Deciding what I was going to do this year wasn't as difficult as I originally expected (yes, I start thinking of these things in the summer).
I was extremely stressed this autumn (to which The Fussy Eater Can attest). I didn't want to resort to pharmaceuticals (the occasional pint or gin, yes...or pint of gin, BIG YES). Yoga was good, but it needed a bit more. Then I remembered about the calming effects of vanilla.
I used to have some vanilla products from The Body Shop and I associated the smell with warmth, peace and relaxation. I bought some vanilla-scented perfume oil and after I started wearing it, I began to feel better...and smell like fairycakes....mmm....fairycakes. That last part threw some of my colleagues for a loop "You smell like candy" was one of the comments (I would have replied, "But you always knew I was sweet" but I'm sure that would have landed me in soup or something).
Anyway, I felt a lot better. And happier. Mind you, who amongst us wouldn't feel happier if they are constantly reminded of nummy things like fairycakes and ice cream and panna cotta and creamy, cooked custard? Plus, it's linked with chocolate...mmm chocolate.
It was easy figuring out what magic ingredient I'd be playing with in 2006. But I want to do more than just bake. I want to use it in ways I've not used it before, and learn how to do "the same olds" better.
So here goes:
I officially declare 2006 "Not-so Vanilla."
Hmm...I expected a trumpeted fanfare or something..Oh yeah, I gave them the night off...
This week I'll post a two-part primer and throughout the year I'll write about my trials and tribulations...along with victories and discoveries while working with this ubiquitous yet special spice.