So it really has been a while. You know its bad when you find yourself with nothing to blog but Brussels sprouts.
I had a mini meltdown and got really down over my lack of blogging the other day.
It has been hard. In between going away for a couple of weeks overseas and visiting my boyfriend at the other end of the country what seems to be every weekend, I’ve run out of time for doing one of the things I really love. Something I used to make a real point of making time for above all things else has been tossed aside in the throw of it all. I can't remember the last weekend I had in Auckland. I keep a carry on suitcase always half packed because I am never away from him long enough to warrant emptying it.
It is really hard when you find yourself blaming the person you love. Actually it is bloody awful and has causes a lot of stress. You start to resent them and visiting them so frequently spending both your cake baking weekends and all your spare spending money on flights takes its toll. Of course you visit when there are important dates and occasions and you know you wouldn’t miss them for the world but you start thinking what about me? What about my needs? What about my friends, hobbies and career? I’m looking at leaving my home city, my family, my flatmates and my job to be with him in a place where I have no friends of my own and no back up.
I don't want to be that girl who drops it all on a whim for some guy she met. I don't want it to be one sided.
I've learnt to talk about it with him and let him know how I feel. At first I felt like I sounded really selfish but he reassured me it was ok. He knows, he's conscious of what he is asking of me and he is grateful. So so grateful. Talking is good, he came up with a plan and some ideas and I feel slightly more at ease and supported. One of those ideas being forcing his friends to eat a butterscotch rhubarb cake I'm wanting to make this weekend, so don't worry, a cake recipe is on its way!
Its a hard time but I know its for a long time so that keeps it all going in the right direction.
So to celebrate a number of things this weekend past he made me my favourite dinner, his mushroom risotto and I made the Brussels sprouts just because they are also delicious. Autocorrect is wanting to capitalise the B in Brussels... Hmm are the sprouts named after the city or are the sprouts independent? Anyway we had a lovely dinner for two which included what we later decided was too much wine for a Sunday night. The later being Monday lunchtime when it was all just a bit too much at our respective desks.
By the way, this is a non-recipe recipe. Its a go with the flow, a feel as you go type gig. I challenge you. Trust yourself, it'll work.
The Best Brussels Sprouts
Serves as many as you like
The secret to a good Brussels sprout is time and fat. Lots of time and fat. Oh and salt.
Start by buying the lovely small Brussels sprouts. These will be more tender and take less time to cook. Maybe take a good solid handful per person and slice them in half lengthways so the bud keeps both halves intact. Peel and slice one to one and a half cloves of garlic per person. Toss everything together in a large bowl along with a good glug or two of olive oil to coat the sprouts and a good few pinches of flaky salt. Sometimes I like adding a sprig or two of thyme for difference. Dylan likes adding in a pinch of chilli flakes.
Heat up a large frying pan to a medium high heat, add another glug of oil and tip the sprouts in. Fry the sprouts without moving them for a couple of minutes so that they brown and caramelise on one side then give the pan a toss to jiggle them onto another side. Keep repeating until the sprouts have softened slightly and there are plenty of golden brown edges present. Maybe seven to ten minutes? Up to you how fried you like your flavour, I know I like mine well caramelised.
Take a knob of butter, pop it in the middle of the pan, toss it around then quickly whack on a lid. We use a lid that is too small for the frying pan so the sprouts are squished in together and it makes a great wee steaming hot house. The moisture left in the sprouts plus a bit in the butter will help to finish off the sprouts. Give this about three minutes until the sprouts are al dente but not too long, you don't want to steam them to a mush (which granted would be very difficult considering how hard bruss sprouts are).
Serve with another sprinkling of salt to taste and you are good to go.