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A Recent Story of my Life..

July 23, 2017

This post isn’t about a fabulous recipe but the journey I have been on for a few months now.

Quite frankly – I’m STUCK. I have lost my cooking mojo, It’s gone. Vanished. Kaput! And writing seems such an effort. Usually the words flow from me like water from a tap. I felt that I needed to explain why you haven’t heard much from me of late.

Usually I have an insatiable appetite. An appetite for creating; for colour; for texture and flavour. I was always inspired, always moving forward. I thrived on challenging myself in the kitchen, creating something delicious, creating something new, but recently I hit a wall and not only my creativity suffered but my appetite too.

A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with an unusual lesion on my brain called a tectal glioma. It explained relentless headaches and fatigue that I had been suffering for some time. The worst part was not the fact that it was inoperable, but the fact that there was nothing to be done about it, except sit and wait.  I spent 7 months of waiting, ruminating, catastrophising, & holding my breath.  The stress was exhausting. Mr Netflix and Mrs Lindt became my best friends.

After an interminable wait, I had another brain scan to be told that my tumour was very slow-growing, most probably benign, and definitely in the short term not life threatening! The best they could do was to treat the symptoms (headache & fatigue) and forget about the unusual small dot that showed up on my scan! HA! F&*k you small dot!

Luckily, I consider myself to be an enthusiastic optimist. Life goes on. I’m a get back on the horse kinda gal.

I have a list of recipes in my drafts folder that I have been working on. I have a book of scribbled notes and recipe ideas but I just can’t seem to get any to fruition. Recipe testing is an involved & lengthy process that requires energy. I have not been cooking nearly as voraciously – any cooking has been resorting to tried & tested dishes with the least amount of thinking and effort. (My husband has been heating up a lot of meat pies lately!!)

Which compels me to tell you this story.

Last week I was watching a TV show called Shark Tank. I had never seen it before and was only inspired by an ad I saw where they showed a product: a dairy free ice-cream that I had seen in the supermarket but never tried. The premise of the show is that a panel of investors listen to entrepreneurs pitch ideas for a product they wish to develop. These self-made multi-millionaires judge the business concepts and products pitched and then decide whether to invest their own money to help market and mentor each contestant. I only watched it because I was interested in the ice-cream!!

According to the judges the coconut milk ice-cream was AMAZING! Although apparently the business concept was not! But it was the information I needed to go and buy a tub and try it for myself. I didn’t like it very much – too gummy, (lots of E numbers) and too coconut-y. My husband turned his nose up at it immediately and wondered how many people bought a tub after seeing the rapture of the judges on the show! But here I was faced with a new challenge: How not to waste this $10 tub of ice-cream!

In the past I had read about an idea for cake using two ingredients: melted ice-cream and flour. OK, lets give it a try! I couldn’t quite bring myself to confine the recipe to the two basic ingredients so I added an egg. And a little chocolate.  I threw in some gluten-free flour and then in a moment of doubt, added some more. As soon as I spooned the batter into the cake tin, I realised I shouldn’t have added the extra flour, it looked a bit stiff. Needless to say, the resulting cake was dry and lifeless. So I iced it with chocolate frosting. It didn’t fix it.

Now I had a batch of crappy $10 cake with expensive ganache…… it sat on the kitchen bench overnight, while I pondered.

Eternally the optimist, I sliced up the cake and made a batter of 2 eggs, a dash of almond milk & some leftover ganache and baked it as a chocolate pudding…

It was bloody delicious. And I was shocked!

Now having written this I feel I need to lie down.

I will persist in looking for my baking mojo and hopefully finish some of my drafts soon. I can’t promise when.

Thank you for your patience and may you continue cooking happily. 🙂




7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2017 4:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I too have somewhat lost my cooking mojo but do not have the same excuse as you. I liked how you persevered with using the expensive ice-cream & then somewhat dry cake, until you made a recipe that you liked.

  2. Jan permalink
    July 24, 2017 5:24 pm

    So sorry to hear of your sickness / condition. Have always enjoyed your blogs and experiments etc. Trust you will be able to manage your life with this snd even better if you can heal.

  3. The Passionate Pantry permalink
    July 23, 2017 10:27 pm

    Oh Sarah … I am so sorry to hear of your situation … I can only imagine what you have been through the past 12 months … but despite all of that, I was so happy to see that you couldn’t resist and you ended up back in the kitchen, playing with a recipe, just to see what you could make of it. That says to me that just maybe your mojo is not too far away … I hope so … thinking of you my dear xo Gina

  4. Kirsten permalink
    July 23, 2017 10:23 am

    I’m sorry – the last 6 months must have been very scary for you, no wonder you’ve lost your enthusiasm for cooking. I think it will come back when your energy levels are better, in the meantime, continue to be kind to yourself. I keep cooking your recipes and I’ve had some fun over the past few years with a couple of the more out there things you’ve inspired me to try, like using lecithin capsules, citric acid etc. My latest success was with your chokito, absolutely delicious! And I made the parsnip cake again this week taking advantage of a limp looking parsnip I hadn’t got around to using. My 17 year old loves that one. Your creativity will return, I’m sure of it.

    • August 6, 2017 7:45 am

      Thanks Kirsten, I love the chokito recipe too – and funny that you mention the parsnip cake as I did make that last week. My energy levels are coming back which is such a relief!

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