Tag: cooking

The Sunday Currently Vol. 6

Feel a bit gross today – could be a cold catching up or the leftover effects of Friday night (more on that later), so will save my usual rambling for the currentlies themselves!


Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, the first in a series of historical fiction about Thomas Cromwell/the Tudor court in the times of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. It feels like a long time since I’ve sunk my teeth into some good complicated fiction, the last one being Haruki Murakami’s Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Is this a good time to confess that I’m not the most avid reader of literary fiction? Actually, my fiction reading overall is significantly lower than what it ought to be — something I hope to fix this year.

Anyway, Wolf Hall is engrossing, the sort of book I look forward to savoring in snatches of the day. It’s not the kind of book I could power through in a couple days, though I’m a fast reader. Mantel’s writing is beautiful and fluid, and takes you through dimensions of time and space and dreams in a few short sentences. One second you’ll be caught deep in a haughty cardinal’s confidences, and the next you’re drifting through the mythological origins of Britain where shapeshifters and kings of prophecy reigned. That’s probably why I can’t read it quickly; it takes awhile to ground myself again and remind myself of the complicated cast of characters, as well as what is actually happening.

I highly recommend it, and am looking forward to going straight into the next book, Bring Up the Bodies.


This is kind of cheating, but last week I started a short story set in the South Pole. It took a lot longer than I expected to finish (and was rightfully chastised for not hitting the deadline, huhu) due to getting caught up in researching Antarctica and the specific project my character was to be involved in. The project itself is called the IceCube Neutrino, designed to track the faint traces of the Big Bang as they crash into pure, unsullied Antarctic ice deep underground. The story is going to be a lot longer than expected (I’m thinking 6 or 8 thousand words, rather than the original 2) but we’ll see.


The kitchen is more or less in order! I have my cast iron casserole (not Le Creuset, but one from Sainsburys which people on the internet claim is just as good), an awesome chef knife, and mixing bowls. Last weekend I cooked a risotto-paella hybrid, which is something my ex boyfriend’s mother made once and I have never forgotten (though hers tasted infinitely better). It’s basically risotto parmesan with paella toppings. I also made a beef minestrone soup (so good on cold days) and chocolate chip banana bread, which when eaten with clotted cream ice cream feels like winning X Factor.

Today I cooked a chicken roast dinner, but because I feel ill I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted.


Very under the weather. Not sure if it’s because I’ve finally caught the cold that’s been sweeping through my classmates, taking them down one by one, or because of Friday night which, to summarize a thousand words, went like this:

I’m too old to be partying like it’s 1999. But it was a 90s theme party (note the wall decorations) in what looked like someone’s basement (but wasn’t), and they filled the wine glasses up to the brim, so of course horrible and amazing things were going to happen. The days of bouncing back from a hangover in time for drunk brunch are long gone.


To sit down and really sort through my goals for 2015. Because there’s only 11/12ths of it left. Lolcry.


This article about a woman whose writing career is sponsored by her husband is a must-read. I commend her for her honesty – it’s far easier to pretend that successful people get by on their own merits. In no way does this discredit writers who have to juggle family life and jobs with writing, and in no way does this say that you have to be supported to be a writer. I think it’s saying that if you have privilege, acknowledge it. It’s no crime to be lucky, but dangerous if you pretend your success is independent of the fortunate circumstances of your life.

My truth is, at the moment, similar to hers. I am where I am not because I’m a good writer, but because I’ve had the incredible good fortune to have parents who subsidize my dreams. It’s super annoying when others with even more opportunities whine about how they got to where they are solely because of hard work. Oh, so it had nothing to do with your connections or surname or family money?


It seems like a slap in the face to people who actually did get to where they are without any of those.

That said, some people get their foot in the door faster than others, or can choose from more doors, but at the end of the day everyone has to work hard to get to where they want. There’s no one path to success, so why pretend yours is something it’s not?

Perhaps I’ll leave things on that rant…might try to get more tea in me before calling it a night!


I didn’t really want to leave things on that rant…so here are Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments for Work. We are kindred spirits, and for anyone who knows the feeling, this is for you!

Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments. #writers #amwriting

A photo posted by Bea Pantoja (@dalagaproject) on

The Sunday Currently Vol. 2

As Sundays go, this was largely uneventful. We stayed in and made last-ditch attempts at various obligations: him cleaning, me reading for school. I gave up mid-afternoon to make “easy” scones, then Addams Family Values came on, then I needed a snack, then we had to make dinner, then I thought I should probably start up again but now I’m feeling a bit sleepy and what the hell, it’s 8:40PM?!

Though today is not the best example, I’m quite happy with how this Reading Week went. I have found a sense of structure where I was floundering before, and if I did not accomplish much for school necessarily, I fixed up other areas that badly needed attention.


What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, a memoir/essay collection by Haruki Murakami. I just finished it tonight. He reflects on his experiences in life via his journey as a runner, and how his writing intersects with running. Basically, have a sense of discipline and do things because you want to, not because anyone tells you too.

It’s very good and a fairly easy read (unlike most of his other works). I’m a latecomer to Murakami – I’m a latecomer to most of what you would deem “great English literature” — my secret shame as an English literature major. I suspect this book, which I started months ago, has played a quiet influence on my decision to start running around the park. But I was more influenced by my frequent need to literally run for trains and buses, and to not collapse in a sweaty expired heap afterwards.


A tentative schedule for my major project. I decided that I wasn’t going to do the creative writing option that I think most of my classmates are doing. Instead, I may attempt to self-publish my #romanceclass novella and evaluate the process. We shall see. If you’re interested in what I happen to be writing it with (great transition, Bea), I wrote a post earlier today about my fountain pen collection.


Lorde’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” It was featured in the new Assassin’s Creed trailer.


Pat suggested adding a Cooking/Eating portion, and I wholeheartedly agree. I baked scones! I used this recipe, and it is the first time I have made scones where they actually look and taste like scones. Not sweet enough though, despite what The Guardian says – I think next time I will add an extra tablespoon of sugar. That might be my downfall, as tinkering with precise measurements in baking is not recommended, but oh what a sweet downfall it will be.

Okay, the sweet issue is probably my fault. It calls for caster sugar, which is finer granulated sugar, so my measurements were off to begin with. I also didn’t have any chocolate on hand, so I chopped up some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Malteser Teasers (which are amazing, guys, like Maltesers but like smashed with a hammer and melded into a chocolate bar with more chocolate).

For dinner, we made sausages and mash with an onion gravy. Sssshhh: Along with some heated milk, butter, and sauteed leeks, I added a dollop of clotted cream into the mashed potatoes. It made it extra tasty, but extra bad for you. YOLO.


That I ate way too much today.


Myself and regretting it. Really, really need a shower.

Wishing & Hoping

That combining these two isn’t considered cheating. I’m drawing a blank for the more touchy-feeling portions of this Sunday Currently. But I am wishing and hoping that whatever is causing my skin to go bonkers goes away soon — unless it’s my delayed puberty, finally here to make recompense. In which case, come on in, have a seat. But you better have brought the boobs, too.


Yoga pants because I thought I was going to run today LOL.


To have a neat desk free of clutter, but two seconds after I sit down it immediately looks like a disaster. A quick survey of the scene before me: stacks of notebooks, pens strewn everywhere, 2 bags of potato chips — one opened, one new. An empty glass of water. A Burberry lipstick. An iPad and a camera. Three dying stalks of lucky bamboo. More notebooks. Keys, his and hers. Kleenex: used and new in box. A flyer for Zumba lessons around Brixton.

To add insult to injury, somewhere at the bottom of this haphazard stack of notebooks is Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. It apparently has some great tips; I wish I could find out what they were!


To go to sleep so I can wake up at 6:30 tomorrow.


The pressure of finals assignments lurking around the corner of November. And also the pressures of NaBloPoMo — I’m already behind!!!


7/30 NaBloPoMo