Some days I just seem to float through the events that unfold with a certain amount of resolve and pure British grit. That Keep Calm and Carry On type attitude that we all seem to have gone nostalgic for since that poster was found in someones shed, or whatever the story is. Other days my eyes seem to be rolling with such regularity that I fear one day someone will call the emergency services and suggest I’m mid way through a stroke or something.
Yesterday was a somewhat more successful day that others. I got through the morning being far more reasonable and conciliatory than usual. I was a revelation to those around me. And lunchtime Led me to wander the streets of Sheffield seeking some form of food for my soul that can only be found on pay day. Ah yes, those two words. Pay day. Does Ina have such a thing I thought to myself as I fingered the white Kitchenaid mixers in John Lewis. If you live one of those impossible East Hampton lives like her, is every day treat day? A £4 lunch rather than a packed lunch or £2 jacket potato from the store rather unfairly nicknamed Mucky Rita’s?
It was this sort of ponderance that made me think about my life and my aspirations. My only real passion is for food. And in particular baking. There is something hypnotic that occurs when the batter is being stirred by my Kenwood Chef. When it’s whirring in the kitchen as I sit in the front room coffee in hand. And the moment of truth when you turn out a tin or bite a cupcake from a newly iced batch is like a thousand exam results days at school or as proud as a mother on graduation day. Yes, I did it! I achieved baking perfection!
But can I reach Garten like perfection? To live the most cosmopolitan life possible? To have friends who not only run independent businesses, and do so successful, but will turn up whenever called upon to lay your table or randomly erect someones Christmas tree or just to deliver wine and flowers and call you fabulous? Will Pete and I be celebrating our 40th anniversary with as much love, affection and happiness as Ina and Jeffrey? Will my future home be as gorgeous as theirs? I may already admit defeat on the latter.
This, dear world, is not so much my quest to find out but to see whether I can incorporate any of the Barefoot wisdom into life in a Sheffield terrace! Armed with a sky planner jammed with episodes for inspiration, an iPad with food network favourited to give me access to recipes by the truckload, and a passion for Ina that cannot be surpassed, let’s see.
We are starting tonight with Lemon Fusilli. I’ll tell you how I get on.