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.

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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

 

 

 

Christmas Break

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Phew, done with everything (that counts)! From today on I’m officially off duty and I’m enjoying it to the fullest. Outside it’s snowing, I’ve walked Sam and made myself a ham and cheese sandwich, the apartment is warm and the gifts are all wrapped up, the tiny tree is decorated and I’ve even remembered to buy pantyhose for the Christmas dinner. 😉 Haha! (I always forget!) Continue reading

Fall Again

I have to admit I was done with the Mediterranean heat, but did I see fall coming? Not for a second. It’s been raining on and off for days and it’s the second weekend it’s pouring like there’s no tomorrow. Depressing doesn’t even begin to cover it. I feel like going to bed never to wake up again and I’m not even kidding.

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Home again

Summer holiday is over and to begin with I didn’t really know if I should be sad or relieved, as I was a bit tired of the heat and I’d started missing Sammy and my friends.   Besides, all good things come to an end and if they didn’t, we would just take them for granted in the end. 😉 Although, between me and you, going back to jackets and carrying an umbrella in my bag was not my plan for August, I have to admit.

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My Oslo

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Lately I find myself fascinated by people. And, as it is with many other things, once you start looking around, you can’t undo it, you notice all sorts of patterns, all sorts of folks and funny behavior you just need to photograph. That being said, I’m not there quite yet. In fact the pictures with the best potential were the ones that got too blurry because I didn’t have the balls to focus or to go close enough. You see, in Oslo it’s not customary to take pictures of people without their knowing. But hey, I can’t help myself! So here they are. Lady in red, waiting by the bus. Continue reading

Cabin weekend

Hi, friends! Missed me? I don’t know what I do with my time, it flies so fast! I’ve been trying hard to learn how to drive responsively and it seems to be such a big task for a wooly-headed person like me. I keep driving 20 km under the speed limit on a highway and 20 km over in the city! Plus I get really impatient with bikes and people who cross the street when they shouldn’t. Not to mention that I can’t concentrate for two hours in a row for the life of me, I probably have some undiagnosed ADD, ’cause I’ve always been like that. Haha!

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Garden Life

I haven’t blogged in a long time and I realized I’ve kind of missed it! The thing is I’m trying to write “real stuff”- short stories or even a novel and the process is exhausting, I’m telling you! Besides, it leaves me with a feeling that blogging is just amateur writing that no one reads anyways. But then a couple of friends told me they were looking forward to my new entries and so I decided to let you know how things are on this side of the world. 😉

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A Weekend in the Mountains ‘

In Norway, having a cabin is like having a grandma in the countryside in Romania. Everybody has it, except for us, the newcomers. And since I have a dog and no kids, I seldom get invited anywhere- at this cabin we can’t have dogs, at the other we’re going with the kids (no thanks!) and so on. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I don’t ski, I have a tendency to complain at times and I can be quite a pain in the ass if not in the mood for company. Beat that!

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