Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baking coconut cakes

The first day of spring dawned sunny and beautiful, but I hid under my blanket, hung over and groggy. I wish I could say I had a huge, fun night out last night that left me in this state, but unfortunately, red wine being my medicine of choice, it was mainly another night of me drinking one too many glasses and going to bed teary-eyed. Recently I have taken to dealing with my heart ache by sniffling over a bottle of wine and eating too much chocolate. Countless mornings I wake up feeling worse for wear after a boozy night with "farmer wants a wife" and flavours of chocolate I don't even like. Everyone knows that I have been dealing with a bit of heartbreak, but recently I have felt like I want the world to know. I envision myself telling the checkout lady as I purchase some junk food "I used to be skinny," I'd tell her, "but then my heart got broken." She would nod and smile knowingly and slip in an extra block. If the man at the bottle shop enquired after my evening plans I would simply say, "A man left me," and he would look knowingly at the $6 bottle of wine I was buying and be sympathetic.

All this, however, is ridiculous. No one 'left me' as such. If anything, I did most of the leaving. So why am I wallowing in this great pool of self pity? When this whole relationship ended I decided I honestly didn't have the emotional strength at the time to deal with it. So I put it in a box, labeled, "Deal with breakup when you're feeling stronger", and got on with life. Apparently I'm feeling stronger, because at some stage over the last few months I took down that box and started to feel every emotion I had been saving.

All this got me thinking...and I started to wonder if I was really stronger. I'm a lot braver than I used to be, and seem to be dealing with day to day life much better. Actually, I don't remember another time in life when I had things so together. So I decided that it ends here (the sadness that is...not life). I am going to stop grieving a relationship that ended nearly a year ago. Enough of the wine soaked nights, filled with too much chocolate and bad sitcoms. Spring is here so it's time for a new season of life.

So I decided to do some baking. I searched through my recipe books and looked for an appropriate cake to make for the first day of spring. The one that stuck out was a coconut shifinade cake with lemon curd filling, a layer of creme fresh, and an icing of italian meringue, which is then covered in shredded toasted coconut. This cake meant something to me as I had put the recipe aside to bake before I left Noosa. It looked so pretty and complicated, but I was too afraid to bake it. There were so many elements involved, such as boiling sugar to 'soft ball stage', making meringue, getting the sponge right, and making a curd. I was so scared of all these elements that I hid the recipe at the bottom of my pile of cook books. Today, however, I pulled it out and made it with ease. I loved every minute of it.

So maybe, just maybe, I'm getting stronger...and it's time to cheer up. I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself, even if my heart hurts. How can you cry when the weather is finally warming up and there are coconut cakes to be baked?

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