about the olive oil and crisp-tender vegetables: steamed or roasted. We seldom fry or season with bacon drippings. These days, we bake, broil or grill our meat, and I haven’t made spoon bread in ages, but our palates never forget. We only indulge a few times a year. It’s powerful dangerous stuff. I do eat black-eyed peas seasoned with a ham hock on New Year’s Day, but that doesn’t count because not to do so is blasphemy. Southern cooking to me is like kryptonite to Super Man.img_2279

So H and I enjoyed our fried chicken and spoon bread. “Life is short” is my motto lately, but it will be shorter if I eat too much spoon bread. Ha! Once in a while is a good thing, and maybe that’s what the 80/20 diet should be called, “The Once in a While Diet.”

I told my DIL that I would not get on the scale for three days, but I couldn’t stop myself yesterday morning. I didn’t gain an ounce. I can’t believe it. I exercised and drank tons of water yesterday to wash all that salt away.

I still can’t understand how my father ate that way every day of his life and lived to be 96. I guess it’s called genetics. He was not a diabetic and took very few medications until the last few years. When they started preaching about how bad eggs were for our cholesterol, with all seriousness, he told me, “They say eggs are bad for you so I stopped eating them and doubled up on my bacon and sausage.” One of my favorite quotes by him.