You say “empty mind” like it’s a bad thing

Year-end conversations have me thinking about what I’ve personally gotten out of 2020 – even TFY has brought some gifts. Well, as previously mentioned, it has been kinda nice (or at least a welcome respite) having my personal woes overshadowed by global disasters, and not having to talk about myself much. Just having a major break from social obligations has been pretty great actually (although, like everyone, I do of course miss my friends).

More positively, I’ve managed to close a lot of mental tabs this year. I’ve let go of certain plans or expectations. I’ve finished other things. I don’t feel like I managed to “achieve” anything much but I suddenly have a very much shorter to-do list, and am pleased with the mental space that’s been cleared out. There is a sense of waiting; I don’t know what this newly empty space should be filled with. But as someone who’s been working on at least two things literally all the time since university, it’s pretty interesting to be working on nothing at all, even if just for five minutes.

Do I have anything for my 2020 brag list? Well, I’m pretty proud of the Lockdown (brioche knitting) teaching project I published in spring. That was five weeks of pretty intense work but from the feedback, it seemed to be worth it. I’m proud that I got a lot of people over their fear of brioche, and gave people something to do when they were freaking out. (My favourite comment was from someone who said that now, when she woke up at 3am, instead of staying awake and full of dread, she thought about brk and brp and what colour combinations to do next, and went back to sleep.) I’m not out there saving the world, or doing anything much, but a small positive contribution is still something.

Course… that was in spring. And I can’t think of anything I’ve done since then. But fuckit. It’s 2020, and I’m still here, that’ll have to do.

Nos 49–51 of #52recipes: I’ve been forgetting to update, these have been scattered over the past few weeks. I made a potato and leek gratin, in the ongoing quest to perfect my gratin, as a good Swiss hausfrau must. I used Greek yoghurt instead of cream, so it’s nobody’s fault but mine that the results were only ok. Coffee and walnut cake. A mushroom pate, in the ongoing quest to provide interesting meat-free options for brunch – I can’t link to a single recipe because I read a few and mushed them together; basically just sauteed shrooms with butter, garlic, toasted walnuts and a splash of vermouth. (We’re not 100% vegetarian but getting closer. Since M hates rice, including risotto, and none of us are keen on any kind of bean stew, this does pose challenges. Suggestions in the comment box please, or we’ll end up living on nothing but pasta and those favourite convenience foods, plätzli and “Cordon Vert”.)

3 thoughts on “You say “empty mind” like it’s a bad thing

  1. We don’t make nearly enough vegetarian dinners, but some of my favs are: 1.mac and cheese 2. cheese and bean quesadillas (what I make if i have 5 minutes to cook dinner!) 3. Cheese pizza (everything involves cheese it seems) 4. “Pizza beans” – a white bean soup that has a tin of diced tomato and spices that make it vaguely pizza-ish, served with cornbread which is a big hit. My youngest wont touch any soup but my older eats it!!!! That’s about it right now. Picky child makes it difficult to branch out.

    1. Oh I should note older child now enjoys mushrooms on her pizza so if I can remember to purchase them we will be putting those on our pizza now!

    2. Pizza beans is from Smitten, right? That’s on my list, it looks good despite the beans! Picky kids do make life hard. I’m extremely glad mine have recently decided that broccoli and cauliflower are actually pretty good! Quesadillas are a recent discovery for me and I definitely need to make them more often.

      Everything really should involve cheese. Annoyingly, once a week M’s bestie comes to lunch (the main meal of the day) and he is anti cheese. I mean. How is that even legal in Switzerland. Cooking kid-friendly, veggie meals without cheese or rice is… well. I run out of ideas pretty damn fast.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s