After I moved into my inner Melbourne suburb flat last year, and promised my Dad this would be the last time he had to help me move, I was quick to feel the disappointment of these adult responsibilities: cooking, colour coordinated homewares and life admin.
life admin / ly-f-ad-min noun
1 Refers to one’s personal day-to-day chores that are of an administrative nature. This includes tasks such as personal banking, making appointments, paying your bills, responding to personal emails. Example: Sorry I can’t today, I have too much life admin to take care of.
I had lied about the amount of stairs in my building and I only pretended to help. And once I had finished unpacking all of my worldly possession in my freshly painted shoebox I discovered I needed so many life admin items. Plates, bowls, glasses, cutlery, mop, broom, dust pan, vacuum, duster (… I’m still yet to get one of those) and then all the cleaning products. Also you need to know what to do with said items and Google can only help you so much before it will start being judgemental and asking you in a condescending tone if you meant: recipe for potential kitchen disaster or recipe for scones..?
A few months ago I was appointed scones, as my “bring a plate” item to a Grand Final day barbie. I felt very nervous about having to serve something edible to humans, but I remember my Mum making scones with lemonade instead of butter and I thought to myself: how hard can it be?
I found a recipe online and saved it to my camera roll then I made my way down an unfamiliar aisle of the supermarket and started to load up my basket: Flour, cream lemonade, baking tray. A sieve? I didn’t even know how to spell sieve until I sent this text to my Mum:
‘Mum, do I need a siv (sic), to make scones?’
To which she replied.
‘*Sieve …Who dis?’
I purchased the sieve despite receiving no parental confirmation as well as all the ingredients and I carried them home in my eco-friendly calico bag (I use this item on the daily #adulting). I follow the recipe carefully and mix the flour, cream and lemonade together. But when I get to the bit where you have to put the dough on the baking tray I realise I don’t have a bloody scone cutter. Luckily it’s only the dress rehearsal! So I just roll the dough up into balls and whack them in the oven and hope for the best. I take them out of the oven after 12 minutes and to be honest they look shithouse but, they are perfectly golden. And I’d probably have been more excited if I hadn’t missed Home and Away and didn’t have to still do the dishes.
I take the dress rehearsal scones into work the next day for some constructive feedback. After the initial shock of hearing that I had been baking in my spare time my colleagues were happy to let me know the scones were a little dry but the more cream and jam you added the better they tasted. And once my Mum finally understood it was actually me who had sent her the text about the sieve, and it wasn’t some kind of practical joke, she also informed me that instead of a scone cutter you can just use a glass dipped in water. On the day of the barbie I wake up at 7am to re-stock my ingredients and start baking. I apply the feedback and new information re: scone cutter alternative and everything goes to plan.
Unfortunately all the attendees of the barbie get so boozeled that my scones are forgotten about. The full tray is returned to me the following day, none of the scones have been eaten. Except for one… which someone has taken a bite out of and then put it back.
Since then I have embarked on a wide range of domestic activities including the following:
My Grandad used to get recipes from the Royal Auto magazine. They were sometimes terrific and sometimes terrible but he really enjoyed getting an automotive magazine in the post every month if only to try something new for dinner. Now, I do not own a cookbook and I’m not the kind of person to follow a recipe but I recently discovered I like to watch Better Homes and Gardens when I get home from work on a Friday. Once I even wrote down (I mean, I typed it into the notes section of my phone) one of the recipes as I watched and then went straight to the supermarket in my thongs and a denim shirt to get all the ingredients. I’ve even attached the recipe here:
Recipe: Grilled Zucchini and Pomegranate Salad
Zucchini – thinly sliced and grilled
Guess how much of everything you need.
Chop all ingredients.
Remove Pomegranate seeds in bowl of water as the seeds will sink and the pith will float (great tip… I know)
Chuck in a bowl and stir.
Well, I did a button repair for a guy at work who had to rush out for an important meeting. And I used the sowing kit I keep in my desk drawer for such button emergencies. I also soaked my white linen dress in NapiSan overnight… Does that count?
In the last 12 months I have successfully killed a tomato plant, a herb garden and an orchid. I’m not sure if it’s because I have zero air flow in my apartment and it can reach up to 150 degrees (Celsius) in the summer. Or if it’s because I drown them..? Maybe a combination of both. Just this week I received a rosemary plant in a Secret Santa gift and I’m told it’s very hard to kill rosemary. So I turned to the World Wide Web for advice:
Caring for Rosemary Plant:
1. After the plant flowers, remember to trim the plant.
2. For fresh rosemary in the winter, grow the plant indoors in a pot. …
3. Prune regularly so that the plant won’t get lanky.
4. Water the plants evenly throughout the growing season.
5. Be sure to get cuttings or divide the plant for next season.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
My evolution to domestic goddess has been very evident in the last few months and some people have even suggested to me, that the improvements I have made are due to my hidden inner desire to become a home maker. I don’t know if that is accurate but I’m happy to indulge the idea even just so I have something other than tinned tuna and dust for lunch for the rest of my life.
But if anyone is thinking of getting me a personalised scone tin for Christmas… Don’t.