When life gives you lemons

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Kitchen stories

I’ve had a painter at my house for the past two days. He’s fixing my windows and besides demanding a lot of small talk and spilling a cup of coffee on the floor, he’s very nice. However, my place is a mess. I have deep windowsills which I’ve filled with various knick-knacks and half of my cookbook collection and since he spends his days hanging out in said windowsills, I’ve had to clean them out and put the stuff elsewhere, like where I keep all of my other various knick-knacks. This is somewhat stressful. I like to keep my knick-knacks at their respective place.

The good thing about having everything out of place, though, is that I have a reason to look through my cookbooks and try to find inspiration again. I haven’t written, nor cooked, in a while. The main reason is I’ve been sick and in and out of the hospital the past two weeks. Being sick sucks.

(You probably already know that, but I tend to forget from time to time and every now and then I catch myself wishing for a slight attack of appendicitis or getting hit by lightning or something. Just something small that’ll make me stay in bed for a week or two so I can catch up on Netflix, eat ice cream (but not get fat, because I’d be one of those people who magically loses a few pound from complete bedrest) and read all those boring books by Strindberg in my bookshelf and maybe also write a novel while I’m at it.)

In my mind, being sick is sort of like a productive but restful staycation. In reality, it’s more about lying in fetal position staring at the wall, waiting for time to pass so I can either take some more pain killers or go to bed and be done with the day. If I eat ice cream, all I do is worrying it’ll weigh down my ass since I can’t work it off on my slow walks around the block. Being sick sucks.

Not being able to cook, or even to want to cook, is another pretty depressing downside to this state. The past two weeks I’ve depended on cereal, leftovers and the good graces of the people in my surroundings (very good when it comes to my mom ‘n em, not all that when it comes to hospital grub). (What is it about hospital food? Are they trying to scare you out of that bed or what?) As I’m slowly starting to feel better, I think it might be time to get back up in the saddle.

It almost feels like starting over again. I only look for easy cooking since I think I have about half an hour worth of energy. I gaze longingly at recipes with more than five steps and try to calculate when I’ll be ready to make them again. I feel the need to come up with some kind of cooking goal for the fall, like only using one cookbook from page to page, or only make chicken for two months, or preparing brunch every Sunday. I look at pictures and read shopping lists. I’m like a starved shipwrecked, or a horny teenager. I crave cooking. Food is hot. Right now, cooking is like porn for me and I just want to do it.

Hit me with those pain killers, I’m getting about ready to make some lemonade out of this shitload of lemons.

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Malin Ågren is a copywriter living in Sweden. Food is her number one hobby.

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