Firstly, Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s start to 2017 has been lovely. I had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break which capped off a pretty good 2016. I feel last year was universally branded the worst year ever (I’m still reeling over George Michael’s death) but I can’t complain personally. It was a great year.
In June, I had an amazing one week holiday in Tokyo on my own. Then my son achieved his junior black belt and a personal best at the Karate Nationals. My little girl is growing into a beautiful, kind person and surprises her father and I every day. And finally of course, 2016 saw the completion of our beautiful new house which we’re still pinching ourselves over. We aren’t lamenting our lack of overseas travel this summer as our home is just a pleasure to be in.
I am however a little reflective and introspective coming into 2017. The last three years were spent agonising over our house. Last year in particular was very challenging and there was little time or energy to focus on much else other than getting the house over the finish line. I predicted 2016 would be a busy year so I chose not to compete in karate in any significant way. It would have been too tiring mentally and physically to manage training, my family, work, building a house and then some. I needed to keep things simple.
Letting go isn’t easy, but I’ve come to finally realise that in order to follow that adage of ‘keep it simple’, you have to prioritise things, if not cull it from your headspace. So it’s with a sadness but a great deal of relief that my first recipe on Gastromony for 2017 is going to be the last for the foreseeable future. I’ve tried to maintain some activity here over the last two years but it’s not working. Instead of letting go and focussing on new things, I had been stressing about finding time for something that I knew in my heart wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. So I’m drawing the line today.
I can’t express the happiness and gratitude I feel towards my blog which I started in 2009 when I was badly in need of a distraction. It became therapy in the most rewarding way. I learnt so much about the food world and it allowed me to meet so many wonderful people involved in the food scene, both here in Perth and interstate. The opportunities Gastromony gave me will always be cherished. Unfortunately I no longer have the time to maintain it in the manner which it deserves.
A blog should really only exist for the pleasure of its author. For most part I enjoyed writing for Gastromony but inevitably I soon discovered the pressure that comes with a blog that starts to get readership. Though it was my choice to get involved, there was also the pressure from public relations agencies, keen to utilise popular blogs for client marketing. Some of the brands I really enjoyed working with were Beerenberg, FIJI Water, Stoneleigh Wines and Rekorderlig. Good times.
If I still enjoyed writing about food and creating recipes as much as I did five or so years ago when my blog featured on Top 10 lists and so on, I would still be doing it. Even if only one person ever read my posts. Unfortunately, I no longer feel that same passion. I no longer have the time to create, style and shoot and photoshop food, and still be able to write well and formulate a decent recipe. Unlike restaurant review blogs, recipe blogs are very, very time consuming.
I’m taking a short break from blogging in general but I plan on creating a new blog soon that will focus on karate and fitness, which will better benefit me and my children as they progress through the martial art. I’m sure I’ll include some food recipes in the new blog too but nothing labour intensive. I’ll probably be most active on Instagram so please keep following me there if you haven’t already found me. I’ll keep Gastromony running but I won’t promise to update it. It’s best that I make a clean break so as to let some new opportunities flourish.
I’m leaving you now with a quick Thermomix recipe for Licorice Lime Ice Cream. It seems apt that I pay homage to the Licorice Parfait with Lime Syrup recipe by Chef Luke Mangan who himself recommended to me that I use a specific brand of licorice. It blew my mind that I could interact with one of Australia’s talented and leading chefs. I’ll miss moments like that but onwards to other things.
Thank you to everyone who has enjoyed Gastromony over the years. Thank you for the encouragement and feedback.
Wishing you the best in 2017. Monica xx
- 4 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
- 200g sugar
- 150g soft licorice, chopped up (stronger the flavour the better)
- 400g cream
- 200g full cream milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (from pod or essence, or paste)
- 80g sugar
- enough water to cover sugar in pan
- 1 Tbsp glucose (optional)
- Juice of one lime
- Green and yellow food colouring if desired so you can see the lime syrup (not necessary)
- Place eggs, sugar, cream, milk and vanilla into TMX bowl.
- Cook ingredients on Speed 7, 80C for 10 minutes
- Add diced licorice pieces to TMX and continue cooking for 2 minutes on Speed 6 at 80C
- Blend mixture on Speed 10 (using measuring cup to cover hole) for 10 seconds.
- Sieve ice cream mixture from TMX into a bowl suitable for refrigerating. You will need to sieve to catch any licorice pieces that didn't dissolve, or you can leave it in the ice cream. Cover.
- On the day of churning the ice cream, place sugar in small saucepan and add enough water to cover sugar. Add glucose and simmer on medium heat until the mixture reduces to a thick syrup.
- Add lime juice to mixture and simmer on low heat until syrup regains thickness. Allow to cool.
- Place well chilled ice cream mixture into ice cream maker. Once the mixture has become firm (soft-serve stage) drizzle the lime syrup as the mixture churns.
- Place ice cream in appropriate container and allow to freeze for at least a day to achieve desired firmness.