Hello everyone. I trust your holidays--sacred or secular--have you safe, happy and well-fed.
It's been ages since I last wrote to you. I'm not going to bore or trouble you with the intimate details of my existence as a widow without consideration these last five and a half months, except to say that although transparent meanness and opportunism still thrive, kindness, although plentiful, can still surprise you in the most unexpected places.
Over the past half-year or so I've received hundreds of messages, either in email, voicemail, cards, visits or messages on this site. Thank you all so much for your thoughts, wishes and prayers. I've also received many notes from people waiting patiently for my return. I've thought of you and this site often, but I knew I wouldn't be able to return until my life settled a bit--thank you for your patience.
I wish I could tell you that I found solace in the kitchen. Unfortunately, as many know, you can tell what my mood is by the food I cook. After a particularly bad batch of brownies, my Dear Little Mummy said "You're just too sad to cook."
To be honest, I tended to avoid the kitchen in any meaningful way. I couldn't even look at cookbooks or read any of my favourite food writers or bloggers. I couldn't even watch cooking shows (but I now have several hours of Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal on the PVR).
The only thing I could make with any degree of competency was jam--pretty simple: stir, stir, stir, boil, boil, boil, stir, stir, stir and pour...and eat.
I am happy to say that my scullery, while not in full buzz, now sings more often with the happy blurblings and sizzlings that marks a proper, working home kitchen. The dish that put me back on track? Nigella's Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding (more on that later).
I don't know how things will go and I will ease back into blogging. I hope to pick up my Savour the Season series in the next few weeks and probably figure out a theme or two....but right now, I'm just pleased to be back.