The Darkest Evening

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Living Paleo and jeffryjune8 and Julian Sirian who are now Following.

“Whose woods these are, I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farm house near, Between the woods and frozen lake, The darkest evening of the year.”

So begins Robert Frost‘s Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening. Many young school children have memorized it. Many older ones have studied its unusual rhyme scheme: AABA BBCB CCDC DDDD Some go on to ponder the meaning, for surely it must mean something. To me, it is no more and no less than an appreciation of winter in Northern New England: the woods; the quiet; the solitude; the snow; the chance to stop and look and think and enjoy the view. “The darkest evening of the year” is, of course, the Winter Solstice. At my latitude, the night will be 15 hours long on December 21.

To celebrate the Winter Solstice, we will prepare a breakfast that gives a nod to Autumn and to Winter. The fact that after the Solstice the days grow longer seems cause for a celebratory feast! In Eastern Canada, residents will buy a small barrel of oysters in December, to tide them through the season. In the Eastern US, many Winter meals — from chowders, to stuffings, to cocktail parties [not this year!], to casseroles — feature oysters because they can be kept fresh in the cold weather. So let’s eat oysters!

Winter Solstice Bake: 141 calories 7.6 g fat 1.3 g fiber 9 g protein 12 g carbs 51 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  For the change of the seasons, a meal to mark the occaision. The olives represent Autumn and the cured meat evokes Winter. A great combination any time.

One 2-oz egg ¼ oz proscuitto 2 Kalamata olives pinch of winter savory or rosemary  1 clementine  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water    Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Chop the meat and the olives.  Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs. Stir in the meat and olives, and pour into the ramekin. Resist the urge to add much salt — the meat and the olives are salty to begin with. Bake at 350F. for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and pour the beverage of choice.

Oyster Feast:  267 calories 15 g fat 2 g fiber 12.6 g protein 21 g carbs [4 g Complex] 144 mg Calcium   PB GF  In my opinion, a plate of raw oysters and a salad makes a wonderful dinner for a dieter. Please note that all 12 oysters are for one person: a real feast!

The oysters were delivered to us from Island Creek, Massachusetts, and represent three different varieties.

12 medium raw oysters 2 oz spinach leaves ½ oz walnut meats 2 oz pickled beets, cubed ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp Balsamic vinegar

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide bowl. Break the spinach leaves into the bowl and toss gently to cover with the dressing. Put the walnuts and beets in the bowl over the salad. Shuck the oysters and enjoy your special meal.

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