I left my day job.
I am sitting by the window in my kitchen/living that overlooks my side turn wall which has many objects that Toby and I have accumulated over the past 12 years of our life together.
I see the 'no smoking in the marquee!' blackboard sign that Toby wrote for our wedding festival. The garden wire that holds the thing together is looking a bit rusty, but my memories of the glorious summer of 2013 that marked our togetherness in a true style of us-ness are still going strong.
To the left of the blackboard, it's a vintage art deco mirror that was delivered broken which we felt too sad to throw away. It's covered in dust and million pieces of Toby's facial hair shavings, but still, it looks very happy to be given a second lease of life.
To the right, is a small blue pretend vintage metal signage that says 'chickens for sale here'. We picked it up few years ago from our local garden centre. Back in those days, my mum used to always ask me about the prospect of possible offspring and referred her future grandchild as 'a chicken'. She is funny like that. We even subtitled our westival'...and then there will be chicken(s)...', and here we are. We do have a 14 months old chicken. And Toby says we're not allowed to call her dual heritage as it makes her sound more like tomatoes.
The thought of our chicken and us playing mama, dada and Kiki, never fails to make me laugh. It fills every empty holes in my bones and keeps me warm, whole and complete.
I never thought I would say this.
But indeed, having child does change you.
I suddenly started to see the world in a different way.
Even with my sleep deprived frazzled brain and forever twitchy eyes, I'm somehow a bit more generous, more forgiving and much more empathetic than I've ever been.
The balancing act of working on the project-life, Kiki and having a bit of life can sometimes feel nothing more than just negotiating my way through million different types of guilt. More than often I worry if I am being selfish by asking her to play on her own for a moment.
Some days will go so slow that I get fed up at clock watching every other second. Some other days will fly by and I would be wondering where the day has gone. And yes, for sure, my occasional but desperate wish for Toby to come home and rescue me, from our pretty evil eyed, non-negotiable little terror, that resembles nothing but me and my partner in crime is arguably the lowest point of my mothering game that I would not be boasting about on my cv.
But deep amongst these unpredictable day to day craziness, just as I feel like I've used all my reserves and wonder I might not be cut for this, I see the little human I created singing the twinkle twinkle in the language that she only understands, but somehow assures me that I am doing good and that we will, very soon, be able to speak the same lingo.
She reaches out for my hands and gives me the slobbery smacker. Nice.
And that, the triumphantly delightful moments that swings by out from nowhere, to reaffirm you, indeed you're working on life, is what makes it all worth it. Hard work but so so special.
Then you start to sense and see the real frame of time. Even with oh-I-am-so-exhausted state of mind, you realised you've never been so clear about what is important in life.
And you really don't want to waste a single minute on doing things that no longer feels right to you.
I suddenly have that mother thing; the natural animal instinct of wanting to protect my own tribe; wanting to provide all I can for the better survival of my brood.
As I watch my little terror bastardise away the box of tissues, spice drawers, television remote control and anything and everything she can get her hands on, I realise that this little tiny human is learning everyday from the way we do and live.
I can't think of better way to teach her, than setting up a good examples myself by living my own life to its full potential. So she can look back when she's a bit older, to know that her mother was an inspiring woman, who taught her by bettering her own self.
Coconut Oil Roasted Masala Potatoes and Fried EggServes 2 as brunch
350g baby potatoes, quarteredgood extra virgin raw coconut oil, such as Vita Coco1/2 tsp cumin seeds1/2 tsp fennel seeds1/2 tsp coriander seeds1/4 tsp onion seedspinch of chilli flakes1/4 tsp mustard seeds1 onion, finely chopped1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced1 clove of garlic, minced1/2 inch ginger, grated1/2 tbsp tomato paste1/2 fresh lime juicesome fresh chilli, finely chopped (optional)handful fresh coriander, roughly choppedcouple of eggs for frying
Well, good people at Vita Coco had sent me their coconut oil to try.Although I don't tend to do product reviews as such, since I already am a huge fan of good organic coconut oil, I gave it a go.
If you're already familiar with coconut oil, you will understand that the depth of coconut flavours in oil varies depending on brands. Some of you might prefer stronger coconut flavour and others, like myself might lean towards milder ones.Vita Coco's new extra virgin raw coconut oil is very good. It has distinctive coconut flavour but when used in Indian-esq recipe, it compliments the dish really well. It makes deliciously creamy porridge and wonderful to cook thick banana pancakes with. It's a goodun.This recipe on the other hand is good all arounder to have it up your sleeve. It can cure badass hangover, nurture stinking cold or just simply fill those hungry holes.I am adding fried eggs on top but poached will be healthier option if that's what tickles your fancy. You could serve this alongside with some roasted meat if you wanted to man up, or add some bacon rashers instead. Fried or grilled fish coated in some tandoori style spices will also go very well with this.
Set your oven to 180º and put your baking tray in the oven with a good spoonful of coconut oil so it can get really hot.Quickly boil potatoes for 5 mins with little salt, drain, and let them cool down a bit.Dry roast cumin, fennel, coriander seeds until they release the aroma and ground them in pestle and mortar or spice grinder.Put potatoes, ground spices, onion seeds, chilli flakes with some salt and pepper, mix well with spoon as the oil will be hot, and roast them for good 25mins or so until they appear slightly crisp on the edges.
While potatoes are cooking, place medium sauce pan or frying pan big enough to hold all of your potatoes, over low heat. Put little coconut oil, mustard seeds and gently fry the onions until they're soft and golden. Add sliced red peppers, garlic and ginger. Fry them till peppers are soften a bit then add tomato paste and cook them down for another 5mins or so. You may need a little more oil at this point just so you can cook the paste a bit. Add a splash of water enough to loosen the sauce and simmer for 15mins with the lid on. If the mixture dries out, just add a little more water.
Now, add your roasted potatoes into sauce, chopped chilli and coriander can be added at this stage as well as splash of lime juice to freshen things up. Give the whole thing a minute or two to mingle in the sauce over the low heat.Season to taste and serve them with fried egg. Good sprinkle of Dukkah adds a good texture but that is just my preference.
I positioned myself directly opposite to those three random but meaningful nicknacks to cheer me up, as I badly sketch up some designs for my new adventure. Tomorrow my sewing machine arrives. I'll position it exactly where I am.
As I rustle my way into this world of unknown, I am sure there will be doubts, fear and maybe some tears. But I hope the familiar surroundings, especially the chickens for sale signage will remind me why I'm braving and of course, that I am a mother.