I had never before, nor have I since, been so happy to have no idea what I was doing with my life.
~ Molly Wizenberg, A Homemade Life
Life is a little crazy and chaotic for me at the moment; a little like wardrobes tumbling down the stairs, drawers akimbo, dresses askew. It’s been a little chaotic for awhile, to be honest…
I can’t begin to describe it here, and I haven’t yet processed it all in my head, but let’s just say so many things have been happening, there are now a few unknowns and changes due to happen yet again, and the air reeks of change. I’ve enjoyed some of all this – for starters, it’s led me way out of my comfort zone, to learn more about myself and the world around me, to open up my mind to new ideas, to conversations with some wonderful people I might never have talked to otherwise.
I cannot deny though, that I’ve had a few sleepless nights, tossing and turning, head overflowing with thoughts. I’ve had a few glum days, wandering down the streets of Wellington, unseeing. I’ve had some cooking/eating disasters and gone to get-togethers I’ve had to excuse myself from midway just so I could escape to a quiet place to be alone.
If there is one thing that’s helped me through the less stable times, it’s been time in the kitchen. Even when I am clumsy and subsequently agitated about giving myself flour baths, or cracking eggs outside the bowl, or feeding my poor flatmates soggy prego rolls…
I still love grocery shopping, feeding my flatmates (their feelings on this matter is a totally different story, mind you), bringing some baking to work – so cool when my colleagues enjoy it…… I love standing in the kitchen with the window wide open, sunlight casting light and shadows on whatever I am making, oven pregnant with good smells.
On that note, I love reading menus, and people’s faces as they eat, and experimenting with tastes and textures. I love the conversations food evokes. I love how cooking makes me feel like dancing. I love colourful markets, restaurants, and friendly cafe staff, and people who care about what they eat. I love the look on a person’s face when they are eating something fantastic.
I love how food is so interwoven with who we are as people.
I love how the kitchen is a place of life.
This afternoon, I attempted this dish from Tessa Kiros’ “Falling Cloudberries”:
#50 Salmon Ceviche with Coriander, Chilli & Lime – Page 341
It’s salmon coated with a zesty lime dressing, then left in the fridge for at least 4 hours to ‘cook’. I’ve just had a morsel of salmon, seeing that I am full to the brim from my dinner at cooking class (more about this shortly) – but oh, it’s good! It’s chilled and flavourful, and I can already imagine serving it as an appetizer at some as yet unplanned dinner party sometime in the future…
This evening, I went to a cooking class at Caffe Italiano. A few of us helped a little in some parts, but mainly, we watched an entertaining demo of how to make Risotto Emiliano and Torta di patate. An elegant dish of risotto with buffalo mozzarella and parmigiano, and a tasty baked potato dish alongside a crisp balsamic-dressed salad… in between the good food, aromas, wine, a quiz which proved us all to be terribly lacking in knowledge about Italy/Italians, and the friendly people at my table, it was alot of fun. We left with cute boxes of panettone to take home and instructions on how to turn them into dessert (something to look forward to sometime next week perhaps).
Mmmm… and now, I have 2 short speeches to write so I had best get going… so… Salute! – (as our instructor was prone to saying while he raised his glass and we did the same).