I find that when it’s tipping with rain outside, and you’ve got to wait in for a delivery, and you’re shattered from a very demanding thirteen hour shift the day before, and everyone else is at work or school, one of the nicest things to do is to spend the morning pottering around the kitchen cooking and baking.
This morning I made yogurt, two loaves of bread, a cake, sweetcorn fritters (for the freezer), tomato pasta sauce (also for the freezer), and bolognese sauce.
I had a pot of coffee in one corner of the kitchen, the radio in another corner, and the back door open so that I could hear the chickens grumbling about the rain out in the garden. Radio 4 had some very interesting programmes this morning: the bishop of Gloucester guest editing Woman’s Hour (I particularly loved the piece by the seamstress who designed and made the new bishop’s cope and mitre), Stella Rimmington doing some detective work about the World War One nurse Edith Cavell’s links with espionage, and then a sweetly old-fashioned dramatised Miss Marple story.
After lunch, I retired to the sofa with a slice of new bread and jam to watch a film (Amélie) and do some knitting. Fresh brown bread and jam is one of the nicest things to eat, don’t you think?
I’ll be working all this weekend, so I did some store cupboard cooking this morning: a litre of yogurt, a dozen large soft bread rolls, a box of coleslaw, and a lamb ragu. It’s the sort of food that’s handy to have in the fridge, so that I can quickly put together a packed lunch and packed tea for work. I get up at 5:30am when I’m working a day shift, and I do not want to be dithering around too long sorting out my food at that time in the morning.
Once my cooking was done (and I’d delegated the hoovering and the sorting and emptying of rubbish and recycling to the children), I spent most of the rest of the day working on a new summer dress.
I haven’t done any dressmaking at all since I started work in January. That’s partly because once I was earning money I was able to afford to buy nice clothes again, so I didn’t have the same urgency to make them. But it was also because dressmaking requires care and attention, and in the first few months of nursing I had absolutely no head space left on my days off to concentrate on the precision of setting sleeves and evenly distributing gathers.
Goodness I’ve missed it though. I had a very satisfying time today pressing, marking, cutting, pinning, pleating and sewing. I’m making a summer dress from one of my Japanese pattern books, and it’s a slow process because there are so many adjustments and small details to be fussed over. I’ve had to put it away tonight, half done, but I can pick it back up on Monday and finish it off before I start nightshifts again later in the week.