The loss of time, the time consuming obsession that writing becomes and vanilla bean yogurts to fuel such bouts of creativity

After I wrote down "The End" on the last page of my mystery novel, I assumed I was done with that, with those characters and their lives, even though the ending was a sort of a cliffhanger with the girl not getting the guy, despite finding out who the killer was. I assumed I would just go back to having time - and that is such a funny commodity, one that whenever I think of, Einstein's face pops to mind, hey, I'm just that sort of person! - in which to pursue other ventures, like resting, reading, watching my favourite shows that have been put on the back burner for quite a while now, and going back to my fantasy novel and get a head on with volume III. Turns out I was wrong. As I was proof reading and editing - something I'm definitely not good at! - a couple more stories came to mind, featuring the same characters. And I wanted the girl to get the boy, actually, it was more a case that I wanted the boy to get that particular girl. So I had to go back there, to Wytchfield Brae and its locals, to another gruesome crime, this one maybe a bit more on the shocking side of it.

And since a few of the people who either follow this blog or the facebook account, or even instagram, have evidenced a certain interest in reading these novels - I do not claim them to be any good, keep that in mind! - I write, I published the mystery one. You can find it here, if you care to take a peek. I appreciate any comments you may have, suggestions, advice, really, all's good to make me evolve and be better at it. And that's where we're standing now. I thought I was going into restive mode, I am not. I can't remember the last time I did my nails, or polished them, I shy from wearing sandals because my feet are not ready for them, I should have dyed my hair already, and yet the dye sits inside its pack on my bathroom shelves! I have no time, whatsoever. The free time I have from writing, I have used it to cook, style and photograph for this blog, along with writing the posts. But I know I must make some changes on that. 

At least I have managed to stay away from writing over the weekends, and do other stuff. And also after dinner, while I allow the kid to watch half an hour of cartoons and the husband sits at his laptop working on his all time obsession - LaTex, that is, it's amazing that when we met he already had an obsession with this, and it hasn't died, it just grows! - I have managed to not go and sit at my desk for said half hour, writing or revising, instead I have been picking up a book - currently Stephen King's "Doctor Sleep" and boy, what a page turner it is!! - and reading, letting my mind go and visit other stories, other worlds. That is such a good thing, to be able to read a book and travel to somewhere else, to someone else. Now all I have to be able to do is to maybe put down the story once a week so I can sit and watch an episode of Vikings, or Outlander, or Mr. Selfridge or even Miss Fisher if I can get my hands on her. While I do my nails and wait for the nail polish to dry and set.

But it ain't no easy fit. I know I can get caught up in a web of obsession, when I have to write down every single dialogue or narrative that pops into mind while I'm doing chores or walking to and fro school runs, or exercising... at least I'm back to exercising four days a week again, which was something I had completely put asside while I wrote "A Study for Love". Despite having to take plenty of walks when it comes to my son's school day, I miss workouts that focus on specific body parts, as weight lifting for the arms, abdominal work, stretching and stepper for the legs and bum. It's about the only thing I like doing when it comes to fitness, I detest gyms and I detest jogging, so I have a stepper and a pair of weights and that's what I use around the house, alternating between them. Does it make me loose weight? Nope. Do I care? Not really, as what I aim for is feeling energised and awake, pumped up, muscles loose and exercised, an overall feeling of excitement and happiness. That's about what I want out of my daily workouts, and the strecthing, of course, since I spend so many hours hunched over my laptop!!

And in order to maximize my time, I have been in the habit of photographing together two different features for two different posts. This time I did it with the previous recipe and post, that of the Almond Yogurt Cake and the vanilla yogurts that take centre stage on this post. I love yogurt. Really, I do. I guess it comes out from having grown up eating yogurts all my life, as an afternoon break whenever the weather was warmer. I don't like yogurts in the cold weather, unless I use them to make some sort of dip - oh boy, I am so addicted to dips made with yogurt! - or to cook a strogonoff. But when Spring finally hits town, I want yogurts on my fridge, so I can gobble one while I'm sitting at my desk, yes, you guessed it, writing. Or editing, or proofreading, or blogging. Whatever I am doing, that's not important, the yogurt is. My favourite one will always be the unflavoured, natural yogurt, homemade, in one of those yogurt makers. See, I really worked on my hubby so we would get one, a few years ago. I nagged and nagged and nagged untill he finally caved in and we bought one. If I tell you you cannot imagine my son's happiness when it happened, trust me for it is beyond words. I think the kid loves yogurts even more than I do!

Despite being all for the natural yogurt, this time I really wanted to go a bit further and we decided to add some vanilla bean to it. The creaminess and the intensity of flavour are beyond anything out there. I mean, those vanilla yogurts that you buy at the supermarket, those were my second in line all time faves, and yet, after having tasted this, I can never go back to that. The smokiness of the vanilla bean is such that it infused the yogurt with a delicate, wooden palate, very subtle but at the same time with an intensity of aromas that makes the tastebuds sing, and sing an opera at that! I really hope you try this recipe at home, a yogurt maker is realy a very good investment, and you'll never want a store bough one ever again!!

So this is what you need to do, using a yogurt maker:

  • 1 l whole or semi skimmed milk
  • 1 natural yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
Start by sterylising your yogurt cups. Mix half a litre of milk with the natural yogurt on a jug until it's smooth. Cut the vanilla pod lenghtwise and scrape the seeds, adding them to the milk and yogurt mix. You can keep the rest of the pod to make your own vanilla extract - by infusing it with either rhum or vodka inside a botlle, on a dark place - or to make your vanilla sugar, by cutting the pod smaller and adding it to your sugar. The taste and the aroma will slowly infuse and it is just heavenly. After the vanilla seeds are fully mixed, add the three tablespoons of powdered milk and whisk slightly, until it's dissolved. Pour into the yogurt cups and top each one off with the rest of the milk. PLace the cups inside the yogurt maker and now all you have to do is start it according to the instructions, and wait for them to be ready. Mine takes about 12 hours, and afterwards we always allow the pots to cool off a little, we lid them and keep them in the fridge, before eating. They taste so good, and rich and creamy, you'll never want any other type of yogurt!


  1. realmente babe, loss of time é o que me parece que não existe na tua vida, bom waste of time não há de certezinha, que passa a vida super ocupada! mas ainda bem, sempre que o resultado são receitas tão deliciosas e fotografias tão apelativas como estas!

    1. ai mulher, tu desengana-te, que ele há dias em que chega a hora de ir buscar o puto á escola e eu penso para onde é que foram aquelas horas tooooodas em que não fiz nada de jeito, andei a anhar e a coçar a micose como se não houvesse amanhã...


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