I was sitting on my sofa, when I got the call.
I was drinking coffee, when I got the call.
I was wearing my new denim pinafore, when I got the call.
I was hoping business would pick up after Storm Ophelia, when I got the call.
I was trying to motivate myself to make these burgers, because they are the greatest veggie burgers I have ever tasted and I was so excited to share, and then I got the call.
The call to say that one of my parents was in hospital.
The call that took the clarity of the moments before and shook it up beyond recognition, where I might have been wearing that dress and drinking that coffee and sitting on that sofa but where that clarity became a massive blur.
I waited for Mr P to come home from work, and we ate toast for dinner, and we drove to the hospital, stricken with fear.
I sat in that room, surrounded by the people I love most in the world, and still everything was a blur.
The next day I went back to the hospital, and I listened to the consultants, and I clutched the information leaflet, and I focused on the complete absence of any truly terrifying words, and yet everything was still a blur.
The next day my brother and sister came home, and we drove to the hospital, and we listened some more to the consultant, and we heard about the incredibly positive outlook for treatment.
But for me, everything was still a blur.
The week passed, in some ways in tiny increments, jumping at every text message and every phone call. It was marked by times, and hospital visits, and calling the rest of the family to let them know what was going on.
But mostly last week passed in a blur.
A blur of phone calls, and hospital rooms, and driving to Antrim.
A blur of tears, and hugs, and coffee from paper cups.
A blur of family, and friends, and sleepless nights.
There are two details that I can remember. The first is that consultant, handing over his booklets, and reassuring us all just how treatable this all is.
The second is every single person telling me to look after myself.
And I can’t change what is happening in those hospital rooms, so I am trying my very hardest to look after myself by appreciating what joy there is in my everyday.
That moment when I get a message from my tribe from awesome friends.
That paper cup full of slightly too much coffee, and even better if they have some of that delicious flakemeal shortbread to go alongside.
That long dog walk that I am forcing myself to go on every morning, because by the time I have climbed Redburn, the blur has cleared once more.
Those dinners with Mr P, from that toast of night one to these burgers, which are knock-your-socks-off good.
They haven’t fixed anything.
They haven’t cured anything.
But they have provided me with a meal to smile about, and I really hope they do the same for you; a moment of joy in the everyday.
Because focussing on these moments really does lift that blur.
Grab a couple of beetroot.
Peel and quarter them.
The kitchen will look like there has been a massacre, but what price delicious burgers?
Cut half a pack of halloumi into chunks.
Grab an apple.
This is my very own apple from my very own tree in my actual garden and it blows my tiny mind that this can grow there, so if you are picking your very own apple, just allow a couple of minutes to appreciate nature.
Remove the core and cut the apple into chunks.
Marvel once more that it looks like there has been a massacre in the kitchen.
Unless you are the type to wash your chopping board and knife between cutting jobs and if you are, I need you in the Little Pink Kitchen as some kind of super assistant for a while before passing you on to some kind of laboratory for testing of your efficiency to see if some kind of robot can be created based on this trait.
Fire the beetroot, apple and cheese into a food processor and blitz well.
Transfer the mix to a bowl, and add in a couple of teaspoons of cajun seasoning…
And some flour.
Grease a baking tray.
And divide your beetroot mixture into four, shaping into patties.
Bake the patties for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
Serve in buns, with avocado and some kind of chilli mayonnaise.
Because mayonnaise is life.
Baked beetroot and apple burgers
Serves 4. Cooking time 30 minutes.
- 2 beetroot
- 1 eating apple
- 125g halloumi cheese
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 100g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- Peel and quarter the beetroot.
- Core the apple and cut into chunks.
- Cut the halloumi cheese into large chunks.
- Blitz the beetroot, apple and cheese in a food processor.
- Tip the beetroot mix into a bowl, and add the egg, flour and cajun seasoning.
- Mix well.
- Divide the mixture into four and shape into patties.
- Grease a baking tray with the oil and place the burgers on top.
- Bake the burgers for 20 minutes, flipping over halfway through cooking.