Ode to Sunday - hazelnut cookies that have Autumn written all over them

I'm thinking Sundays may be our busiest day in the whole of the week. It's non stop from the moment we wake up until bedtime, but it's the kind of non stop I thrive in. I kind of dig Sundays very much! There was a time when I really detested Sundays, because they meant the weekend was over and Monday was just around the corner and I would have to get up early and go to work. I used to delay bedtime back then, as much as I could, only to delay the arrival of Monday morning and one more week of what to me was hell. I hated Sundays with a fierce heart. I hated Mondays even more, in fact I hated the whole week except for Fridays and Saturdays.

I know now that I hated Sundays pretty much because of the same reason I dreaded mornings. I worked jobs that sapped the life out of me, that made me miserable and depressed and anguished and feeling like the proverbial piece of shit. Jobs that sucked my joie de vivre, my self esteem, my sense of value as a person, a human being, a professional. Jobs I wanted to leave the moment I got there. Waking up in the morning was torture, because I had to go to work. Going to bed in the evenings was always with a sense of dread, of misery, knowing what I was going to wake up to. I lacked energy and will, I lacked joy and happiness, I longed for Fridays and Saturdays above all else. I longed for a change that never came and that I could not afford to make, or so I thought. I needed guts to take the plunge, a lot of plunges actually.

Nowadays I seem to go to bed eager for the morning to come, even when I'm in the midst of my PMT, which is to say a lot! I am eager for waking up again and having a whole new day ahead of me, where I know I will be elated with the chores I have, the sitting down at my desk and editing photos, the writing of new posts for this blog, the recipe testing and the styling ideas that get pinned down in bouts of inspiration, the things I want to share and make and enjoy. The writing of my books, above all else, that is what truly makes me eager to start my days and not dread the having to go to bed part.

When I stopped working - meaning having a job outside the home - I went through a lot of self doubt. What would other people think, say? I would be regarded as a lazy bum, a leech draining her own husband, a brainless, untalented, undeserving, incapable human being who has no right to take up space in this world. Someone who does not contribute in any way towards economy and society, someone who doesn't even exist. I went through all that self doubt and self loathing, despite knowing the choice was the right one for me as an individual and as a wife and a mother, for us as a family. But I still felt I was being judged and that fingers were being pointed at me from friends and family alike, so I shut myself up in a cocoon of sorts and pushed aways people from my life. I was like Garbo, wanting to be alone.

And then, something changed. Come January this year, something began to take hold of me, changing the way I perceived myself, the way I saw my own person through other people's eyes. I began to look at me through my own eyes, and I began to question my sense of being undeserving, of being unable, incapacitated. And so I decided to publish a book. I have been writing all my life, since I first began to learn my letters, but never had I thought of my work as something that deserved publishing. I honestly felt I did not deserve that, I wasn't good enough. Until I realised it really doesn't mater, because there's so much shit that gets published and becomes successful, why should I be so undeserving? Ok, so the book did not do great, about four people went ahead and bought it and read it, but even despite that, my self esteem and sense of worth plummeted sky high. And I'm glad it did. Now I wake up with a smile, raring to go and do the things I love, and there's simply no way I can express how very grateful I am for being able to do so. I'm grateful to life for handing me this chance, I'm grateful to my husband who helped this be possible, I am above all, grateful to my own self for taking the plunge, for risking, for trusting and believing and mostly, for not giving a damn.

So I don't dread those Sundays anymore, I live them fully, because they're when we get to bake our breads and our cakes and our biscuits, like these hazelnut cookies that are to actually die for!!

  • 100 gr ground hazelnuts
  • 250 gr flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100 gr butter
  • 175 gr caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Turn on your oven at 170ยบ, and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the flour, the hazelnut and the baking powder together and make a whole in the middle. Place the sugar, butter, egg, milk and vanilla in that very whole and with the tips of your fingers gently mix these with the flour. As soon as all the ingredients are mixed together, knead the dough slightly, turn it into a ball and wrap in cling film, gently patting it down so it becomes a disk. Place in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes. Over a floured cool surface - a marble board, for example - roll out the dough and cut it with cookie cutters, go for the kind of shape you like the most, these are actually a treat to cook with kids, as they always love the cutting into shapes part. Place the cookies on your tray and take them to the oven for about twelve, thirteen minutes. As soon as they're done allow to cook over a cooling rack and then you can keep them in a mason jar or a cookie tin, they last for quite some time and are truly delicious. With some tea or hot chocolate, these are a treat!