elspeth (aiofe) wrote,

  • Mood:


I've been under a lot of stress lately. A lot of stress. Since early March. One of my symptoms of stress is that I can't spare the energy to be creative. My work suffers, and I can't bear the thought of cooking something that doesn't come from a jar or a box.

The cloud seems to be lifting a bit, though. Yesterday I got all creative in the kitchen, and made my first ever sans-recipe risotto (pine nuts, baby spinach, chicken with asparagas spears seared in butter and garlic to serve). I also taught myself how to poach eggs with a saucepan and a slotted spoon. I feel like making some toasted-flour biscuits featured in the chocolate and zucchini blog; I've been seriously thinking about how to make gluten-free gnocchi and inviting mum over for a three-course, gourmet gluten-free feast (egg-drop soup to start; walnut and blue cheese gnocchi; pistachio and lemon sorbet to finish. Or something like that).

I find myself contemplating how to do a thai-flavoured risotto; shredded kaffir lime, coriander, seeded red chilli, fresh green beans and fresh grated coconut are springing to mind. Or Indian; pumpkin cooked in cumin and cinnamon, mashed and added to the rice with a generous sprinkle of paprika, garam masala, fresh tomatoes, and suitably-spiced meatballs.

I'm thinking about the lovely granite benchtops, and thinking about making berry tarts and croissants by hand. I'm thinking about growing fresh herbs, mint and thyme and sage and rosemary and basil and coriander. About duck pancakes. About savoury waffles for breakfast on a Sunday. About cloves and oranges and crepes for dessert. About ginger and nutmeg and biscuits.

I am, for the first time in ages, excited about the possibilities of my spice rack and pantry. I can't wait to get home and riff off on a theme from a cookbook; about mixing and matching flavours on an impulse. I want to feel a loaf take shape in my hands; I want to fill my house with gorgeous smells. I want to learn new things, new flavours, new techniques.

It's been so long since I've felt this way. And it's a good way to feel :)
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