I guess it is fairly apparent that I have been notably absent, of late. Over the four years I have been writing my blog, I have had periods of proliferation and periods of quiet. This may seem like a quiet time, as I have not written here for so long. However, I have been writing, just somewhere else.
A little over a month ago, I started an Open University degree course in creative and professional writing. For the very first time in my life, I am actually doing my homework. As anyone who knew me in my school and university years will testify (especially my parents), I have never done this before. My parents would traipse to my faraway school on a drizzly Tuesday night for parents evening only to be met with the usual disappointing feedback from teacher after teacher. “She’s a bright girl but she needs to apply herself,” was the catchphrase which had been ringing in their ears since I was about eight years old. My high school threatened to expel me if I didn’t do some homework, so I did some, but just enough to keep me out of trouble.
University went much the same way, in my second year, my favourite lecturer sat me down and explained that if I didn’t start attending some of my mere twenty hours of lectures each week, then I would not be allowed to return for my final year. I think the thing that I liked most about that particular lecturer was that he signed off his letters and emails with the words, ‘go gently,’ which seemed so wonderfully literary and worldly to my nineteen year old self. Oh, and I did graduate, in case any of you were wondering.
So, you can imagine my astonishment when I actually started doing my homework. Handing in assignments… I don’t want to say this too loudly, for fear you may thing I’m a geek, early! Recently, I have been tied to my desk or the recliner or the bed, studying away. My man has a theory that you can’t study in bed, I however, have a theory that he’s wrong. If I’m reading a seven thousand word article ruminating whether the art of creative writing can be taught, then I think the best place for me is bed. Then at least, if indeed it cannot be taught, I don’t have to give up and go back to bed, because I’m already there. Food writing has taken a brief back seat, as I have been writing about cliches, tautology and the like.
What with it having been Christmas, I haven’t entirely taken leave of the kitchen. There was my first effort at a Christmas cake, which looks very promising but I haven’t tried it yet. I was rushing to finish it and get it suitably drunk by feeding it a daily liquid diet of brandy when I realised, I am the only person who shall be eating this monster of a cake, therefore decided to get it more drunk and age it a little. It teases me daily, sitting there in a dark corner of the kitchen counter, looking all moist and inviting, occasionally wafting its brandy soaked scent in my direction. Little flirt.
Besides that, I have made the occasional pho like broth. Boiling bones for hours to garner the heady, meaty broth to eat with noodles and Thai basil. Tonight, I am making gnocchi. It will be a labour of love but my tomato plant keeps gifting me with sweet, little orbs and that, alongside my bountiful basil plant is just crying out to be turned into a little red sauce to be eaten with pan-fried gnocchi cooked in lots of butter. Yum! Right, this gnocchi isn’t going to make itself. I shall report back with photos if all goes well. For now, I shall leave you with a few photo’s I have taken recently. Happy new year by the way, here’s to staying exactly the same as we are but dreaming of becoming taller, thinner, more intelligent and other such silly things.
As you can see, the gnocchi turned out to be pretty delicious. I ate it last night and this morning for breakfast. Yes, gnocchi for breakfast.