I Need A Kick Up My Arse

I have been MIA for almost 3 weeks – that’s record time in blogosphere for me. I have also not been getting creative in the kitchen for almost two months, again record time in my teeny tiny world of cooking and baking. I wouldn’t put it to a mental block, because I still think up ideas of what to do next in the kitchen. I still want to document my activities here. But I seem to have lost the will to do it. Zapped of energy and motivation, what makes me even more frustrated is I don’t know how this could have happened. I really do miss having something to look forward to, and getting excited about my plans in the kitchen, plans that usually give me a high and an avenue to take away the stresses in life.

Some weeks ago, after much inertia, I tried to make a Mont Blanc, but I ended up screwing up the swiss roll sponge before I could even get to making the chestnut cream. True to my perfectionist self, I angrily chucked the sponge straight into the bin. It was as if I knew that I was going to fail before I even began. The buzz that I usually get when I’m about to get busy in the kitchen had gone. I thought that it was a phase, so I told myself to move on and let nature take its course. Even kitchen geniuses need to take a break, let alone amateurs like me. M convinced me to go out on weekends to try and soak up what the city has got to offer, to see if I might get the zing back. Then this happened. Thoughts about getting the kitchen mojo back flew out the window.

After that, we went out on trips that we had booked long ago. The first was meant to be a break for us to spend time with each other after the craziness that was the thesis writing, PhD viva and our hectic lives. Given recent events, we didn’t want to go but Expedia wasn’t able to give a refund so after assessing the situation in Singapore and making sure that everything was alright, we went to Florence anyway. A bit of a shame because despite the magnificent city, I was mostly pre-occupied with thoughts of my family. When I finally let go and was ready to enjoy the company of M in such beauty, our trip had ended and we were due to return to London.

Then, M’s parents visited, bearing good news after they visited my dad. We spent lots of time together and took them to Spain during the royal wedding weekend. These things kept me busy, I didn’t have time to think about the disinterest in the kitchen that has hit me like an unfriendly, ugly shadow that refuses to leave me alone. M’s parents just left this week, and it’s our first weekend alone, with nothing to do and yes, those horrible thoughts of mine have returned to haunt me. I dreaded this weekend, I wished I could drown myself in work so I wouldn’t have the chance of feeling dead inside. I spoke to M about this and he said that I should perhaps stop thinking and just throw myself into the last thing I wanted to make. So I attempted a Mont Blanc again yesterday morning.

It was a disaster. The swiss roll sponge came out wrong again, although I did manage to make the creams before I realised that. I was about to throw in the towel, and dump everything into the trash, when I stopped myself for a second and thought, maybe it’s time for me to accept this. That it’s okay to not feel excited about the things I used to be singing about, that it’s okay to feel dead for a while, that it’s also okay to not want to do the things I usually like to do, to just to give it a go than to regret not trying.

The swiss roll sponge did end up in the bin eventually, but not before I used it to learn to construct and plate up my ‘Mont Blanc’. At least one good thing came out of it; I thought the ‘Mont Blanc’ looked decent, imperfect yes but decent, and I practised shooting it with my new-ish lens. The creams were thankfully delish and I snuck a few licks of the spoon, so all was not lost.

I don’t know when the crazed kitchen maniac will be back to inhabit the shell that is me, but bear with me as I get back on track. I may need a kick up my arse along the way, or perhaps you could suggest something to help me retrieve that energy; in the meantime, allow mawkish me to entertain myself and you, my friends, with tales from the past. I guess this might be the best possible time for me to let you in on kitchen adventures that I embarked on months ago (I have almost two dozen drafts of entries….), and to tell you the stories of our travels beyond London.

For now, this ‘Mont Blanc’ that wasn’t, remains a lesson to me – that when things go wrong, some sense or value can still be made of the worst of situations, even if it comes in the form of a few licks of cream or photos that mostly won’t see the light of day. Erm…right?

Check out what I have been baking in my own kitchen.

Also check out my other food adventures.

*Updated: This post has been featured on Foodgawker. Check out my profiles on Foodgawker to see my other featured posts!

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11 Responses to “I Need A Kick Up My Arse”


  1. 1 miss ene May 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Babe, you should stop feeling like you NEED to get back into the kitchen to bake or that you NEED to blog. Just do what pleases you now! We can’t be on a high all the time in life (you might drop dead from the energy drain) so it is very normal to feel like crap once in a while. I went through a similar can’t-be-bothered-with-anything phrase and after a while, got sick of doing nothing much. Look at the positives, try and ignore the negatives and you’d be good as gold again soon. Chin up :)

    And if you need that knock, shove or kick, you know where to look!

    • 2 The Pleasure Monger May 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      miss ene: It’s not really about needing to get back to the kitchen or to blog, but I just miss the high and relaxation that I get when I indulge in these activities. Both are my only hobbies, and now that I lost the buzz that comes with it, I feel like a headless chicken. Nothing else seems to look fun to me, except downing bars and bars of chocolate (instantaneous lift for the mood, but so detrimental when I realise how unhealthy it is to munch on chocs…), and I really do miss relaxing with my hobbies. Sounds odd but even though I don’t have much to do during the weekends now, I should feel relaxed but I don’t. M has joked about this and is relieved that I’m not suitable to be a do-nothing-all-day type of tai tai, lol! If only you could see the imaginary sweat that he wiped off his brow!

      Anyway my head, shoulder and butt are all ready for you, my Twitter-proclaimed Official Abuser!! *hugs*

  2. 3 imp May 9, 2011 at 2:40 am

    I’m glad you went away for a while. It does occupy your mind in a good way. Look at those photos again. :) Cooking and baking are tiring affairs! Just go eat elsewhere and chill out. Just wallow in being blah for a while if that’s what’s necessary. Then get back into smiling for yourself, for M and for the family. They need you happy and relaxed. Things weren’t looking great, but are now stable- that’s a positive thought already! Am here to cheer you on. HUGS!

    • 4 The Pleasure Monger May 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      imp: Thanks hun! Hopefully the sunny weather holds up here, it is currently doing quite a bit to lift my mood. M has been very supportive too, and he tries to make things fun for me. Yesterday night, he talked about the times we spent in San Sebastian and reminded me on the flavours that I would like to experiment with, and he suggested cooking dinner together. We did and it was nice to be led by M to do this!

  3. 5 Eunice May 9, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Ditto everything missene said. If anyone needs a kick it’s me! I have not blogged for way much longer.. Don’t turn hobbies into ‘work’ like u have to do it, I know it’s more like u wish that dancy-jiggly feeling wld come back, something that comes with that sense of achievement. It’ll come back one day, maybe later than sooner but in the meantime, do other things! Soak up the beautiful weather n outdoors, wanna go on a date with me this weekend? :) M can crash haha

    • 6 The Pleasure Monger May 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Eunice: Yes, the dancy-jiggly feeling is what I miss, so very much! I’ve been going out to take in textures, sights and smells instead, took lotsa pictures and hopefully they will inspire me when I look through the photos.

      Yes, date! M and I are busy on Sunday, but we should be free on Sat!

  4. 7 Lady J May 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Actually that Mont Blanc looks really pretty to me! Did it really end up in the trash?

    Life is a roller-coaster ride.. there are ups and downs, that’s what make life thrilling right? I know cos I’ve been there.. when I’m feeling down, it’s like nothing in the world can make me happy.. not even shopping..hehe… But you’ll bounce back into action (thanks to some nudging or ass-kicking from friends)!

    And if you say you’re a headless chicken, then I’ll like to join you. I’m having so much trouble trying to fill up my days in Geneva. I wish I have your passion for baking up a storm in the kitchen!

    • 8 The Pleasure Monger May 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Lady J: Yes it did, after we licked off all the cream…

      I hope you feel better in time to come! Take this time as a time to learn new tricks, it is only in the last year that I realised that I should make the most out of my time here, and that was how this blog started with all the fanatic food adventures!

  5. 9 Z May 10, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Just like football teams and players (erhem Arsenal ones especially) we all have our on and off form days, even months. I guess M is like Arsene here who always believes in his team till the end. (Can’t help the football analogy heh). Give it some time, do other stuff, read chick lit, watch trashy shows, smell the roses, I’m very sure you will get your baking/cooking groove back before you know it!


  1. 1 A Leisurely Lunch Date at Lanka « The Pleasure Monger Trackback on May 9, 2011 at 11:16 pm

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About The Author
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Read about my food-gasmic adventures in San Sebastian here! Also please come by and check out the prettiest cake I've made over here!
Macarons: Be Inspired
Dark Chocolate & Coconut Cookies
Rose & Lychee Chiffon Cake
Pan-seared scallops, jamon iberico chip, pomme puree, jamon iberico foam and chestnut
Red Velvet Cake
An English-themed Dessert Table
Chocolate & Hazelnut Salted Caramel Cake
Gula Melaka Salted Caramel Buttercream Macarons
The Ispahan Cake
The Ispahan
Sunflower Seed Macarons with Black Truffle Salted White Chocolate Ganache
Lemon Cupcakes with Lime & Ginger Whipped Cream
Portuguese Egg Tarts
Ba Zhang - Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Braised Pork Belly
The Fat Duck
Strawberry and Cream Pancakes
Pandan Souffle Roll with Toasted Coconut Whipped Cream
Red Velvet Cake
Lychee and Emperor's Seven Treasures tea-infused macarons
M's Spanish Paella
M's birthday cake - Japanese Cheesecake with Rose Whipped Cream
Lor Bak Gou - Fried Radish Cake
Pandan Chiffon Cake
Homemade Scones
Marmite & Coffee Pork Chops
Quick and Easy fried rice recipe!
Matcha & Adzuki Bean Macarons
Pumpkin & Chocolate Brownies with Cream Cheese Swirls
Matcha, Milo and Plain Polvorons
Kampar Chicken Biscuits - A popular Malaysian snack
White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies
Hustling the Xiao Long Bao in my kitchen
Bailey's & Coffee Macarons

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