The fork, knife and chopsticks blog – adventures in and around the Asia region

Flying – the love and hate of it

I think my fear of flying started in my mid-teens and sometimes I get the feeling the older I get, the more anxious it makes me. I probably ‘tolerate’ it a lot better than I used to – in my mid 20s, it was a white-knuckle ride from beginning to end, and even going to the airport to pick someone up was enough to turn my stomach.

In the last 8 years, I have probably done some 400 flights, the majority of it work related. I still have a fear of flying and a huge distaste for turbulence but I think I have managed to move beyond the sheer terror that I felt some 20 years ago. Yes, I still have a whine and moan if the seat belt sign gets turned on during the flight and my palms get sweaty, yet among this all, I also have a fascination with watching the world below from upwards of 30000 feet.
 
The beauty of deep azure and fluffy bright white clouds astounds me and I marvel at how this was all created, and what a sense of humour was behind these big puffs of cotton. Sunsets and sunrises are majestic and magical. I value the time that I am in the air because no one can reach me, I have time to think, to (try to) comprehend issues of the moment, have a little cry sometimes, but most of all, to take a moment to thank the ‘powers above’ for the life I have, that I can travel and see the world, and for all my blessings. 
 

Jammin’

I’m always at my happiest over a hot stove, and my first memory of making jam was probably about 15 years ago or so, when we were living in Switzerland.

I was struggling to think of a suitable gift for my step-grandmother – a woman who had the means to afford all luxuries, yet who placed great value on the simple things in life and who breakfasted with my pleasure every day. Then the idea of an apricot and vanilla jam came to me, the plan was hatched, and the gift was so well received that she asked me to bring some along each time we visited.

Since then, I occasionally delved into the realms of jam and chutney making, but it was 3 Christmases ago, when things become more ‘serious’. I had decided that all our friends would receive either a chutney or jam, depending on their preference for sweet or savoury. I drew immense pleasure from making and giving them, and from the feedback that I got in return, it sounded like my friends were happy to be on the receiving end of them too.

This past Christmas, I made about 60 pots – a 5-citrus spread, an apple pie jam, as well as the ubiquitous tomato chutney. The apple pie jam proved to be a real winner – I wanted something spicy yet seasonal, and made a spread from 2 types of apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and clove. I labeled it as turning ‘your breakfast toast into apple pie’ and the response was heartwarmingly positive.

Around the same time, a little seed of an idea was sown, and I am now bringing this idea to fruition. A friend of mine has kindly offered me a share of his stall at a local farmer’s market come May, and there seem to be a couple more potential opportunities opening up. Could this be the start of something very sweet (and spreadable??)

Ideas for flavours are coming thick and fast, jars have been ordered and delivered, and now it’s a matter of finding a logo, getting stickers printed, paper bags made and then comes creation! I am soooooo excited!!

We have lift off!

I love writing, I love photography and I love cooking and culinary discoveries. I enjoy life and love seeing the funnier side of it. So here’s to all those who asked me to record my adventures for posterity – we have lift off! Check back in with me often for pics, recipes, adventures and above all, laughs!

Jx