Baking, Breast cancer, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Cooking, Food, Uncategorized

Tom Yum Soup for My Soul

Spurred on by the hundreds of reruns of Come Dine With Me that I’ve watched since getting cancer and the three recipe books I’ve been sent from different friends and colleagues, I decided it was time for a bit of cooking therapy.

The Tom Yum Soup recipe from the Leon cookbook had been on my to-do list for more than two years. I must have some sort of an aversion to newness because I like to wait for things to get old before I use them. Whenever I buy new clothes, I wait at least two months before I wear them, ensuring that I am positively never wearing anything fashionable. It’s not something I do on purpose, it just sort of happens. It’s like I need a while to get used to the new thing being in my life and phase it in before showcasing it in public. I order books and DVDs on Amazon with alarming frequency, yet I rarely watch DVDs and I’m a slow reader, so the Mad Men box set waited almost 2 years before being watched (it was another year before it was watched to completion, but I am now fully up to date and ready for season 5 when it arrives on my doorstep next month).

Well, the same goes for cookery books. I even bookmark the pages of things I want to make, but it takes me years before I get around to making them. This entire syndrome is particularly heightened at the moment with the fact that I only have a one-week window in every three-week period in which I am even capable of getting out of bed to buy ingredients and cook something. (Fortunately, my mother is there with her apron on the rest of the time.)

And so it was finally the turn of the Leon Tom Yum Soup, and a salmon teriyaki dish from a Delia Smith online recipe. Soup is such a great thing to make when you’re sick and it’s cold outside. I particularly love Tom Yum soup in Thai restaurants so I had been looking forward to making this recipe for quite literally yonks. (Perhaps that’s why I wait so long, to build up the anticipation, like planning a holiday a year in advance). So I was disappointed when, after all my chopping and food-processing efforts, not to mention the time spent pounding up and down the supermarket aisles in search of ingredients (let me tell you, it is impossible to find such things as Sake and Mirin in Huddersfield Morrisons, and don’t even get me started on manioc starch), it turned out to be very bland and frankly not that tasty. The salmon teriyaki, on the other hand, was delicious, but unfortunately the above photo doesn’t do my presentation skills justice because I forgot to take a photo of the two nicely presented dishes and instead ended up being left with my own salmon, which had broken in half and which I hadn’t bothered to present in beautiful restaurant style.

Oh well. More cooking to come.

In other news, I received an email to say that I didn’t get a place in the 2013 London Marathon. This is probably a good thing. I applied in April, before I knew about the cancer, obviously, and have been applying for the last couple of years in the hope that I’ll eventually get a place. It would be pretty tough to run 42k in April after only finishing radiotherapy in February and having not run at all since June. But I might’ve given it a go. They are supposed to be sending me a raincoat as a consolation prize, but I have a sneaking suspicion I won’t get one because I entered as an overseas applicant, which is just downright rude. Anyway, it’s a good job I did the Buenos Aires marathon this time last year, checking that box just in time on my mental “Things to do before I’m 30” list. Things jolly well happen for a reason.

The postman has been busy, as per usual. Thank you to Martina for the amazing care package full of goodies for my ‘brain, body, indulgence and health!’ … And a belated thanks to George for the brilliant Neal’s Yard Remedies treats for my hands, nails and general wellbeing… And to her big sister Danie, aka Rouge, for another very creative card… And to Valdimir for the São Paulo postcard, reminding me of my former home and workplace! I feel like a celeb who gets sent loads of amazing free stuff all the time, it’s brill!

Finally, I just had the last of my 10 daily immune-system injections and am very much looking forward to having 10 whole needle-free days! Hooray for Fridays. Happy weekend, all.

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One thought on “Tom Yum Soup for My Soul

  1. Bryan Foat says:

    I have an excellent pallate, a very good nose and a pretty fair hand in the kitchen… but complex Thai food (there are some simple things that are pretty easily achieveable) I have only gotten to come out so-so UNLESS I cheat and get some one else’s “mix” of this or that and go from there… I used to buy green curry paste (70% ground thai chilis – hot! – +25 other spices or so), coconut milk and then go from there with whatever chicken and vegetables came to mind that day or were in the fridge. I would make huge quantities of basmati or jasmin rice and just live on curry and rice for a few days… yum.

    2 thumbs up for Fridays! Especially when they proceed long weeknds or holidays/vacations as is my case today.

    BA Marathon coming up shortly. I have been encouraged to run but haven’t psyched myself up for it properly (or trained properly). I am running 70+km per week, often 40km on the weekend (10×4 and occasionally 20×2) but I have yet to actually run a race to date- of any length. I am too competitive to just go have a run for fun if the timer is on and there are “competitors” around me. So I have steered clear for now and just compete against myself, the clock and minor injuries.

    Take care. Look forward to the next post 😉

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