When I moved to my own place a little over two years ago, I don't think anybody expected that I would be seriously cooking and baking. My mother is a keen cook, has appeared in a couple of cooking specials on New Zealand TV, and for many years was a professional cake decorator. I grew up on homemade biscuits, and my friends always loved coming over for my mother's cooking, especially her chocolate cakes. However, I never showed any interest, let alone promise, in cooking. Before leaving home just after my 19th birthday, I had cooked about five times in my life. My mother probably expected I would be just heating up ready-made meals. From the first day of living on my own, however, I was happily cooking. It just came straight away. I guess all those hours of watching my mother working away in the kitchen when I was a child paid off! When I was a baby, my mother read to me constantly, to the point that when she was cooking, she would sit me on the bench and read the recipes to me as she went. One legacy of this is that now that I cook, I am constantly reading the recipes aloud and talking to myself. So after a year on my own, I had become very accustomed to cooking my core meals, and in the last year I've started to branch out, especially within the last six months. It seems I can't help following in my mother's footsteps. She just burst out laughing when she found out I cooked my last batch of choc-chip muffins at midnight. She used to do that all the time. And now I've done it again tonight. Like mother, like son?
I suppose it was as good a way as any to see out Australia's historic day that I wrote about a few hours ago. Good food to end a really, really good day. I'm still very happy about that. It was only in writing that entry earlier that the enormity and significance really started to sink in. Obviously I was well aware of it in the first place, as I got up earlier than usual so that I could watch the speech live, but it's one thing to have that awareness and quite another to reflect on what's happened a good 12 or so hours later as I did in that entry. I would like to optimistically believe we are on the verge of a new era. The attitudes of the Howard years are being swiftly and happily discarded. I'll cook a batch of muffins and a tray of biscuits to that!