Category Archives: Food Cooking Cuisine

Five Habits I Wish I Had Not Lost

green-red-blue-patent-leather-high-heeled-shoes
One of my favourite pairs of shoes

Over the years I’ve waved goodbye to a few habits that I now wish I hadn’t lost. I cannot say the loss causes too much pain; however, it’d be better if I could regain the skills and renew the routines. So, as I’m sharing my trouble with you, will you please also let me know if you ever had a similar problem and what you did.

1.Wearing high-heels

I became very wary about heels after I’d hurt my ankle in 2008. Then in 2010 I worked in direct sales, we had to walk fast, so high-heels were not fit for purpose. I resumed wearing heels between late 2010 and 2013, but then I changed jobs. I started teaching, and in all four years of my working for a local community centre I had to walk and run once again, and flat footwear was best. I do love high-heels, and I’d love to get back into habit of wearing them regularly, but I’ve also got used to moving fast or philandering lazily, and 8cm heels are just no good for that.

2.Keeping abreast of all things social

Can you believe I used to be an SMM manager for nearly 4 years? Or that I used to run a very socmed friendly blog and, generally, was very active on many social channels? Some of them, like Klout, have since stopped existing; I still have accounts with others, but I’m not quite active there at all. I’m getting reaccustomed to the pleasure of sharing things on Reddit, Pinterest and Facebook, as much as reading up on SocMed trends. However, as my interests have firmly shifted to my own literary endeavours and teaching, every bit of new industry info feels like a huge overload.

3.Travelling far and wide

Whatever happened to those itchy feet? Admittedly, I needed some rest from my peregrinations. On the other hand, it now feels like an act of heroism to get myself out of the house and out and about. The main reason for my being sort of tied down is time: I can only go on day trips, and Russia is not England. There you can travel from Manchester to Edinburgh in 3 hours, and Scotland is almost like a different country (or so it may become after Brexit). Here in Russia you can only travel to smaller cities and towns, like Kaluga, Yaroslavl, Podolsk, Ivanovo and Tver, and, regardless of certain differences, it’s the same Central Russia as most people know it. It will take you 5 hours to get to St. Petersburg by train, and if you wish to travel to Kazan, Novgorod, Arkhangelsk, Yekaterinburg or Vladivostok, it’ll take you even more. I read and view travelogs, but it’s not the same as going somewhere.

4.Cooking at home

This is a difficult one. Living in Russia was not good for my kitchen abilities because my granny and especially my mother both used to be great cooks. A small kitchen space didn’t help, either. I started cooking in England where I could have the whole kitchen to myself. Back in Moscow, I only cook now and again, and I do wish I could do it more often. Each time I gaze at the mouth-watering food photos on Pinterest I wish I could bake, fry and grill every single dish. Sadly, when we were redoing the kitchen following a terrible flood, we chose not to have an oven. But perhaps I can do something about it.

5.Spending time online

I agree with those who say we need a break from the Internet. There are paper books to read, and someone like me is much better at writing on paper than using a typewriter or computer. Still, we need to be online, as life is happening there, too. There are things to which I don’t want to react, but there are others that certainly require my attention.

So, here are my 5 habits that I want to regain. What about you? Have you lost any good or useful habits? Have you regained them or decided to part with them for good? Share your story in comments!

How to Lose a Pancake (And Remember Marcel Proust)

RecipeMama

In a tiny kitchen in our flat my mother and I have just lost a small pancake, or a pikelet.

My mother was turning over the pikelets in the frying pan when this little fellow slipped off a spatula and disappeared without a trace.

I doubt we shall ever find it.

I also doubt that our cats have eaten it because at the moment of its falling down they were engorging on their own food.

I share this with you because this is my most bizarre cooking experience to date. It also prompted me to think of various names to our rescuing efforts:

A Pancake Quest.

Du côté de chez crêpe (as in Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann), or A Pancake’s Way.

A Pancake Lost.

A Missing Pancake.

A Pancake Disappeared.

Disappearing Pancakes. 

Stray Pancakes. 

A la recherche des crêpes perdues, or Rememberance of Pancakes Past


To tell you the truth, I find rather inexplicable this perfect match of pancakes with the title of Marcel Proust’s seminal novel, or its parts. Of course, should we find our pikelet, A Pancake Lost would become A Pancake Regained in a homage to John Milton, though, as I said, I doubt this will be the case. 

This reminded me of an exercise Paul McKenna recommends doing to solve the issues people have with handling money without any negative or excessive feelings. You jot down everything you’ve ever heard or thought about money (or love, or anything else), then you substitute it with the word ‘shovel’ and see, if  statements still ring true. Or, in our exercise we shall substitute the words “money” and “love” for “pancake”.


Let’s try? 

The love of pancakes is the root of all evil. 

Pancakes don’t grow on trees. 

You have to work hard to have pancakes. 

I feel guilty because I have more pancakes than my parents ever did. 

Money causes pancakes. 

Money is pancakes. 

If I were really rich, I would be a pancake. 

I don’t believe in pancakes. 

Pancakes never last. 

Pancakes always cause you pain. 

Pancake is a bitch. 

I could never do a pancake again. 

I’m not worth a pancake.