I have been neglecting myself.
It's true, and it is something I regrettably do often. I spend so much time nurturing and caring for my husband and dog that I forget to do it for myself. The first signs are usually that I smile less, I tend to be sombre and cloudy as I make meals, do chores, work and give affection to my loved ones. Then I begin to lose that stockpile of happiness within and I find myself becoming easily irritated by those I dote on. And then lastly I have nightmares, most often about something dear to me being taken away, like a child. I interpret these as the separation of myself from my neglected spirit. If I don't feed my spirit I can feel it begin to fade away like a photograph left in the sun.
Therefore drastic measures took place today, me and my needs would come first, before my loved ones. I decided to spend the day doing whatever I know sustains my spirit so that I could shake up the grey cloud that hangs around me from overlooking myself.
First up, I decided to get something done that I have been meaning to for the last five months - getting my car washed. And let me tell you, when I saw that gleaming beauty, freed from weeks of dirt left by angry rain and detritus from wet shoes, I felt as if I had given myself a good rinse.
Next, I spent an hour or so reading through blogs that make me smile. It was an hour well spent.
Thirdly, I visited the library and brought back a treasure of books yearning to be read, pages reaching out to be touched and turned by new fingers. Reading is something that truly invigorates and nourishes my spirit. From the age of four when I had learned to read and write I spent every moment immersed in different worlds and other lives. My parents often forgot they even had a daughter as I was always in my room, reading, as silent as the air.
Fourth - after a quick roll around with my dog I turned on the oven, put on the apron and prepared to do some good old baking. I have been dying to make something with the remaining few blood oranges left, having waited til that last moment to turn them into something delectable. These little cakes sounded delicious and are perfect for sharing with others.
As I sliced the oranges, and felt their crimson juices trickle through my fingers I felt myself beginning to warm, as if sunlight had begun to pierce my overcast skies. With each twirl of the whisk and ladling of the batter, I became glad.
Only half the day has passed and I have already smiled my first smile in too long.
prep time: 20mins to get into the oven.
cooking time: 20mins for 12 - this made 15. (20mins is all it took for mine to cook, which is 35mins less than the recipe states as it calls for the use of a loaf pan, rather than muffin tray, so keep an eye out.)
total: 1 hour for two batches.
taste: 4/5. The exterior of these golden muffins is gorgeously chewy with only a soft sweetness and perfume from the olive oil. Sunken in its depth are tiny gems of softened blood orange, now a soft amber in hue. They provide gentle bursts of lively citrus that mellows the lubricious cake. I did find my selfish hoping for more pockets of acidity though as they provide the best flavour.
- I cooked these in muffin tins for only 20mins - it made 15 muffins.
would I make it again: No - I want to try other blood orange recipes out there.
recipe: Blood orange olive oil cakes