Thursday, 6 May 2010

Re-visiting recipes

The chaotic nature of my new working life means I have had little time to cook of late, something that has been causing me much sadness. That being said I have tried a couple of the dishes from the new Ottolenghi book (the Guardian recently gave out a free booklet with several of the recipes in) and they were both utterly divine. I made the stuffed onions for my friend Deb, on an evening which culminated in us drinking 4 bottles of wine and spending an embarassing amount of time on chat roulette. This weekend I made the ratatouille for another friend which we devoured in minutes, something I always find a little tragic when a meal has been fussed over for hours. If only there were a way to moderate our greediness, but alas this dish was too good not to wolf down.

I have a list of about 30 new dishes to try, and I am also going to revisit some old favourites...a selection of which I've linked to below in case you too are feeling the need for some kitchen love!

Fusili pasta with lemon, cream and rocket
Sausages with chorzo and lentils
Chicken, cream and tarragon pie
Spaghetti with sweet onion, tomato and pancetta

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


The last four months have been really difficult. Everything around me has changed entirely, in part due to my own choices and in part due to those of other people.

Day to day life is far more interesting and exciting than it was; in the last 3 months I have worked as a childminder for several families, a courier service for a friend, a runner on a new food advert and a writer at Closer.

But it is very tough having no regular income and it means I have had to turn down countless invitations to weddings, nights out, hen do's and parties. Moreover I have no idea how I will be paying my rent for the next month and the months after that...maybe something will come up (in between the work experience I am currently doing) but may it won't. I can't deny I spend the majority of my time fretting about it.

If I am truly honest I have found adjusting to life without the boy very difficult. Our relationship ended in such a way that there is no going back and, just as sadly, there are several people who have fallen away from my life. I am lucky that I am still surrounded by amazing people yet with the loss of his companionship, the dissapearance of some of our mutual friends and my dearest L moving to Edinburgh last year I have been feeling lonely. It is hard to write that word, it feels very shameful especially when I consider what a busy social life I have...but the truth is it is a different kind of life where I always have to go it alone. Sometimes that can feel very isolating.

Of course you can look at the situation from the other angle and realise how empowering it can be to go it alone, to have no one demanding your time and attention and to be able to do exactly as you choose all the time. I craved that feeling when I was in a relationship...and yet now I can't remember quite why.

The biggest sadness of all has come just recently as my parents have finally decided to sell the family home we have occupied since I was 6 years old. The home I grew up in and the home that the boy and I spent countless weeks in surrounded by my family and our friends. I can't ever explain how much this house means to me and the heartbreak I feel knowing that I won't be returning there for weekends filled with happiness over the summer as the house is no longer ours from the end of May. I always dreamed of marrying the love of my life in the lush, hilly garden of that house.

Soon the house will be gone and, I am painfully aware that dream has gone with it.
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