I don’t know about you but we haven’t used the BBQ in this house yet. I bet you guys are cooking up a storm and grilling to your heart’s content, but I’m doing nothing of the sort. I’m cooking yes, but only because we have to eat, but during these hot days there’s no enjoyment to be found in the kitchen.
I’ve always said that, for me, the hardest part of writing recipes is not really the recipes themselves, but the introduction. I’m never happy to post something without one. I think food, like most of the things in life, has to have some kind of context, no matter how small it might be.
Now when I say ‘small’ I don’t mean insignificant. I never mean that because to me that’s somewhat disrespectful. Eating with your partner, spouse, friends, or even alone is never a small thing.
I don’t want to sound too philosophical here. Leading busy lives means that sometimes we might skip supper and/or lunch with others. That’s one reason why I like to have people over for supper. Sometimes I do it on the spur of the moment, on a whim, when I know my pantry and fridge are stocked for that week. Sometimes I even wing it, without many ingredients to hand. We all have those days where all we want is to be alone, and for the most part I lunch alone, but nothing beats a full table.
The other day I posted one of my favourite entries in C&T on my Facebook page. It was an assignment for a Blogging University course (which has now ended) that included a quote. I remember not knowing what quote to choose, but being a creature of habit, and thus feeling like a hobbit most of the time, I decided to go for one from Tolkien’s masterpieces. I got loads of positive feedback for that piece and the recipe I included in it is one that I make again and again. I’m sure you’ll agree that a walnut and banana loaf cake is one of the most comforting bakes around. That and a scrumptious cup of thick hot chocolate.
So you won’t find many recipes on this blog that venture too much out of my comfort zone. C&T started out, and still is I think, a place to share what I cook at home, primarily in a small kitchen, as the ones I had back in the UK. Now I have a somewhat larger room to play in. I am lucky and I like the space, though it wasn’t easy to adjust to it.
Not writing anything on C&T for these past two weeks has been a strange experience. Last year I took a month-long break during all of August to focus on moving and trying to settle back in after the UK. This time things are very different and difficult. To say that these past few days have been tough doesn’t even begin to describe it. My maternal grandmother passed away early Sunday morning. Her funeral was held last Monday, giving us almost no time to process this loss. My grandma had been sick for 13 years – in fact, the last time I remember her being ok was at my wedding. I remember my mum asking me to go hug her before my going away. For some reason that comes to mind every time I think of her. Somehow I managed a reading during the funeral service and kept calm, but I couldn’t help feeling upset by the end of it. What I can say for sure is that I feel deeply thankful for being able to be there during her last days with us. She is now at peace.
It’s still reasonably cold in the Med and I’m still nursing a very bad cold. My neighbour’s kid is having a ball running amuck right above my head, most probably sitting on a desk chair and sprinting across the corridor. Either that or playing boċċi. Who knows? Can’t imagine the grief he’s giving his mum, but I can definitely picture the grief he’s giving me!
So just when my head starts to ache I decide to post two recipes on C&T. Simple stuff but they are just the things I want to eat when I’m inside with quite some time to spend in the kitchen. There will be plenty of chances in the future for chips. That’s exactly what’s keeping me going! *Checking my forehead for fever*
If you know me personally you will have no doubt as to how much I miss our years in Surrey. Please don’t think that everything was plain sailing; nothing in the real world is totally charmed. We had our ups and our downs, but one thing’s for sure – the kitchen space in our tiny flat was my refuge. There were times when I cursed its size (for years I wished for a larger space as I was constantly running out of workspaces) but now that this wish is granted I do tend to feel lost. I was saying that to my beautiful Mum this morning. She understood.
I’m sure you are familiar with the following scenario. You didn’t plan your meal, so you have no idea what to have for lunch. You start opening your cupboards frantically in search for a life-saver but there’s nothing to be seen. Then you open your fridge and it becomes your best friend. You find some bits and bobs which could work and let’s face it, you need to make something out of them or else they will go bad. That’s exactly the way this concoction came about.