Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crustless Green Quiche with Home-grown Sweet Potato Greens

I like eggs. I'd like to have my own chickens, actually, but we live in a townhouse and - according to my husband - there's not really enough space. Me? I'd be happy to coop them on our balcony or Nelle's, find spaces to throw down scraps for them in our tiny garden. I think we could make it work, really truly. 

Please, sweetie. Give me chickens. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease? 

 crustless vegetarian quiche

I also want native bees, but that's another story. I know better than to plead for too much at once.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sweetcorn, Parsley and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

parsley goat cheese quesadilla

It's Saturday - post-pastry, post-coffee. I'm back in bed again, laying just out of reach of the warm sun ... and that's just fine. I'm enjoying the cool blueness of my sheets, and it's enough to know the warmth is there if I want it. I'm watching twitter feeds from writer's festivals in Sydney and Melbourne and wondering if I wish I was there. (Which there? Eenie meenie minie mo ... ) I kinda do, despite my current feelings of laziness. I'm an 'emerging writer,' after all ... finally getting my shit together and reading : thinking : writing. I tell people I'm a writer, a writer and a scientist. Even better? My daughter tells people her mummy's a writer. Oh yes.

Today, in fact, I'm more of a writer than a scientist, chilling out with Susan Sontag. And my baby girl, of course. In cool sheets and sunshine.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The End of the World

Some bastard cut me off, halfway through the roundabout on the way to Nelle's school. The dining table lays unseen and unused below piles of drawings and mailings and scribbles and notes. My husband puts the wine glasses where they aren't supposed to be. My car is littered with dirty tissues and parking receipts. My suitcase lays unpacked beside my bed, which I spilled tea all over last night. The nauseating smell of air freshener sweeps across the coffeeshop. My child loses her school jumper within hours of purchase. The air outside weighs heavy. I'm angry and frustrated and dejected and scattered and I want to reset, rewind, do over. 

These things pile up on me like the end of the world.

breast cancer

And 5 years ago yesterday I got into a scalding bath and closed my eyes and got cancer. I already had it, of course, but it was in that warm and peaceful moment that the doctor called, changing my world forever. I thought the world was ending, I knew it was ending, but it didn't end. I survived. Survived. 


I survived the end of the world. So fuck you, bad drivers and bitter coffee and gray skies. Fuck you, cancer. One breath at a time, I can make this life what I want it to be. I'm not stuck, I'm not overwhelmed, I'm me. I'm alive.

And I'm having a massage. This day will get right.
Love, Amanda xx

PS. Thank you for sharing this cancerversary with me, friends. This month is always an uneasy time of year for me - every fear and sadness seems amplified. But your support these last few years has really made my heart sing - what a journey we're sharing together. You're awesome xx

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cheat's Chocolate Croissants :: Mother's Day

Cheating's bad, right? Except when it's not.

Take, for example, chocolate croissants. I'm quite certain that the real deal involves more butter than I care to know about and several hours of rolling and folding and fridging and fiddling, and to be honest, I can't be bothered. I'd rather a) go to France and buy a fresh real one, or b) use puff pastry and cheat. 

It's true, I enjoy making good food - that's part of the reason you're all here ... but I also enjoy my time spent living, and I know my limitations. (Which are, in no specific order: housework, pastry, primary-school-aged craft, and seeing my true reflection in mirrors). This is not to say that I will NEVER make pastry, but I'm disinclined to - barring extraordinary circumstances. Zombie apocalypse? Damn right, I'll make pastry.

Until then, I'm going to cheat - and I recommend you do, too.

I'm pretty sure any gluten-tolerant mum on earth would appreciate some chocolate croissants and tea or coffee delivered to her in a cozy, sun-drenched bed on Mother's Day (next Sunday), on a tray with flowers and/or artworks and/or vouchers for massages of the aromatherapeutic sort. I know this would make me very happy - and in fact, if you're in Santa Fe and want to drop by with a present or some croissants for me, I'd be very happy about it. I'm in town till Sunday for a science writing workshop that ends on Saturday, leaving me thus far grossly underwhelmed about Mother's Day on my own. 

I'm thinking we should all postpone it by a week. Would that be ok with you?

Anyway, this isn't about me. This is about you, and whatever mum-like figure is part of your life and about some chocolate croissants so deceptively simply delicious you might never want/need to go to France again.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Flight Recorder

My first solo flight since Nelle was born, and a Pacific Ocean's worth of time for me me me. To read, write, watch, eat, flick through magazines, sit idly, do whatever the hell I wanted. And what did I do? Over-think my life. Oh yes, indeed. Where else better, than an economy seat on an international flight where you're stuck with yourself and only yourself for 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 hours? I blame all you writers out there for giving me things to read. And think about.

It all started well. I drank coffee,
And breathed life into a story of 300 words.

I read essays about remembering, and elk hunting,
And loved and hated Eve Ensler's memoir.

I (finally) watched Silver Linings Playbook and damn right
Jennifer Lawrence deserved that Oscar.

I missed Robbie and Nelle and Robbie
and Nelle and didn't sleep anyway.

I congregated illegally near the toilet, but
justified it via vriksasana. Trees don't congregate.

It became suddenly, vividly clear to me
how much I blame myself for getting cancer.

My mind got stuck on mothers, damaged by tsunamis
or Congolese militants or inexplicable and unfair things.

So I had to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and 5 straight episodes
of Big Bang Theory to quiet my mind, and pull it somewhere happier.

I dozed to the sounds of Stephen Fry reading me Harry Potter,
and I can't even remember which book it was - it really didn't matter.
Thank you JK. Thank you SF.

And then, the wheels were grinding down and the plane was wobbling
onto the runway and we were here. LA. The land of stopping over

And warm showers. And getting my head back together.
And coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee.

See you soon in Santa Fe.
Amanda xx