Of Tortillas and Self-Knowledge

Dreamstime tortilla press
So shiny!


My new stainless steel tortilla press was calling me.

Its siren song came day and night from the kitchen implement shelf – “Use me to make tortillas! Use me!”

It sounded suspiciously like the voice calling from my laptop (“Use me to write. Use me!”) and my stove (“Use me to create. Use me!”). I didn’t want to resist any of those calls. And yet I was. I hadn’t had a moment to pause in the week since the tortilla press had made a home with us, let alone to enjoy some kitchen experimentation. That’s not to say I couldn’t have fit in a desperate round of tortilla-making. But I couldn’t have fitted in enjoying it.

Mothers aren’t generally lauded for taking pleasure in their non-parenting pursuits. We are congratulated on our ability to multi-task, organise, and to get more done than seems physically possible in any given day. Yes, we are sporadically told to take care of ourselves. But ‘taking care of ourselves’ seems to mean having a glass of wine or the occasional bath. Enjoying an activity unrelated to motherhood over a prolonged period of time falls well outside the boundaries of socially accepted self-care.

Yet I have decided that this is what I want from my cooking. I have enough challenges in my life. What I need is languorous enjoyment of my leisure.

So what will my change in outlook look like on this blog?

The biggest change is that I’m switching to long-form writing. At the end of each month, I’ll publish a piece of narrative non-fiction about food culture and cooking. Throughout the month, I’ll post research petit fours about the topic that have given me joy along the way. Another new feature will be original recipes highlighting the most exciting possibilities related to that month’s topic. My weekly link round up will continue.

I’m also going to slow the pace of my exploration of food culture – meaning that my year at Leiths might become a decade. I want to delve into every aspect of aspics, and learn the subtle difference of sensation in dicing a carrot and a turnip. I want to wallow around in cooking and food culture, rather than rush through it on a self-imposed forced march.

Speaking of aspics, they will be the focus of my first long-form article coming out at the end of May. Please join me for a month of exotic, wobbling, Letihs-inspired jelly. It’s going to be glorious.


Readers, what are your secrets for finding the time to truly enjoy food in your day to day life?