Well, here I am again, after more than two weeks of no blogging: which obviously does not mean that there has been no cooking! The dinner party anticipated in the previous post went really well: at some point I thought that the pannacotta was not going to set in time, but they did, beautifully: I felt quite triumphant when they slid out of the coffee cups which I used as moulds with ease and juddered slightly in the centre of the little plates before the berries were spooned over.. a fitting end to a good meal. I of course loved all the aaah’s and oooh’s uttered in appreciation of each dish: an antipasti platter with oven roasted baby roma tomatoes, coppa ham thinly sliced, wild rocket leaves dressed with balsamic and olive oil, and toasted ciabbata sliced lengthways and rubbed with garlic, then the much vaunted home made papardelle pasta with a rich fragrant venison ragu: a neck as it turned out of Springbok slowly cooked in wine and sage and then pulled off the bone in tender strips…and then the pannacotta with blueberries and blackberries and raspberries steeped in marsala on pretty new glass plates, with leftover Marsala in small upright sherry glasses before a last espresso….

Two days after, on a rather blue Monday morning, in a silk kimono which was a gift from my lover, I discovered the extra pannacotta at the back of the fridge (my recipe filled seven cups), and I gobbled it all up, standing  at the open fridge, groaning with delight at each smooth vanilla speckled creamy spoonful gliding down my throat: a Nigella moment!! All that cream and mascarpone and castor sugar and milk and gelatine probably glided straight to my hips….I may soon start to resemble her in other ways too!!

So, in the past two weeks or so there have been a couple of notable meals: one in particular cooked at my lover’s place of a pork roast with brown and wild rice with a good gravy from the pan juices( I am very good at making gravies) and green beans cooked the way my mother used to: with onion and potatoes until everything is a pale green mush, lots of pepper and butter, delicious cold on toast the next morning, which I duly had. The same next morning though brought a rather delicate situation: my boyfriend had gotten a date wrong for the fiftieth birthday celebration of a very good old friend of his (to which partners were not invited, but that’s another story altogether): while we were eating this home cooked meal, blissfully under the impression that the party was the following night, her and her guests were waiting at a restaurant for him to arrive!! It was rather mortifying for him, and distressing to realise that she may have been very hurt, but they have subsequently discussed it all and the friendship seems intact… but somehow of course that meal will stick in my head: the meal of the missed party!!

I have been having the Wednesday meals with my sons: an alfredo a couple of Wednesdays ago, with penne, and last week, a meal of pan friend Red Roman fillets with a white butter sauce, mashed potato, and lightly cooked fine green beans. In between there have been meals cooked for me by my darling man: more than usual, since I am still recovering I think from the stress of moving house. I am happy to report that I am now completely unpacked: all my books too: I had to buy another large bookshelf, and then a single bed for the second bedroom, for a son to sleep over: in fact, my youngest spent last night here, and I cooked for the two of us a red Thai beef curry, which he happily had the leftovers of today before going back to where he lives in a cottage at his father’s house.

Tomorrow I will of course cook yet another meal for my boys and one girlfriend, and maybe my lover and his son. And so it continues…

This week however is tinged with sadness for me as I remember that it will be the tenth anniversary of my Mom’s death day on the 5th of March. She died 6 weeks after being diagnosed with metastatic cancer of the pancreas, in my home. Ten years on does not seem to have made much difference in the intensity of the heartache that I feel when this time of the year rolls by…

I used to go every year on the 5th to her grave, to put flowers on, with my father, until about two years ago. I remember on the day of her funeral, I took my black glove off my right hand to pick up a handful of petals to throw into her open grave after the coffin had been lowered, but then accidentally threw the glove in with them. When I unpacked recently I came across the leftover glove and stood there, blinded by tears, remembering that…

On Saturday I will be sad. And of course there will one day come a time when my children will be thinking of me and remembering me after I have gone from this earth, but for now I am glad to be able to continue living my individual life, allowing myself the pleasures of being alive: cooking, reading, writing, loving, being a mother, doing work that I love, singing, and soon, tomorrow in fact, a first tango lesson….

To life!!