Having a corner shop just, well, around the corner means that we are never more than five minutes away from any sort of tempting food, from eight in the morning to ten-thirty at night, seven days a week.
As you enter the shop, a stand-up fridge filled with tubs of Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry icecream welcomes you, almost always festooned with some sort of offer.
For the last couple of weeks, the offer has been £2.79 per tub (about two pounds cheaper than usual). And we have developed this habit whereby some time after dinner Dr B. sends me subliminal messages (well, he sputters ‘icecream!’, pretending to disguise the word in a cough) and minutes later I present him with a fresh tub from the shop and two teaspoons. We take turns in passing the tub to each other and before you know it it’s gone.
This is a routine I personally decided we could work on (a sulking Dr B. denied there was anything wrong with it), so on Thursday night I bought two tubs for four pounds with my grocery shopping at the supermarket on the way home, and announced we were going to only have 1/4 tub each at every sitting instead of 1/2 tub, and I was therefore expecting them to last until Sunday night.
To make this more intriguing, I bought us a household favourite (Ben & Jerry’s’ Dublin Mudslide) and a limited-edition novelty (Haagen-Dazs’ Chocolate Cherry Brownie).
So far we have stuck with it, having only half of what we used to, and eating out of proper bowls and everything.
The verdict is that it can be done, it still feels like a treat (and why wouldn’t it, at 300 calories each?), and I found I eat slowly to make it last longer. And Chocolate Cherry Brownie can safely be dropped without causing us too much heartache.
And best of all, as Marjorie Dawes suggests, because it’s only half the calories we can have twice as much!