NOT a food blog
I am an accountant, and to a certain extent, I fit the stereotype associated with accountants. I am an introvert and I am risk-averse. Change is something that I view as an absolute last resort. At this point, my friend, Fatboybakes, will probably sputter out an incoherent string of words that will probably include “guffaw”, “roll eyes” and “delusional”. Public events scare me. If you don’t want someone to be your friend on Facebook, tell them you’re an accountant. *crickets* Oh look, there’s Jules…I haven’t seen him in awhile…ta! It’s worse if you’re an auditor. You may as well whip out your mobile phone and exclaim, “Oh dear, my boss is trying to reach me!”, then seek out the darkest corner and play Candy Crush alone for the rest of the evening.
When you’re forced into a situation of change, you have no choice but to swim. What used to scare you at night now scares you even when your eyes are wide open. Everything becomes amplified. and soon you become your worst nightmare and you begin to do things that are destructive because you think that when you’re hurting, the whole world will hurt with you.
The fact is, and this is clearly evident in the current times, people have short term memories and what may be sensational this hour will be old news in the next. We live in a disposable world. People, objects, memories…they’re all replaceable.
The remedy? Embrace the change, acknowledge the cause and problem, and fill that void.
To put things simply, I cooked. I cooked ferociously, day and night, and even when there was no one to eat the food, I’d still cook.
When Bongo Lee told me that she was throwing a birthday party for her brother, I offered to bake the birthday cake. But here’s the thing – my track record, as far as baking is concerned, is pitiful. If you have been a reader of this blog since its inception, you may have laughed at some of my struggles (links HERE and HERE). The oven has always been my enemy. Nevertheless, I wanted to do this. There was no back-up plan.
I’d been meaning to try the butter cake recipe from WendyinKK’s blog, named after her friend, Mrs Ng SK, who gave her the recipe, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to try it. It was past midnight when I took out my pans, feeling somewhat intoxicated from the drinks and hokkien mee that I had consumed earlier at The Moon Bar, and I became Nigella, boobs and all. Adamant that this would not be a repeat performance of my 2008 baking disasters, I followed the recipe to a T. A couple of hours later, I was staring at my masterpiece. It was a work of art.
The next morning, I had bigger ambitions for the cake. I had this sudden brilliant idea that I would sandwich the cake with lemon curd, then coat it completely with lemon butter cream. My only problem was that the existing cake was too low to be sliced horizontally into two. Solution? Bake another cake for the top half. So with barely a couple of hours to go before my lunch appointment with my parents, I set out to bake the second cake. This time, Nigella did not materialise. I was Usain Bolt as I moved at lightning speed. In a little over an hour, my cake was done. It was another masterpiece. I set out to my parents’ place, pleased as Punch.
When I got home after lunch, I decided to slowly work on the construction of the square cake. After whipping the lemon butter cream and preparing the lemon curd, I assembled the cake. It looked somewhat lopsided, but I figured that the butter cream frosting would take care of that. So I painstakingly coated it, layer after layer, with the frosting. I was meticulous, adding a millimetre here and a millimetre there, but after the umpteeth time of frosting, chucking it in the fridge, then frosting it again, I realised that the cake was destined to look like an amateurish effort at best.
I looked at it sadly and made the executive decision not to serve it at the birthday party.
I am an accountant, and I have this idea of perfection, the devil being in the details and all, and I thought it an abomination to serve something so imperfect to people I barely knew. I wanted to disappear into a corner and play Candy Crush.
It wasn’t just a cake to me. It was a projection of the unspoken insecurities and a desire for affirmation.
A couple of days later, I served it to some friends. They tried it and said that it was good. I got the affirmation I wanted, but I realised that I was doing it the wrong way.
I am studying the book of Jeremiah now and the following verses in Jeremiah 29 have been seared into my heart -
11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Maybe there is hope for me yet.
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.