I’m never in the mood for complicated dishes. More so right now. I was out all morning/early afternoon running errands. Carrying all the grocery shopping up the stairs isn’t how I would like to spend the first part of this Valentine’s Day but there you go. I don’t expect anything else mind you, I like when my days are full with things to do, although I must say today I feel somewhat under the weather, after a few sleepless nights. I’ve tried everything, from a calming brew of herbal tea to lavender essential oil, but nothing seems to work. Part of it is that my mind just doesn’t stop and I’m finding it so hard to wind down at the end of the day. Some of this comes with keeping on with my reading, writing, thinking and jotting down mental notes throughout the day, especially late into the evening. I know some of my readers and blogger friends are nodding in firm agreement. I can almost hear and see you my friends. I find a kind of gentle reassurance in that, although I do wish everyone plenty of peace and rest. Always.
While apologising profusely for not posting a recipe, or anything else really during the past few days, I can say that the busiest time of the year for me has officially started. It began a few weeks ago to be honest, but only now I am feeling it. It – as in what-the-heck-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing type of thing. What’s worse is that Christmas food is at the bottom of my list, and that almost never happens. I have, with the help of my lovely mum, put up some decorations, tree and all, but as much as I have decided not to stress about the trivial things, I’m stressing more as a result. Does that happen to you too? Mind you I cannot complain too much you know – I am prepping for a simple meal and I just have to see that I have all the ingredients I need. That’s all. However as much as I’m trying to put on my Nigella anxiety-lessening supercape, I’m failing miserably. But things can only get better. (No, I’m not quoting D:Ream.)
I was going to write an entirely different recipe today, but that is taking so much of my time on this rainy busy day, that I just had to forgo the idea. Instead let me give you a deliciously hearty recipe for a soup that is easily becoming a staple in my house.
A few months ago, my bro-in-law J2 awarded me the guardianship of some of his cookbooks, a role which I take very seriously, by cooking from them myself, as it should be. It made me think of this beautiful bean soup, especially because today the rain is coming down hard on this island, and it looks as if it’s staying for the next couple of days. It’s annoying but truly we need it. I feel sorry for all those who need to venture out. The roads are crazy with traffic and I just received a message from a friend saying how soaked she got. Stay safe and avoid extra driving everyone. It’s not nice out there.
When I started writing this post, I had something totally different planned, but I decided to be spontaneous and changed my mind. Right now. I don’t even know if I’ll manage to post this today. Today as in Wednesday. Sometimes I feel so rushed during the day, that this blog is the first to take the hit. Unfortunately so I always say, as C&T is where, to a certain degree, I feel myself the most. I feel glad about this, because I never wanted to lose myself in here. Let me rephrase that: I never want to present anything that is not me. The food in the photos is never wasted, always eaten by us and/or friends and family. I share, because I love to, I want to, and of course, because I cannot justify eating a whole cake by myself. Well…
So let’s take a little break from cake and let me give you this.
By mere coincidence I’m posting a delightfully simple Mexican soup recipe, well loved in this house, because I’m putting it out there right now – it’s got chocolate in it. This is my take on what is still one of my very favourite cookbooks. Jack has published another book after this, which I still need to see, but I think that her first book deserves to be a classic. There is no need to write a second positive review because by now I’m sure you all know how much I like the recipes and Jack’s honest way of writing. She is a master at turning a few simple ingredients into something special, with the help of a little bit of chocolate. It does make a difference so don’t be afraid to add it.
Whenever I meet up with friends, one of the first questions they ask me is “what are you cooking today?” Such a great question. Seriously. It’s a simple one really, but there’s always a reasoning behind it which I totally get. Because when you’re the one in charge of feeding the people living in your household, thinking about what to cook every single day, or more tediously, day in, day out, it starts to feel as too much of a chore. I applaud every one of you though. I know where you’re coming from and I understand.
I can’t quite get my head round the fact that it’s already the beginning of October. Children have started school this week here in Malta and today, poor things, they made their way in the rain. We had quite a storm this morning and this doesn’t make the commute easy for all those who have to walk out the door to work. Flooding affected the usual places and traffic was even more nightmarish than usual. I hope everyone made it to their destination in one piece. It’s Friday once again though, so there’s the weekend to look forward to. Anything to hold on to, to make life better, right?