After last Tuesday’s earthquake in Christchurch, a city I lived in for four years, I’ve struggled to come up with anything I thought was worthwhile posting about – not a very useful reaction, I think, since I’m sure those people in Christchurch who have power need frivolous distraction as much as anyone ever does. Still, after the tiny earthquake in Wellington last night I think I began to realise how profoundly this will go on affecting all of us, and I don’t mean financially. I used to enjoy earthquakes, the small ones, would roll over in bed and go back to sleep if one woke me up, as they occasionally will in Wellington. Not so much anymore. The idea of living with that feeling, multiplied a thousand times as everyone in Christchurch must be doing – I can’t even imagine.
There are some incredible blog posts and news pieces around about the earthquake. I just read this one by Cheryl Bernstein. I think most people who read this are already pretty aware of what’s going on, but – yeah. The other one that is a must read is this piece: Christchurch’s Three Cities, about the dramatic differences in conditions across Christchurch and the help that the eastern suburbs desperately need.
And now for something completely different: my friend Frith, who was in Christchurch when the earthquake hit, is a really terrific baker. You know Gretchen on the greatest TV show on earth, New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker? Their food is similar – impeccably presented and delicious (well, I have no idea how Gretchen’s food tastes; and I should add at this point that I suggested this comparison and received relatively mild vitriol, because Gretchen is not exactly anyone’s favourite.) So I was pretty amused a couple of weeks ago when Frith told me she couldn’t cook. I learned to cook and bake at the same time and so, even though the skills are quite different, I’m always surprised when I come across people who only like to do one or the other. Around the same time, xkcd came out with this astounding comic. Since then I’ve been noodling over in my head those cooking skills that I think are absolutely essential (how to make and dress a salad, how to roast veges and a chicken, how to make stock, how to make everything with mince, how to stirfry, how to fry rice, how to buy a rice cooker …) and wondering how I’d teach someone to cook if I had to.
Luckily, because I’m not really sure how I’d start, this blogger is doing a series she calls Home Ec for Everyone. The first post is Flourish’s Well-Stocked Kitchen and it’s really pretty great. Check it out! (Even if you know how to cook, because then you have the satisfaction of thinking, well, *actually*, silicon mats are a way better idea than parchment paper, because they’re not very much more expensive than buying a single roll and you don’t have to keep buying them.)
And finally, here is a picture of Cate Blanchett in her amazing Oscar dress, which I’m hotlinking like a filthy hotlinker from Tom and Lorenzo. For the record, if you do not like this dress, I’m totally looking at you funny right now, that means you, Dominion Post, for putting her on the Worst Dressed list. tsk.