So I’ve been unemployed for awhile – since July in fact. This has not been a problem, really, because August was spent away with Andrew, September was spent doing school work and October and November were spent in the loo. But now it’s December, I feel pretty great, and I’m BORED. I’m looking for work, don’t get me wrong. Indeed, I have been since September. Depressing, no? I spend hours each day filling in forms and searching for employment opportunities and harassing my temp. agency and nothing. But I don’t want to talk about it in this post because frankly, I’m worried about how we’re going to pull through and blogging about those worries here makes them even more real.
No, I want to focus on how BORED I am. The thing is, I could get used to staying at home, if staying at home meant I could relax and just knit or read or paint. But I’m constantly worried about the job thing so when I’m not looking for work, I become restless. What to do, what to do?
Well, a few days ago I discovered it – baking. I am terrible at baking. Aside from vegan brownies (which are easy) and bread, I just can’t pull it off. I’m not precise enough, see, and baking is far less forgiving than cooking when it comes to exactness. But since I have all this time on my hands, why not use it to become a better baker, I thought? And what better time of year to focus on baking than the holiday season?
So I started with chocolate chip cookies. These are Andrew’s favourite and pretty straight forward. I over-baked the second batch but overall, success. Next – Martha Stewart’s ‘lemon pistachio xmas wreath cookies’. Somewhat more challenging in that I had to master the art of zesting and icing making, the latter being something I’ve never quite gotten right. And I forgot the parchment paper which meant that a number of my trees (I have no wreath cookie cutter) went stump-less or top-less. Ah well, they tasted just lovely. Lemon-y goodness. Then, I moved to biscotti. Cranberry-pistachio biscotti. These – were – awesome! I don’t know why, but I always assumed biscotti would be complicated. It’s something about the name – ‘biscotti’ sounds special and mystical and therefore difficult to make. Oh contraire! Super easy, so much so that I bet I eat more biscotti over the next couple of months than anything else.
The final step was a cheesecake. Not for xmas, mind, but for Andrew’s birthday. Here, I chose Jamie Oliver’s ‘Blooming Easy Vanilla Cheesecake’ because it looked, well, blooming easy. Hmmm, not so much. I should note that cheesecake is easy, if you have either a) an electric mixer or b) biceps of He-Man. But if you are a) mixer-less and b) a weakened from weeks of vomiting pregnant woman, well cheesecake is tough shit to make. Mixing together 2 lbs of cream cheese until creamy took me half an hour of really solid pounding and stirring. Ultimately I gave up the spoon and just dove in with my hands. Then came the zesting. I don’t like zesting, in part because my zester is not user-friendly. It desperately needs a handle. Finally, I popped everything in the cake pan and into the oven it went for “40 minutes”. Twenty minutes later, the entire house was full of smoke…eep! So the crust was a little on the toasty side. Meh, it still tasted awesome and was a hit with the boy. Woot.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. Dull, eh? Today is gingerbread I think. Gingerbread ladies and stars. And perhaps polar bears. The thrilling tales of ezmy never end.