Friday, 8 November 2013

Pumpkin, cranberry & red onion tagine with lemon and toasted almond couscous..and a final year crisis.

Well, Halloween came and went so that meant finding something to do with the pumpkin that didn't involve naming it, getting really attached, and chucking a very smelly Archibald in the bin two weeks later when one wanted to go to his side of the kitchen.

I had a free evening so I offered to cook for everyone in my house and after careful deliberation, we decided on this recipe. It is pretty basic but I would have cut the pumpkin chunks a little smaller because it took longer than 20 minutes for it to soften and we were all starving. I was a little too eager with the lemon on the couscous but the sharp tang of the lemon balanced out the sweetness of the tagine really well so in future I will only hold back a little bit, perhaps 3/4 of a lemon rather than a whole one. The recipe was delicious and the ingredients not too expensive, we now sprinkle left-over flaked almonds on everything. I would definitely cook it again.

Settling back into my northern English life has been a slow process, harder than I thought it would be. On the flip side, I get to rediscover York. Wandering around on countless lazy days, I visit a new cafe at every opportunity which has helped me try places I would normally walk past without a second glance. I love how coffee and tea shops develop their own personality, from the small, quirky "Hairy Fig" and the bustling baker/deli "Mannions and Co" that smells like heaven, to the coffee snob stops that invest ten minutes trying to change your order when you dare to request a soy milk latte.

University-wise, I've been to various returners workshops to help "reflect" on my year abroad and how it will effect my future. It is now my final year of university, and looks like it's time to think of what comes next. I thought it was taken for granted by pretty much everyone that History students like myself  have no career plan until at least ten years after graduation, when a loving mum reaches the end of the line and kicks us out the house. Turns out to be wrong, judging by the number of people who ask what I want to do next year, and the next forty years after that. Whenever people ask me what I want to do after university, all I manage to say is something as earth shattering as "I dunno." What they should know is that I am actually thinking... "WHO KNOWS? LEAVE ME TO WALLOW IN MY CONFUSION YOU NOSY SO AND SO." I'm sure that would go down well in interviews.

I have to keep reminding myself that I should celebrate the fact I don't have a specific job lined up once I finish university. I kind of love the freedom I have to consider a life in another country, jobs that might not even be in existence yet and to change my mind if doesn't end up being right for me. I admit, I might not be so thankful if I don't actually find the job of my dreams, but in the meantime I'll just have to roll with it. Right, panic over. It's time for a cup of tea.

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