Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thoughts From An Empty Mind

What a quiet week it's been.

I've been without a spouse since Monday and my youngest was away this week (and his girlfriend) which has meant that the house had only three humans and three dogs in it. Half the number of last week - humans that is, not dogs.

There are some very real advantages to having less people in the house. Mostly it's how neat the house stays. I tidy in the morning and, apart from dog toys strewn around the lounge room, the house stays that way. No dishes in the sink apart from the ones I leave there. Cushions stay exactly where they're placed and there's very little washing to do. Which is just as well because we're smack bang in the middle of a low weather system. It's going to be a fun, wet 28k tomorrow.

But despite the positives - and I really do love a tidy house that stays tidy - there's been something that I haven't coped with at all well this week. Cooking for a small number. I've been cooking for five or more people for almost 22 years and having to cook for just two (Serena works nights) is an almost impossible concept. Two people can not eat four cups of rice for dinner. And last night's soup could have fed most of the homeless this side of the city. Just as well it's good soup weather cause we'll be eating it for days to come.

I have no idea what's going to happen once Iven and I finally have an empty house. I may have to branch out and buy lots of new cookbooks that have 'cooking for two' on their cover.

The other issue I've had is that the baked goods on my bench are not disappearing at their usual rate. There is the very real chance that they might go mouldy!! What a waste of caramel mud cupcakes that would be. And brownies. And those peanut butter blondies. This is probably the thing about being an empty-nester that scares me the most - not having the opportunity or the excuse to bake as much. I'm going to have to find another outlet to palm off all my baking when that happens because not baking is not an option!

Luckily, though, I don't have to worry about that this weekend. I have a birthday to bake for. A cake to create.

The plan is a triple layer chocolate cake with peanut butter/cream cheese filling and lots of peanut butter/peanut/chocolate goodness on top. I've even bought the ingredients to try to make peanut brittle.

Maybe a little like this

 Don't call the fire brigade if you smell burning from our house - it'll just be a ruined saucepan full of burnt sugar. Yes, there's a very real chance of a cooking disaster after a 28k run. The weird cakes that I made last Sunday are still fresh in my mind.

And talking of 28k runs - it kind of blows my mind that this is the shortest distance that I'm going to run on a Saturday for the next couple of months. Next week I go up to 32k. Woohoo! (she says with a certain amount of trepidation). Experience tells me that I don't have to worry about the increases though. My only job is to just run the run in front of me. And to not think too much about it before I do. Yes, the distances might be daunting but they're do-able.

And there's some very real advantages to running long distances every week. All the licking of those wooden spoons and beaters doesn't have such a negative effect on the waistline.


  1. You could certainly air-mail me some baking.

  2. With two girlfriends who sometimes stay for dinners, and my husband's crazy schedule, I am constantly being challenged by different numbers of people around the's not always easy!
    Have a great run tomorrow - fueled by all that cake, I'm sure you'll do well!

  3. Of course, the less people in the house the tidier it is.
    This weekend the kids will not be at home. This means we will not use the dishwasher (I hate its noise), rubbish will decrease and the house will be tidier. On the other hand, the house might seem empty.

    Have a great long run tomorrow!

  4. I'm still cooking for seven people even though there are only really one or two eating here at any time. My fridge is full of moldy leftovers.

  5. It has been the 2 of us for the past 22 years so I'm used to cooking for 2 and pretty good in measuring that too. Recipes that are for 4 are always easy to divide in a recipe for 2.

    Good luck on your run tomorrow.

  6. Yes, if baking is your thing, it's probably a good thing that running is too, right? I love a quiet house and I especially love a tidy house! I don't see that very often these days...

  7. I'm afraid that when the boys aren't home I will get lazy about cooking - so hard to think about just cooking for 2 (one of whom doesn't eat much - that would be Chris!).
    Enjoy your long run tomorrow!

  8. I'm the opposite. I'm so used to cooking for one (well, two given my appetite and over-eating habit) I don't do well when I have to cater to more!

  9. Enjoy your 28 km run.
    I love the chocolate cakes.
    I am living the empty house situation (cats apart). My 2 children live their own lives but ..... far only 2 minutes walking from here.

  10. Have you ever watched Masterchef Australia? We got really into it for a while. On one of the episodes the contestants' job was to recreate an unbelievably elaborate dessert they'd only seen and tasted, and whose recipe - which ran about five pages - had been read out to them. Once. Somehow they all managed to do it to varying degrees. Your cake - three layers! chocolate! peanut butter! cream cheese! peanut brittle! (can I have some please?) - sounds like one of those creations.

  11. If I never cooked a dinner again I would be happy. Cooking for fewer sounds wonderful but of course I only cook for two usually so I shouldn't complain.


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