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