I was dreaming of food. Crisp baguettes, the flesh of the bread a virginal white, still steaming from the oven, and ripe cheese, its borders creeping towards the edge of the plate. Grapes and plums, stacked high in bowls, dusky and fragrant, their scent filling the air.” The Girl You Left Behind – Jojo Moyes.

Almost exactly to the date of the anniversary of my move into my apartment, I had a week-long leave from work. Restless and feeling that niggling Calvinist guilt at the prospect of a period of sloth, I was nonetheless determined to have a bit of a holiday – I had a new novel that – unexpectedly – had food reference throughout, and a stash of sweets. So, as one does, I also stocked up on what has been my staple diet for the past year: pot noodles and sardines. My kitchen has been neglected for the better part of the past year, with hindsight I now understand that neglect to be part of my grieving process. In any event, the pot noodles had to be laid aside when my microwave oven and my kettle died within two days of one another. I was forced to engage with my gas hob and oven.


Removing the microwave to the rubbish collectors, I cleaned the counter top, rather pleased with the rearranged space and hauled my coffee machine out of its retired status and – very peculiar – the desire to cook again came over me. I had to bake immediately and did so, muffins first, then a tomato and onion tart tatin.

A lamb tagine followed; enough for two days’ lunch. I was mortified by the layer of dust that coated the tagine when I took it down from the shelf.

I went shopping and rediscovered that unfortunate-looking fruit of my childhood: the quince. Ah! Bought a little pork fillet and pan-seared it with cumin and ginger, then wrapped it in peppered smoked Black Forest ham and roasted it with the poached quince …






“As lamb is often suited to flavours redolent of its habitat – grassy, herbal, maquis – so pork is complimented by the earthy flavour of cumin. Sprinkle ground cumin on pork tenderloin or chops before cooking …” The Flavour Thesaurus, Niki Segnit.

And so it goes, as if the advent of the end of our winter has swept spring back into my kitchen, I am filled with resolve to cook, if not every day yet, more frequently. And my healing heart can only grow stronger; one day at a time …

I just need something to look forward to, she wants to say. I just want to smile without having to think about which muscles to use.” The Girl You Left Behind, Jojo Moyes.



  1. My heart just overflowed and slid down my cheeks! And at the same time a bit of drool slid down my chin……oh Cindy! Not only for the fact that you ARE healing….that you ARE making progress….that you ARE finding that missing mojo…..but because I recognized the old Cindy, the one who’s writing style first attracted me back in 2009, in your words and writing style! πŸ˜„ Love you friend xx

  2. The most recent unopened post in my reader and a food post to boot. I am going to nag Mrs. Ark to allow me to cook this, or maybe she’ll offer to do it? Looks scrumptious.

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us. I feel this too. I am not yet at the point of getting back my mojo. But as we triumph each thing , we become stronger.

  4. So lovely to hear from you, Cin. I’ve been wondering how you are. I’m so glad you’re back in the kitchen! And yes, microwaves do take up such a lot of space. Your pork dish looks amazing – I’ll remember this recipe xx

  5. So happy to see you back in the kitchen Cin, I’ve missed your delectable, delicious food. You’ve come such a long way my friend, I’m so very proud of you! Don’t worry which muscle to use…..just smile anyway. I love you ❀️

  6. Hi Cin, thought about you when the food and wine show was being advertised throughout the month of July, knowing that you love cooking and make good food. I have never seen/heard of quince, hehe!
    Lovely to read that you are well and coming alright.

  7. Hey there, Cindy mon amie! I see the beautiful style of writing is back with a vengeance……more power to your pen, girl, and wishing you baskets full of happiness and peace, dear friend. ❀️

Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s