Cooking for One.

An article landed in my inbox this week. It was from the ABC or SBS. I’m not sure which, and now I can’t find it. The gist of the story was the difficulty some people have in cooking for one. That is, for themself. The author spoke about her newly single status and how she went through a stage of not wanting to go to the effort of cooking if she was the only one eating. She then went on to say how she pulled herself out of the doldrums and now is happy to make solo meals. 

The article made me stop and think about my own approach to cooking for myself and how it has changed. I have written before about my wine and (potato) wedges phase. In the early days of my single journey, I was lucky if I actually bothered to throw the frozen chips in the oven. Sometimes the wine and wedges became wine and a packet of chips (crisps). Nutrition goals met?…not! 

In the kitchen all day?

Thankfully, I’m over that and now I have the opposite approach. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen; on purpose and loving it. Today, for instance, I whipped up the following: 

  • A kilo of granola, 
  • picked 2 kilograms of blackberries from the empty block next door, 
  • made jam with said blackberries and then made 

Blackberries, a rare treat to find them in the “wild” these days. They are usually sprayed as they are a noxious weed.

Lentils in abundance!

I love cooking! I love cooking complex recipes. Sometimes I regret not having an audience to share my culinary prowess with, but I certainly eat well! I tend to spend 3 – 4 days in a cooking frenzy and then live on the leftovers for the next two weeks. My freezer fills up and my Tupperware cupboard empties.  My maths brain can’t help but chuckle about the inverse relationship between freezer volume and storage container availability.

Batch cooking – here mushroom cannelloni.

This love of cooking became very clear to me when I was unpacking my stuff in my new house. My sister and her kids come to help me. I felt a bit awkward when they began to unpack jar after jar of lentils 

“How many types do you have?” my niece asked.

Turns out it’s at least seven. Then at least four different types of oil, a bunch of different kinds of vinegar and so many spices I did not have room for them. 

The near ancient Kenwood.

I am not a kitchen gadget person and usually make do with basic tools but I do have a Kenwood stand mixer and a BIG food processor. The stand mixer is at least 40 years old. I bought it at a garage sale when my child was a small baby. I remember paying $30 for it and balancing it on the canopy of the stroller as I wheeled it home.  It weighs a tonne and is still going strong. It was old then and that baby is now 31! (currently touching all the wood!!!)

As time has progressed and my budget has allowed, I have realised it’s worth spending good money on better knives and heavy saucepans. It’s equally important to have a good knife sharpener. Adapting recipes became second nature. I would now consider myself an accomplished cook but certainly no Michelin-rated chef.

I know some people find cooking a chore, but for me, it’s a creative outlet.

I’m back!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that I was done blogging. Well here I am, I’m back! 

I’d like to thank those lovely people who reached out to me. They gave me some much needed support and made me think on a few things. (And it wasn’t just family, but thank you Aunty Mary and my editorial team!)

Much of my uneasiness arose from the expectation  or even an obligation of having to write every week. It was a goal of my 60 before 60 challenge and with that done I wasn’t sure of how to progress. One writer suggested I just post whenever I wanted to rather than sticking to a rigid schedule. (Thanks Pete!)

And I’ll do that; write when I feel the need. That may be every week, that may be once a month. But I will write. If nothing else has happened over the last four years that this blog has been in existence, is that I have come to realise that I like writing, and I’m getting good at it! More importantly, sometimes I even have something to say that may interest other people.

Another source of discontent  is chasing perfect SEO. (Search Engine Optimisation) When I started writing I didn’t worry about it. I didn’t even know what it was. I just wrote. More recently I have been analysing my posts more carefully. Making sure I use the keyword the requisite number of times. Ensuring I have the right ratio of passive vs active voice. All in the hope of pleasing the algorithm and hence improving my ability to be found in random internet searches and increase my reach.  This has caused me to write in a less spontaneous way. It has made me use subheadings where I found subheadings intrusive or unnatural. It has made writing less fun.

To remain true to myself and continue to write; I’ll pay less attention to the SEO and if I grow my reach, it with be organically. Much like my quest to grow veggies and have chickens!

Thank you dear readers. More soon. 

PS:  Next week is a Furious Fiction post, then on with the voyage into intentional living or whatever the hell I feel like! One idea I’m thinking on is longer, more analytical investigative pieces. But then again it might just be fluff about making pickles and jam while in Week 8 of lockdown with potentially another four to go!!! (at least!)

Thanks Ing, your not so random act of kindness was the tonic I needed. 

Blogging Blues.

Folks, I’m getting close to the end of this here blog project! I have a bad case of the blogging blues. A few weeks ago I started the From the  Vault Series as a way of putting place keeper posts in play to help buy me some time. You may have noticed my struggle.

I had a post prepared for today. About living in lockdown and emptying my freezer. It was well enough written but it was still crap. A self-indulgent bit of fluff from a privileged white person who had enough food in their freezer to last 6 weeks.

Woop-di-do!

Not that it’s my intention for this blog to be an esoteric deep thinking tome. Rather, as it says on my About page, a fairly lighthearted collection of observational jottings through the eyes of a 60-year-old. 

This place was not meant to be all about me per se but rather about what I see happening in the world. While not a diary or a substitute journal it will, of course, reflect what I’m doing, thinking and feeling. 

It’s come to the point where I am resenting the time it takes me to get posts prepared and published. Not that it’s a big chunk of time to do the physical part but rather the mental energy of thinking of something to write. That’s the tough bit. To be truthful the resentment comes from the lack of feedback. I’ve been slogging away at this for 4 years and have around 500 followers. (THANK YOU!!) I have written at least one post every week for that entire time. (363 posts including this one)  I rarely get comments and usually no more than 30 views. As far as I know, it’s coming into your inbox and going straight into your trash folder.

This image is here because the Yoast SEO told me I needed am image! But I guess i could say it represents my journey into the future! Main Range loop Track

Last weekly post

To alleviate these blogging blues, this will be my last weekly post. I am going to revert to fortnightly or monthly posts that will concentrate on my move to intentional living and joining my family in Armidale.

In the meantime, help me out folks! Who am I speaking to? Who are you? What do you want to hear? 

(sound of crickets!)

Anybody? Apart from my Editors! Thanks, Mum!! And don’t reply if it’s your aim to sell me something! If you’d actually read any of my posts, you’d know I’m not into that kind of stuff. I’d like to hear from genuine sincere people. Let me know the types of posts you enjoy from my back catalogue and comment below.

Be selfish and make it your random act of kindness for the day. Just don’t say travel, because I can’t leave home – did I tell you I’m in lockdown?


PS: I have decided to publish the aforementioned post anyway. In my tradition of reducing waste, it would be hypocritical of me not to use the embodied energy that the post contains. 🙂