A weekend of indulgence and a focaccia to serve with it - when hard work doesn't pay off
This past weekend I had to take a breather. I really had to. Lately, I've been working non stop, even over the weekends, and I haven't had a me moment in ages. I hadn't done my nails since the Holidays, just so you see. I love having my nails polished and looking pretty, but these last months all I did was trim them short and keep them clean. I had no time to sit down for a couple of hours working on them and waiting for nail polish to dry. It's unthinkable to do that during weekdays, as I have at least four school runs packed into the daily hours. And lately, not even my weekends seemed to stretch enough so I could fill in some self care. The vain, indulgent, selfish kind of self care, you know?
Like, I do my hair at home. I can't afford to splurge on a salon, so I trim it at home and I dye it at home. I hadn't dyed my hair for two whole months - and was actually rather liking the whites that were showing through, but as I had bought the dye already, I felt like I had to use it. Still, I kept postponing it, because it is a morose work. It takes time, and it begs for a quiet morning doing next to nothing. It's self indulgent and selfish, so I put it at the back burner. After all, I did have a book to finish and a blog to run. Same with my facials. I always do a rather indulgent face mask once a week, it's something I enjoy. But I hadn't done one in ages, because I couldn't fit it in. Over the weekends, if we weren't doing the weekly shopping at the market and the stores, I was doing house chores while hubby caught up on tests and class prep - try being a teacher at his school, slavedrivers, I tell ya!! I was cleaning, washing, cooking, prepping. Soon as I was done, I was back at my laptop, working.
But then I found myself asking myself: why? What for? The old maxim of in order to get great results one has to work really hard never made sense to me, because it simply doesn't happen like that in my life. I was working myself silly, actually, working really, really hard and long hours, stressing continually whenever I was not hunched over my laptop either editing and writing my novels or doing the marketing; or else working hard on my blog, with researching and studying and editing images and cooking and styling and shooting and prepping posts and doing social media rounds... all for next to nothing aside the pleasure I may or may not derive from there. Results? Nope, not many, for all the hard work I put in. So this sunday I decided enough was enough. I'm having such a bloody hard time finishing book three of my series, I thought it was high time I didn't touch it at all this past weekend. And so I didn't. I haven't opened it since last friday. It's stewing there in its own juices. Waiting for me to feel ready.
I did squeeze in some blog work, can't deny, saturday afternoon when all our shopping was done and the kid was doing his homework, I did get all those hundreds of photos sorted, edited and compiled for future recipes to be posted, and I even managed to have the kiddo lend a hand with the editing, giving me his opinion and his preferences. So I also squeezed in a bit of quality time with him, as I worked. And on sunday we got together to cook chocolate swirl brioches and to style and photograph them, too. Later, we got to enjoy them over a cuppa while we sat down on the couch together and watched a Sherlock Holmes movie. I hadn't done that with my son in ages, and it felt delightful. To just sit there, the two of us, me doing my nails and chatting about the film, relaxing and putting my feet up. I had also managed to dye my hair and do a facial, so last sunday was a fully delightful, indulgent, selfish day. We did not get to have focaccia, though, that is a thing for our saturday nights, and this focaccia right here is possibly the best we had in ages!
It's super easy to make, and super yummy to eat, but it is an indulgence and I wouldn't say it constitutes everyday fare. Or every weekend, either. Once in a while it is something we like to have at our table for our saturday dinners, where we get to unwind and sit at the table longer, talking about whatever we fancy, just being there as a family, you know? Joking and breaking bad and sharing good food and good conversation, and getting in touch with one another and telling the kid stories from our childhood or our parents' childhood, or the great grandparents, his ancestors, the boy loves that kind of thing. We end up leaving the table so much later than we generally do on weekdays, but hey, it's saturday and we can indulge. I use to go out every saturday and dance the night away, when I was younger, now I rather like sitting there at the kitchen table with my two loves and chat. It's really what I look forward to all week long. And when there's focaccia like this, it makes it extra special!
So, for this you'll need:
- 350 gr strong bread flour
- 200 ml luke warm water
- 9 gr fresh yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 - 5 slices of thinly cut prosciutto
- 4 - 5 slices of cheese
- mixed herbs such as herbes de provence