I guess I should explain myself.
It’s not often I talk about my personal life, especially not on this blog, but I’m very aware of the fact that I haven’t posted anything in the last two months. Fact is, there hasn’t been much food coming out of my kitchen to blog about lately.
Back in May, my boyfriend of more or less nine years told me he’d been struggling with depression and needed to move back home to get help, that he’d bought his plane tickets to Chicago, that he was leaving in just over a week, for good. So there was that tumbling wheel of grief and disbelief and rage and blame: at him, for not telling me; at me, for not seeing what, in hindsight, were clear warning signs that things weren’t right. But mostly I was speechless. I stopped eating, I stopped sleeping, I never cried so many tears in my life.
The night before he left I found out the two other people I care about most are in the middle of their own shit, the kind of shit you hope will never happen to people who love each other, the kind of shit you really don’t want to get in the middle of. And I got in the middle of it. So there was that.
The day he left I flew to Brisbane to clear my head and while I was there I got some more bad news. Seriously, they weren’t kidding when they said these things happen in threes.
And when I got home all the lights in my kitchen were out. Literally. I’m not even trying to make this into some kind of clever food-blogger metaphor: all of the lights in my kitchen had blown. Of course, it would’ve been perfectly easy to replace them, but after everything, I couldn’t be bothered. My kitchen stayed dark, and I stayed out of it.
A month went by; I didn’t cook a thing. I ate a lot of Little Penang, I ate a lot of cheese for dinner, a lot of spoonfuls of maple syrup (but it’s just so damn good!). It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to cook for myself – even when Eric was here I often ate alone, since we worked opposite hours – but I just couldn’t bring myself to make the effort, no matter how small. Trips to the supermarket mostly just ended in tears, or buying halloumi to stave them off (the cure-all properties of halloumi should not be understated!).
I’m slowly getting back in the kitchen now. It started with a few simple things: cooking a few brussels sprouts, roasting some broccoli. That was okay. But when, last weekend, I had to make something that involved more than a few steps, I realised that this is Getting On With Life. We have to eat, and I have to cook, and I can’t just be eating takeaways and roasted broccoli forever.
So that’s where I’ve been. And part of me is just all, “harden up, baby,” far worse things have happened to far better people, and you know, I’ve still got my feet, my toes, my liver. In six months or a year I’ll look back on this winter thinking “man, that sucked”, but I’ll be fine. But knowing that doesn’t make me less sad right now.
The thing about life is, it’s always slinging shit all over the place, and most of the time you can dodge it (and up until now I have). But sometimes shit comes at you in big, steaming clumps and there’s no time to duck for cover. All you can do is clean it up as best you can. So that’s where I am.
(Um, not the best imagery for a food blog, I’m sorry. I promise I will never do it again.)
I guess this is the part where I think of some clever way to link this whole saga back to the recipe in this post, but I can’t really be bothered doing that right now.
So: thanks for sticking around, you people who read this blog. I’ll be back again soon, sooner than two months this time, and hopefully with a less depressing post. Here is my favourite way to have cauliflower.
(recipe from my mum, who told me how to do this over the phone way back when I was in my first flat. Thanks!)
Heat up the grill (or broiler, if you’re in North America). Cut off a few florets of cauliflower, cut off the stems, and break the florets up into little pieces. Toss with oil (I used olive oil but melted butter or even coconut oil would be great, along the lines of this real popcorn), salt, a bit of curry powder. Spread the cauliflower pieces out over a baking sheet – try not to crowd them together as you want them to crisp up a bit.
Chuck it under the hot grill for a few minutes until the tips start to turn crispy and brown. Snacktime!