I burnt myself in my sleep with my hot water bottle the other day. The red patch on my thigh gets progressively angrier looking each day. By angry I mean a hearty staph infection.
There are twice as many people living in my flat as there should be for the next few weeks. There are eight of us. We have one saucepan. Our lounge is a bedroom. There are too many loaves of bread in the freezer. It’s a health and safety hazard each time we open up the door. The people are good though. It’s the one saucepan that’s the issue.
My dinner consisted of two members of the brassica family doused in cheese. It was smoked Havarti cauliflower cheese and broccoli and blue cheese soup. There is a reason I am single.
The highlight of my day was scoring some eco store vanilla and coconut body wash from the showers at the gym.
I am listening to Justin Bieber, in my room, by myself.
This morning my dry shampoo told me to be sassy and daring. I did not feel sassy nor daring. I felt flatter than my chest, as deflated as an air mattress in the morning and bluer than my finger tip after flossing. Never have a been more tempted to throw a ‘mental health’ day than today. My brain felt yuck and so my body felt just as average. My motivation to do anything was absent and the lack of workload made the day drag by.
I almost never take sick days. I figure unless I am contagious, dying or downright gross there is no reason for me to stay home. I hate letting people down and making someone else do my work just because I have a sniffle ain’t cool.
When I have days like this it makes me feel about as productive as I am when my head is full of mucous. Nothing gets done, the smallest things make me feel worse and I just know my attention to detail probably isn’t quite on point.
I hate how ‘well that’s just life and sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up’ is the adult answer to these sorts of situations. Feeling mentally worn out and flat is a real problem! Our brain affects how the rest of our body is functioning. By saying how we are feeling isn’t important is like saying the engine of your car isn’t important. It kinda has a massive impact.
What does make you feel better this time of year is comfort food. After visiting Depot not once but twice in the last week I have decided I am officially hooked on their cauliflower cheese. Not just the overcooked and bland cauliflower cheese that your nana used to make but the smoky, rich and well cheesy variety. The cauliflower cheese at Depot is A M A Z I N G. Flame grilled cauliflower smothered in béchamel sauce and topped with smoked cheddar before being left to cook in the wood fire oven. I could probably justify going there for dinner and only getting the cauli. After being perched up by the open kitchen on my second visit I was able to observe how it was made. I lack a wood fire. I actually seriously considered buying a kettle barbecue this week for the sole purpose of making this dish extra smoky. I made do with my terrible flat oven. The end product was gobbled up so quickly I barely had time to figure out if it was nearing Depot standards.
They make theirs with a smoked cheddar. I had a smoked Havarti in the fridge which also worked a treat. Any smoked cheese will do, you don’t need much, just enough to lend that wonderful flavour.
The Ultimate Cauliflower Cheese
Serves 4 (slash just me if I am being greedy)
1 medium sized head of cauliflower, chopped into quarters
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups of milk (the fattier the better)
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 cup grated tasty cheese
1 cup grated smoked cheese
50g pancetta or prosciutto
Salt and pepper
Blanch the large chunks of cauliflower in boiling water until tender. This should take about ten minutes. Drain and leave to dry on some paper towels. Heat up a frying pan with a splash of oil and brown the sides of each chunk, let some of the edges go a little black, it gives it extra flavour. Leave to one side.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees on bake.
Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat. Add in the flour and stir to form a paste. Let the paste food and bubble gently away for two minutes. Add a half cup of the milk and stir until smooth. Keep stirring the sauce until it becomes super thick then add another half cup of milk. Continue until all the milk has been added and continue to stir until the sauce is almost as thick as Greek yoghurt. Stir through the mustard and half the tasty cheese and half the smoked cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
Arrange the cauliflower in a small to medium sized baking dish, breaking the quarters up into large pieces. Pour over the béchamel sauce and spread it around so it covers all of the florets. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese. In a reasonably hot frying pan, cook the pancetta or prosciutto until it becomes crisp and crunch. Transfer to a chopping board and finely slice so it resembles a large crumb. Sprinkle this over the cauliflower cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese on the top has turned a dark golden colour.