A Newborn in the House and Baking against Corona Anxiety

These past three weeks have been eventful and strange. Their newness and uncertainty propelled me into one hell of an anxiety carousel. Here I was, heavily pregnant, nesting with a fervor I’d never known before, worried about petty things as the right measure on her bed linen- little did I know she won’t want to sleep in her bed at all- and all of a sudden the world seems to be ending amidst my long awaited happiness.

Skjermbilde 2020-03-27 kl. 16.35.16

Just three weeks ago I was busy complaining about pelvic pains and feeling fedd up with being huge and now I had to find new ways of reassuring myself we won’t all die of starvation if the virus doesn’t get to us first.

She came into our world on the 7th of March, she rushed in 8 days before the due date, almost as if she’d known that if she’d linger any longer, her dad wouldn’t be allowed to see the birth and stay with us in the hospital any longer. The first days were hard, I had the chills 4-5 times a day and she wouldn’t nurse, so we eventually had to feed her formula from a small cup (and it’d take hours!) hoping things would improve when the milk came. It didn’t. (But that’s an entirely other story.)

After an extended stay,  we could finally leave the hospital (after 7 days!), just in time for the Corona quarantine. That evening F shopped for groceries and there was no more toilet paper, nor tomato sauce, nor pasta or rice. Panic! After that, things went back to a sort of normality, at least when it comes to finding food on the shelves. But the longer it dragged on, the more somber the statistics all over the world, the less we saw of friends and family, one day I wasn’t able to control my anxiety at all. Some days it took the best of me and I could only sit there with a huge black hole inside of me. Other days, when the weather was sunny, we ventured outside and realized the world was still there, humanity had not evaporated and I came back lightheaded as though I’d had a pint or three. Today I decided to get back on medication, after spending all yesterday’s hours when Madeleiene didn’t need me either baking bread, baking a cake, washing clothes, all in order to avoid agonizing.

I’m heading to the pharmacy in an hour’s time, but I already feel better. I don’t read the news any more, I try not to think of how “non-essential” people will pay their rent, I ordered some stuff online and I’m doing my best to use all the ingredients we have in the house in a smart way. Meanwhile, I’m kissing my daughter’s chubby legs and sniffing her scalp. And thinking how I’ll start saving money and making room for a pantry when the times are better.

And here’s the recipe for the cake I baked the other day. I used the stuff we had, like 4 overripe plums and apple juice instead of orange juice.

Ingredients

100g walnuts

250 dates ( I had some dates, some dried figs and some dried apricots)

the zest from an orange/lemon

300g flour

1 tea spoon baking powder

1/2 tea spoon cardamom

1/2 tea spoon cinnamon

200 ml orange juice

100g butter

150 g brown sugar (I only had white)

1 egg

(I used 4 plums as well)

Bake the walnuts in the oven on a parchment paper around 15 minutes at 150 degrees C.

Cut the dates (and the other dried fruit plus the plums). Add the walnuts, the orange/lemon zest and one spoon of the flour. Sift the rest of the flour with the baking powder and the spices. Put it aside.

Use a kitchen aid/mixer to “fluff the butter up”. Add the egg and mix them well together. Add the flour, then the orange/apple juice. Then add the walnuts and dates (dried fruit and fruit) into the dough. Pour the dough (it’ll be a bit runny, it’s fine) into a cake form lined with parchment paper and bake at 180 degrees C for 1 h. Sometimes it needs a bit longer, check it with a chopstick. 😉

Bon appetit!

PS. Go for a walk if allowed in your part of the world, here it’s still ok (but we have to keep the distance). With a newborn I don’t get to do it every day, but when I do, I feel sanity rushing back into my veins. Today I even crossed the street to avoid other humans. But since I had to go to the pharmacy, I ran into people after all.

Stay safe and I hope we’ll all make it to the other side. I know, it sounds like something you hear in Sci-fi movies. 😉

xxx, Alina

 

 

 

Snowy weather

These days have been slow and good for the soul. I´ve been cooking, decluttering and selling a few items on the internet, walking Sammy and dreaming of sunny holidays.

Friday I only worked for a few hours and it proved to be a lot of fun, we were several interpreters waiting for an hour or two in the Court House lobby and had a blast discussing beginner´s errors and such.  Later on I had some drinks with a friend at Café Amsterdam, discussing professional pitfalls (how you can avoid laughing when the situation is soooo comic), Norwegian-born husbands and Romanian inhibitions. I wrapped up the day with Mr Selfridge on Netflix. I love that series! 😉

Saturday we went for a never-ending hike (6km) in the snow with Sam, part of it on the ski-lane (no fun), but it was so beautiful it almost hurt my eyes! Istagram doesn´t do it justice, I´ll give it a try anyway. We walked and walked and it felt we´d never get there. In the end it was so foggy we couldn´t see more than a meter in front of us, so we had to ask hundreds of times for Frognerseteren, where we had dinner and a beer. 😉  Tired and beat, we took a nap before some friends came over and we had some laughs over take-away pizza and Prosecco.

Continue reading