You should see what happens when people find out you are diabetic.
Sometimes they look around to see where you've left the wheelchair.
thing is they always look a bit to one side if the question of needles is ever
It panics hostesses and can even worry the
occasional taxi driver.
I know that because I once had
to ask one to stop so I could buy a bar of chocolate.
Isn't that supposed to be banned? And cakes and bread-and-butter pudding and alcohol?
if you are feeling faint, which I suppose is true for everyone really.
course there are special chocolates that contain sweeteners rather than sugar,
but they're not the same. I recently found bars of Turron (see José
P Ribas's Island Ecology column this week) stuffed with aspartame and not
a trace of honey and to be honest it was OK, in that it tasted of almonds, but
it didn't have the right stickiness. What we diabetics want is to be pampered.
all said for the one-in-ten of us who will have diabetes by the end of the decade
in a new book called "Great Healthy Food - Diabetes" from Carroll
and Brown, the publishers. It's written by Azmina Govindji who has been a consultant
on diet and diabetes and has been chief dietician for Diabetes UK, so she should
It says it is the first cookery book to cater for
the millions of people who have to watch their sugar intake and for their friends
and family who do not. I applaud the sentiment that takes away fear about a little
of what you fancy.
Among a hundred delectable recipes,
she suggests a wicked Chocolate and Almond Custard Tart. You can get all the ingredients
in Ibiza. It is, however, intended for special occasions. I should think so, too.
You wouldn't expect to find even normal people (the ones without wheelchairs)
scoffing big slabs of this every day.
The Queen Mum might
have done, though, washed down with a large gin and Dubonnet.
far as I know, she wasn't diabetic, though she was incredibly pampered throughout
her long, long life. I was impressed by just the one anecdote. Apparently the
Queen asked her to pass another glass of wine across some ornate dining table.
do realise," the Queen Mother said solemnly, "that you have to
reign all afternoon."
I realise we should remember
that vast amounts of money thrown at anyone will enable them to make the most
of their abilities, however minimal.
I am writing this
as a magnificent parade is going on taking her to lie in state. That crown with
the world's biggest diamond is sitting on a purple cushion on the gun carriage
that carries her coffin. It is a splendid spectacle and makes me feel proud, whatever
my blood sugar level might be.
Here's that recipe, made
with an old-fashioned egg custard filling.
AND ALMOND CUSTARD TART
For the pastry:
55g plain wholemeal flour
Pinch of salt
55g chilled reduced-fat
2-3 tablespoons water
For the filling:
medium eggs, lightly beaten
25g caster sugar
225ml skimmed milk
good quality, dark chocolate (75 percent cocoa solids), broken up
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180degC, gas mark 4. Sift the flours and salt into a bowl.
Cut the spread into small pieces and rub it in with your fingertips until
it is like fine breadcrumbs. Mix in enough cold water to form soft dough, wrap
in cling film and chill for thirty minutes.
out the dough and use it to line a 20cm flan tin.
Line the pastry shell with foil and fill it with dried beans, uncooked rice
or ceramic baking beans. Bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven, empty out
the things that kept it flat and return for a further five minutes. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until they are light and
6 Put the milk, chocolate and vanilla essence
into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously, until the chocolate
has completely melted and blended in with the milk. Don't allow it to boil.
Pour into the beaten eggs, mix well, then strain into the pastry case and top
with the flaked almonds. Bake for another 30 -40 minutes until the pastry is golden
and the custard has just set.
QUEEN MOTHER'S LARGE
GIN AND DUBONNET
1 Smile at footman.
Accept brimful glass which contains twice as much gin as Dubonnet and some ice