Amazingly, I was happy to spend the day in the kitchen.
I enjoy cooking. I enjoy baking. I like finding new recipes, experimenting, and watching it all come together, the product of my hands putting it all to work.
I’ve been devoid of passion as of late, but I’ve been working through it, and getting by, bit by bit. This makes me proud, as having significant setbacks, it is then no mean feat to get up and keep trying. It has been freaking hard, but like my whole covid series, I am ‘getting there.’
Today, I made a yummy lentil soup that I got from my bestie’s nutritionist facebook page. I’ve made it before, and I’ve been wanting to make it again, but like I said, the whole lacking passion thing was a bit of a killjoy for getting anything done, much less making a soup I enjoy.
But I didn’t stop there. I made this apple cake recipe that I found months ago, and back then I even bought the granny smith apples I needed…. only to have Hubbie eat them when I never made the recipe, because you know…
LACK OF ALL PASSION.
But I bought those 4 granny smith apples again this week. I was feeling better, my mental clarity was improving, my emotional stability was settling, and it was all coming together, very slowly, once again…
So I made this today:
I actually wasn’t sure if it was baked properly, and kept it in the oven perhaps longer than I should have, until I read the facebook comments on the video and realised it was kinda like an apple crumble, and therefore was allowed to have that gooey kind of soft texture running through it.
I am absolutely pooped from baking and cooking and washing dishes most of the day, but I feel really good too.
Today, I did some washing. Hung it in our backyard.
I baked some muffins. Scents of banana and cocoa filled the walls within our home.
I ripped out old plants and dying branches from flowers that desperately needed a good prune. I tidied it up…
To make our home look more pretty.
And it was all the more convenient and timely, that I did these random, but interconnected odd jobs, as the theme unifying it all was that of the home.
Tending to the home.
Using the home.
Filling up the home.
Because on this day 4 years, we bought this home.
I made the winning bid.When I think of that day, I have to shake my head in disbelief sometimes. It was 4 years ago, but many parts of that day are still so clear to me, even now.
I remember the well wishes I received the morning of the auction by some amazing family and friends.
I remember driving up with my Mum and baby girl… and being so nervous, that both Mum and I had to stop at a servo to pee on the way.
I remember arriving 15 minutes into the inspection before auction. I remember the street being FULL of cars. I remember nosy neighbours walking off, having had enough of a sticky beak, not caring to see who would get the house.
I remember NOT ONE auctioneer approaching me as I wandered through the house for the final time before the dum dum daaaa! moment.
I remembered my sister seeing the view from upstairs and saying “it’s a great house” but saying it in a way like “shit, it will be competitive.”
I remember my bro-in-law saying similar words, saying he’d overheard a lot of interested parties talking about it.
I remember all of us standing outside in the front yard, with the strong Winter wind blowing around.
I remember baby girl running around the yard as the main auctioneer started his spiel, referring to her in his opening monologue.
I knew then, that that was a GOOD SIGN.
I remember him motioning to the water views behind us, while I secretly cursed him – “don’t remind them of the views!”
I remember him saying that the winning person could celebrate on the main street afterwards at one of the many cafes, and the desire was so strong in me then, because we had been to those cafes and those restaurants. We had walked those streets, we had holidayed here, and we had done our research.
We were ready.
I remember the auction beginning, and Mum standing near baby girl, watching her run around while mumbling under her breath that the price was going too high.
I remember my sister positioned closer to the nature strip, creating a barrier so that baby girl couldn’t escape.
And I remember my bro-in-law standing behind me, ready to whisper words of advice.
I remember staying quiet for a long time.
I remember the TOTAL SATISFACTION (this is SO clear to me) when I put up my hand, and made my first bid.
The auctioneer looked at me, and his expression conveyed something else.
I had come in later. He knew I meant business.
And I remember how when I made the second, third bid, one of the agents made a beeline to me, thinking he could now help me.
Huh. Where were you guys INSIDE the house?
I had my own agent behind me 😉
I remember holding that winning bid… and the auctioneer urging others to jump in… while I begged in my head “please no, just let it be over…”
Then, IT WAS OVER.
There was clapping. There was cheering. People around me were genuinely happy.
And we were over the moon!
Inside, a familiar face! I saw the agent I had been talking to leading up to that day… He had been hiding out with the owners, of course.
I signed contracts with shaky hands, and snapped a photo of the interior, with the price tag, to Hubbie.
HE WAS OVER THE MOON.
After celebratory photos with the auction board, we headed to the main street.
Mum, sis, baby girl and I had our celebratory coffees and treats.
And when we got home hours later, Hubbie was on cloud nine.
I remember all this so fondly, and I don’t think I can ever forget such a momentous day for us.
A day where we realised our big dream of sea changing, a day when we made it.
And so when baby girl snapped a sunset from my phone this evening (I’ve trained her well) I didn’t think much of it…
‘Til I previewed it later.
It was blurry. Much like a memory can be. But there was that lawn. I could still see that sign in my head.
The guy who was standing to the left of me… the two ladies on my right. The family of four who I thought of often, comprised of a couple with their two young girls, who walked off half-way through the auction…
I hope they found their dream house, just as we found ours.
Now there were different plants, different colours, and different people coming in and out…
And 4 years on, there’s no place we’d rather be. 💖🏡🌅🥰
I had the ingredients for these bikkies on Saturday, but after the time, effort and dishes required to do mysweet potato gnocchi, I was feeling like I didn’t wanna do any kind of cooking/baking task anytime soon.
Only the thing was, these Anzac biscuits are the easiest to make.
Either way, I had a break on the weekend, and today on this cloudy and rainy day, I whipped these up really quickly.
Now I’m no massive Anzac bikkie fan. But when I come across a recipe that –
a) I have the ingredients for, and
b) is soooo easy
I just can’t help myself. It’s like the recipe is calling me.
These gave off the most wonderful smell as they baked in the oven, and the crunch and deliciousness were most definitely there when it came time for taste-testing.
As I get progressively more and more ‘over’ store-bought sweets, I am so happy to now have a massive batch of these guys to keep my coffee company over the next week. 😉
There was taste-tasting, coffee making, and puzzle doing… it was relaxing, and with the wind howling and sheets of rain coming down outside, there was really no better place than to be at home.
Our cat Mister F slept for about five hours on the couch. It was that type of day.
Then at night, on random we started to dance in the kitchen.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that’s a common eventin our household. Somehow though, we just haven’t had much of a chance or opportunity to dance all together on a Saturday night.
It seems for the moment though, we will have an indefinite amount of time to dance in the kitchen.
What made it better, was I started off reluctant. All I wanted to do was settle back on the couch. It was like I was so used to doing nothing, that I just wanted to go back and do NOTHING.
But as the saying goes… if you can’t beat them, join them.
Which is what I did. I participated in baby girl’s little dance-off contest, and before I knew it, was galloping and pirouetting across the kitchen floor and almost colliding with Hubbie and baby girl but doubling over with laughter.
And I was so glad I caved in. So glad we mucked about and went stupid and got warm amidst a really freezing day. And though we aren’t all tik tok savvy to have recorded it for the world to see, there is something else I captured…
Our little tennis match. I saw the best idea on facebook a while ago. Take two wooden spoons or other long-shaped utensils, tape it to the back of some paper plates, then using some stools/chairs, drape a blanket/tablecover over it to create…
A tennis stadium IN YOUR HOUSE.
Oh, and the ball? A balloon. It even acts like a ball if it’s been hanging around the house for a few days, flying irrationally and without care through the air, making it more challenging to hit.
Let it howl. Let it rain. We’ve got the home isolation entertainment down pat.
It had been a big, fun, full day. From a sunny day enjoying the warmth, walking our cat on a leash outside (yes, a leash), baking up some Easter treats, and then enjoying a birthday with loved ones, it felt like we had done it all and in turn, were getting tired by days end beyond belief.
It didn’t affect the volume in the car though.
Like one of our favourite Prince songs, we were almost “Delirious.” Talking over each other as we drove home from the birthday, music blaring… I was surprised my ears weren’t ringing as they usually do when people started shrieking.
Hubbie changed the radio station while we were in full force. He heard the notes of something, and exclaimed “Oh I love this!” I recognised the same song he did, and we were both disappointed in our realisation moments later, when it turned out to be a recent slow song.
“Oh, I thought it was Jewel,” he said. He didn’t even have to tell me that. I had heard the same parts he had identified. We started talking about one of her earlier songs, and then the ‘mistaken’ song in question, Foolish Games.
Have you ever forgotten about a song you loved so much, but then as you start singing it, it ALL COMES FLOODING BACK TO YOU?
I l♥ve those moments.
I’d remembered, that I had known the song so well. It was a slow song, a sad song, but one that told a story, a story so precise and real and true, that there was no doubt in my mind that Jewel HAD lived this tale, the images she sang were so real in my mind. They were poignant, and they were raw.
In my effort to recall it all, I tried my best to hum the first notes, the gentle piano tones rising up and then down, and then –
“You took your coat off… and stood in the rain. You were always crazy like that.”
I smiled at him, excited that it was starting to come back.
“And I watched from my window… always felt I was inside… looking in, on you.”
Meanwhile baby girl was starting to complain that our soft notes were too loud for her. This from the girl that had made me turn up the volume to 20 and “open the windows!” when Body by Loud Luxury came on. Oh, please.
But we continued. I paused as I tried to remember certain words, and then Hubbie would jump in, filling in my blanks.
Me: “You were always the mysterious one with, dark eyes and …. careless hair, you were, fashionably sensitive, but – “
Together: “Too cool, to care.”
Oh, it was great. We were literally pulling the words out of our heads as the music played between us, unspoken. We got all the way to the first few lines of the second verse, and then majorly stalled. I knew for a fact that I loved the second verse best, and yet I couldn’t remember it.
Thank God then, for youtube.
Hubbie pulled up the video clip on my phone as we drove. We sang along and happily filled in the spaces where we had stopped so suddenly before. But it flowed of course when she sang it, like we had never forgotten it at all.
Then Hubbie found a live version where she well… kicked it out of the ball park. She sang the melancholy song with such sensitivity, range, emotion, and passion, that really… WOW. Effortless yet powerful, all at once.
Here are the beautiful and poetic words…. and with it, that live performance of Foolish Games from 1997.
I think we will be playing a lot of this re-discovered song this Easter long weekend. Enjoy 🙂
You took your coat off and stood in the rain, You’re always crazy like that. And I watched from my window, Always felt I was outside looking in on you.
You’re always the mysterious one with Dark eyes and careless hair, You were fashionably sensitive But too cool to care. You stood in my doorway, with nothing to say Besides some comment on the weather.
Well in case you failed to notice, In case you failed to see, This is my heart bleeding before you, This is me down on my knees, and…
These foolish games are tearing me apart, And your thoughtless words are breaking my heart. You’re breaking my heart.
You’re always brilliant in the morning, Smoking your cigarettes and talking over coffee. Your philosophies on art, Baroque moved you. You loved Mozart and you’d speak of your loved ones As I clumsily strummed my guitar.
Well, excuse me, guess I’ve mistaken you for somebody else, Somebody who gave a damn, Somebody more like myself.
These foolish games are tearing me, you’re tearing me
where baby girl was at home with me, rather than at school…
She found herself making
What a great opportunity today was to start on the Easter hat she will don for the parade at the end of term this Friday. It was a leisurely actively both chosen and imposed, for I have realised the sarcasm evident from the mouths of parents when they jokingly show overwhelming disdain for yet another project they have to help their child with.
Sure she decorated most of it, I helped with the fiddly bits of course… and it’s the fiddly bits that are the worst. I attached the strips to the bonnet the wrong way and it was showing up white, instead of green…
PEEL OFF. Again we start.
We got there, in the end. And she was so super pleased with herself, she did her own little impromptu hat parade around the house.
And then of course, there were the scones.
I don’t know if it’s just unlucky coincidence that last time we made scones she was also sick. I don’t know if that means the act of planning to make scones make her sick (as I had planned on scones for today from last week) or if in fact I somehow predict on a subconscious level she is going to be sick, and therefore wish to protect ourselves from the fact by baking something homely and comforting to combat the unwelcome cold.
Nevertheless, the jam and cream upon pillow-y pieces of goodness made her happy. She lavished the spreads on generously, and if anything, the scones and hat made her forget she was sick… she was really only having, a well-timed day off.
I haven’t baked in a little while, purely for the purpose of ‘just ’cause,’ for AGES. Back in August my mass baking was of an intentional and event-based nature, so when I came across some mouth-watering recipes last week, I decided to schedule in my very own baking day.
I think it was all the more enjoyable because baby girl was at kindergarten. I do enjoy when she is in the kitchen with me… I love that she is curious, that she wants to help, and her sheer excitement at the prospect of the finished product. I also want her to appreciate the cooking process, the effort that goes into making things, so that she may appreciate eating, and the food itself more, since she knows where it came from.
But at the same time, as a Mum… sometimes you just wanna get shit done.
You just want to go at your own pace. No constant questions of
“can I mix?”
“can I add?”
“can I taste?”
“can I put this in?”
Just me and MY kitchen. Putting mess and bowls and utensils and drips of batter, wherever the bloody hell I like.
After a couple of hours from start to finish, I got something like this:
Do you think I got close? 😉
I am being cheeky, sure. Yes I created it almost spot-on to the recipe photo, and even styled the kitchen magazine-style in the process (check the cake under the dome).
But the MOST important question… how did it actually taste?
Well I can tell you this: it wasn’t to my taste at first. It had a definite tangy flavour, what with all that zest and lemon juice in the batter. Which is fine, but then there was the addition of so much extra virgin olive oil, which led to a superbly moist but rich cake.
The berry layer was made from scratch with real blueberries, but the cream was not so… creamy. In fact, light cream cheese was required instead, which made it slightly biting… however this was not too bad in its small quantity in contrast against the lemony cake and mild blueberry jam.
I didn’t expect Hubbie to like it… but he did.He actually enjoyed it. And being a fussier food critic than I, SmikG the food blogger, well that was a massive tick in my book. √
I am quite pleased with myself. Pleased in that I don’t despair too much when faced with the task of cooking or baking, whether for myself or for others.
I don’t despair, because… I enjoy it.A LOT.
It is another avenue of my creativity coming forth. It requires thought, planning, precision… but just like the creative process, it also takes intuition, passion, and a healthy dose (perhaps a few tablespoons?) of spontaneity.
I’ve been baking a bit this week in the lead up to my nephew’s 16th birthday bash this weekend. And although I know I don’t mind cooking, the thought of making so much was initially, a bit of a worry in my mind.
How would I get it done?
Would it go as planned?
Would any hiccups occur along the way?
Amazingly, so far, none. Today was the last baking-fest, and each day that I had to prepare or tend to the oven, I’d put on a cd, turn it RIGHT UP, and begin the creative process in my kitchen.
I have found real happiness and delight in making things with passion. With heartfelt intention. While singing out loud to Queen/Prince/Sia/Michael Jackson, other creative geniuses filling the rooms of our house with meaningful music.
I guess I’ve realised whole-heartedly, how important the act of baking is to me.
It brings people together. It carries on age-old cooking traditions and recipes.
It is magic, at your fingertips. Much like writing 😉
And it creates love and unity. Nothing is more rewarding that your Hubbie and daughter stealing baked goods that you’ve created for a party, knowing how happy it is making their tummies.
I do it, for the ♥
And that is how the magic comes in. You must do everything, out of ♥♥♥