It’s been a long time between meals! When I wrote on the el bloggo at the start of this momentous year, it was with grand intentions to cook and write and travel and muse more. What I can say is that there has been much eating this year. However, most of my foods have fallen into the ‘never to touch again’ category. Such as tandoori chicken pizza (the shame), pasta alla strangé (a penne concoction with conflicting vegetables and a heap of ricotta thrown in for good measure), a gazillion toasted cheese sandwiches and too many croissants to mention, plus a poor lady’s version of soft-serve frozen yoghurt (big story with that one!). So if you haven’t worked it out already, I spent most of this year pregnant, a third of it feeling very ordinary and with absolutely no semblance of the palette I had possessed, and all of it, hungry. I developed a deep hatred for rocket and spinach salad, coffee and, well, any kind of salad. And I love salads, and coffee. We’re all friends again, but it was trés bizarre there for a while.
I was due to give birth today, on Christmas Eve. He was to be a Christmas miracle, with my family arriving at the manger with gold and frankincense and diamonds, because who needs myrrh anymore. But my little miracle had other ideas, and so Baby G arrived over a month early. The Italian was most pleased with this … Baby G wouldn’t need extra therapy in later years due to birthdays gobbled up by Christmas. My mother too, was pleased, for there would be another Scorpion besides her in the family. Both sound reasons to be happy. And me, well I hadn’t expected to turn into a protective lioness mamma quite so quickly, but it happened. I’m a little bit mental about the child.
The month before the grand arrival, I did take part in a very exciting venture for Nomit, The Italian Network of Melbourne. I was invited to participate in a food documentary, titled ‘The Fourth Ingredient’, as one of four women passionate about cooking who would cook and discuss a meal related to their culture, all using a common ingredient: tomatoes. As I was representing Australia (with the other ladies being natives of Mexico, Indonesia and Italy), and as a true Australian I am the product of a number of cultures combined, I decided to make my Ratatouille Español, with a few small changes to the original. I won’t lie, it was a little bit exciting to be cooking in front of cameras and rambling about myself, even if I was waddling. I had also in the previous week filled my salt shaker with pepper and while on camera couldn’t work out for the life of me why the dish was so spicy and the salt wasn’t taking. Anyhoo, we all survived the excitement, even Dog, who wouldn’t leave my side and in the end was part of my interview scene. (Side note: Dog is still awaiting that follow-up with the Psychologist. Now that there is Baby G we suspect he may be in for a few sessions). Shame he couldn’t discuss why tomatoes were an important ingredient in Australian cuisine … I struggled with that one. The final cut will be ready in the new year for me to share with you all. Mucho excitamente!
So what will next year bring? I hope for every one of you reading, a greater sense of peace in a year that has been tumultuous, and the ability to do what you love with the people you love. As much as you can! For me, I hope this will mean taking Baby G to meet family and friends in the home city of The Italian, eating myself stupid in said home city and hopefully writing lots about it, and enjoying and learning about this baby boy, my most wonderful gift.
Merry festive season and much love xx