Let’s pick up right where we left off in part 1:
I love to create new recipes. I am also, what you may call an ‘imprecise, creative cook.’ I like to flow in the kitchen. I add a little of this, a little of that, and follow my instinct in terms of ingredients. While this usually works well with savoury and main meals, baking is a whole different ball game. In fact with baking, it makes for a rather inconsistent outcome. This means that there are times where I make a cake and it is a downright act of genius. I pull it out of the oven and it looks incredible, and when people eat it the heavens open and you can hear the angels sing. However, there are other times, when things don’t go quite so well. From sunken and burnt, to curdled and strange tasting morsels. You name it, I’ve done it.
One would think that since I use such imprecise methods I should have an emotional framework to deal with the good and the bad outcomes. Except that I do not.
Mark has occasionally stepped in, post a kitchen failed venture when I am irrationally wailing.
One would think in these moments that the rapture has come and I have been left behind.
One time after one particularly disappointing bake, Mark tried to talk some sense into his wife who had clearly forgotten she was born again as she threw burnt hot muffin specimens at the floor and at him in a moment of carnal, irrational rage.
I am obsessed with black people
I don’t know if this is politically correct that I tell you this, however I am going to anyway.
I am completely and utterly obsessed with black people. The blacker the better. Seriously those tall, black African ladies with their hair all braided, and their bright glorious clothes. I could stare in awe for hours. The little children and their black and blonde afros and black, soft as butter skin. The men and the way they walk and talk, and carry themselves with such an air of identity and grace. The way they can sing! The way they do church! The way they can sing “oh Happy Day” (Jordan Merry you know what I am talking about.) Seriously, prior to meeting Mark I was utterly convinced I would marry a man so black he would disappear in the night. Instead, I married a man so white that sun-screening his back is a 15 minute process. If I see a glorious dark-skinned sister at a café, hands down I have to go up to her and tell her she is glorious. I’ll buy her food, touch her skin, or just stare at her in admiration from afar. It is so completely weird. I can’t explain it.
I love black people so much that three times in my adult life I have sat through 12-16 hours of long black braided extensions.
Here I have got tiny hair extensions joined onto my dead straight hair, so long that they have reached my bottom. They have been impractical and ridiculously heavy. So heavy in fact that they nearly make me fall over backwards. By night time I used to have the biggest headache. Running (which is my favourite thing in the world) became a strange torturous like experience. Like running with a shot put ball on my head.
The pain and suffering was all worth it. Because for three months I looked like an Ethiopian. And it was glorious. (Until your boss the surgeon tells you that “the braids have to go” as your enormous bun is obscuring his view of the screen in the operating room.)
I love to eat with my hands
I am not talking about the traditionally, Sri Lankan style eat with your hands because you are eating rice and dhal. I’m talking about every day, from salads and stir fries to casseroles and desserts. I ignore the cutlery and get in there caveman style with my hands. I mean, I get in there, hands, forearms, elbows, everything. I may potentially try a little harder if I am out for dinner or dining with people who I don’t know very well. I’ll at least start the meal with a knife and fork. But I tell no lie, by the end of the meal, my knife and fork are forgotten by the side, and fine dining or not, I guarantee you, I will be eating those pretty edible flowers with my hands.
One day I will meet Donald Trump. I will cook him a plant based meal, and we will sit and talk about life with my enormous braids piled high on my head and both my hands deep in my delicious, famous Dr’s orders salad.
I love to go shopping and look in other people’s trolleys
Does anyone else do this? I find it so completely fascinating. You can tell so much about a person by what is in their trolley. Seriously. I love to observe trolleys and people while they shop. I imagine what they are going to cook with all their ingredients!
I love the upper class foodies, dressed in their corporate gear at 6 pm, clearly straight from work, buying a 20 dollar piece of eye fillet, a bunch of macro asparagus with vine ripened tomatoes, and 15 dollar organic gourmet muesli for breakfast the next morning.
I love the hassled mum of five with her sky high trolley piled high with Woolworths brand Weet bix, enough milk to feed a small village, 6 packets of bread, and every reduced item from the bakery table. When you are feeding a small army of growing minions, survival is key and organic and macro is but a romantic notion.
I love the older retired couple, whose every ingredient is well thought out on their hand-written shopping list which they painstakingly cross off as they go.
The frozen peas to go with their gourmet meat pies, and their lamb shoulder to go with the bunch of rosemary, carrots and potato for their Irish stew. They systematically load up their groceries on the bench and watch eagle eyed to ensure the teenage cashier does not miss a single special.
I love the hassled mother with her little tribe, trying to make the shopping trip as painless as possible. Lacking extra hands to even look at her list, she tries to simultaneously control her children as they munch on the free fruit and add various items to the trolley, calm the baby strapped to her chest and shop. Grabbing random items and shoving them in without rhyme or reason as she has forgotten the very reason she came as she cannot think over the loud screams of her disgruntled and hungry baby.
I love the weird Asian man who buys 30 heads of lettuce. The other day this one Asian man bought 30 heads of lettuce! I kid you not! 30! And nothing else! They weren’t even on sale. What on earth was he going to do with 30 lettuce. San choy bow? But where were the other ingredients? Perhaps he got the other ingredients elsewhere. Or maybe there is a new lettuce detox I need to know about? Perhaps he was making a new lettuce cream? I was so curious. If I wasn’t stuck in a cue with the slowest cashier scanner person in the world, I would have raced after him to ask him what he was going to do with it.
I think about these things people.
I am so completely weird I know. What’s more, if you were shopping next to me, I would have imagined, your life, your pantry, what you had for breakfast, and what your next weeks menu would look like.
This is who I am
I am discovering the art of embracing the harmless quirks inside of me. I am so done with trying to be someone I am not. So completely done. If there is no mould for the dreams on my heart, and what I want to achieve then I will simply have to pioneer a new way to do this. And I will do it while embracing all the weird quirky things that make me who I am. So take it from this little brown, quirky girl who is sitting on her uncomfortable but fabulous looking couch, bought off Darwin buy swap and sell, writing for an audience she is not sure she yet has; I give you permission to be exactly who you are.
Be exactly who you were created to be. You are glorious.
You are deeply loved and richly cherished.
The Healthy Hiccup