Downsizing is never easy, particularly when you just left a big house where you could fit your extensive library and everything else you own. As I look outside my new kitchen window to the building in front, holding my morning coffee cup, I can’t help feeling nostalgic about my garden in Mexico.
It was not a very big garden but it was beautiful, with colorful Bougainvillea bushes, fruit trees and in my opinion the best view in Mexico City. I can’t forget the kindness of the owners (now family) when we moved in. I was 5 months pregnant and I didn’t have any garden furniture yet so they sent me part of theirs to allow me to enjoy the garden.
My favourite morning ritual when my daughter and husband would still be asleep, was to sit in the garden with my coffee and breath in the morning air. Those short solitary moments were very precious. Now as I can’t really go out of the building in my PJ’s, I must find new rituals.
When choosing what to bring to our apartment and what to put in storage, my books were a no brainer. I could never get rid of books. I usually read according to my moods and several books at the same time. To imagine that at one point I would want to read something in storage, would drive me crazy. My cooking book collection is of course extensive and keeps growing to the dismay of my husband.
I usually look for new flavours, new textures, something that will inspire my cooking. Lately, I also look for autobiographic cookbooks. More that just simple recipes, stories about the author’s inspiration, family background, historical background and even seasonal diaries. I love those, I can almost imagine their vegetable garden, smell the herbs and spices. Something inspiring for someone who lives in an apartment building now. Ottolenghi, Nigel Slater and Sophie Dahl come to mind.
My birthday was not long ago and presents or no presents, I always order a few books to arrive at that time. After all, I know what I like! By chance I came across “Pomegranate and Roses” by Ariana Bundy and it appealed to me. The book alternates with stories of her Persian family history and her recipes. Visually it is a gorgeous book, the cover and recipe photos are very inspiring. Her stories about her family background as well as the origin of each dish are heartening and make you travel to different landscapes through their food rituals and traditions.
Just the right book at this moment of transition, a good companion for the breaks in cleaning and organizing! Once my cooking paraphernalia arrives, I will be trying a lot of the recipes. In the meantime, I will continue reading, dreaming of other gardens and scents.
That and treasuring the beautiful sunsets at the Augarten park 5 minutes away…