When I was much younger and had a lot more money but presumably less of a life, I decided to cook my way through “How to be a Domestic Goddess”Nigella Lawson’s ode to baking. Now, admittedly this isn’t quite in the same league as Julie/Julia and my reason for doing so was a lot less admirable than Julie’s mission to tackle French cooking, and it was certainly a betrayal of any feminist principles I had acquired by that stage.
It was simply that I was trying to keep hold of my man, something I have only realised with hindsight. I had recently moved in with someone who loved cakes, and since I loved baking it was almost a perfect match. He worked in the city. He worked long hours. We had a deal. I would make sure he didn’t have to worry about anything domestic (food, cleaning, ironing shirts…) and he would make it his mission to come home at a reasonable time. I was just trying to make sure that there was cake, so that he would come home and eat it!
A colleague of his and I, had become friends. She, I found out was feeling down in the dumps and a little blue. To cheer her up I made some muffins, probably the best muffins ever invented, they have everything in them but Morning Glory (probably a good thing too since Ipomoea have toxic side effects). I made these little buns of happiness. I bought a posh box, some tissue paper and a ribbon. I sent the boyfriend off to work one day with 12 little baked best wishes wrapped up with ribbon.
I believe she enjoyed them. She probably said thank you. But to be honest I can’t really remember because very shortly after I’d made them my whole “gingerbread cottage’d goddess in the kitchen” ideal came crumbling down around me. As you can probably guess, (because the theory of narrative dictates it should happen that way, or do I mean the law of irony), over the course of the 4 months we lived together his appearance at the door got later and later…because as I later found out he was meeting his colleague for drinks and the reason she was depressed was because he was living with me and not her !
I gave up baking. I put my cake tins into storage. I learnt Spanish. I took up world travel and learnt to scuba dive. I took up rock climbing. In short I rediscovered who I was and reclaimed my life.
Morning Glory Muffins are however, pretty damn good…I do regret all that ironing tho’ !