At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Introducing the Ganache-Elf.

Ok, take a deep breath, and here we go. My first real attempt at a blog. I’m not very good at long introductions so I’ll try to be as quick and as straightforward as possible. You see there’s a few things, before we get started, that I would really like you to know about this blog, and about me, and the motives I had for actually writing this. I freely admit I am a complete ditto when it comes to computers. Me and technology; I’m afraid to say we are an incompatible mix. So why would a twenty-year old student like me actually go to the bother of writing a blog? It’s not that I’m bored, or creative, or an avid writer or anything. Well, I used to - at one time - be as crazy for writing as I now consider myself to be for baking. But things have changed over the past few years. More on that later, anyway. Best stay on this point and not go off on tangents like I always seem to have a tendency to do. So, I here ye all say, why have you chosen to write this “yolk”? (yolk:my favourite Irish colloquial which could refer to absolutely anything at all and has absolutely nothing at all to do with eggs.) And the cocoa-stained apron, what’s all that about?? Who, essentially, is the Ganache-Elf?
Well, I’ll do my best to answer these questions, right here, right now. As I mentioned above, Ganache-Elf is a small, blonde, twenty-year old student living in Ireland and studying English - well, trying to. And what else can we say about her?
Just a few months ago, Ganache Elf realised something that she had already known for a long, long time, but had been consciously refusing to openly acknowledge and admit to herself and to those she loved. Ganache-Elf - ie, me - realised that she had been suffering with a mild eating disorder for roughly seven years; and that, for a very long time, her relationship with food has been an unhealthy and obsessive one.
Yet, at the same time - while my disorder continued to overwhelm and engulf me, making me feel miserable, washed-out, useless, inferior, stupid - it’s a long and complex list of adjectives which I hope you will come to understand as I progress with my blogging journey - there was something which not even the awfulness of this crippling condition could diminish my enjoyment of. That something, being baking. Cooking came later, but baking was where it all began, really, for me. My first attempt at baking by myself when I was a fifteen year old experimenting in her Mammy’s kitchen spawned an enthusiasm and a passion which continued to grow and augment all through my latter years at school and then my first few years at college, while, simultaneously, that sinister and awful thing most of us choose to term as an eating disorder lingered malevolently in the background, unnoticed and unknown by everyone except me. It was a curious combination, I suppose, looking back on it now. Here was a girl who obviously loved to bake and was spending ninety percent of her time in the kitchen, preparing the family meal, peeling vegetables, rapidly stirring the contents of bubbling saucepans; or, more often than not, with an apron tied securely around her trim waist and with flour and chocolate smeared upon her hands as she set about producing another baked concoction of some kind. And yet, simultaneously, her thoughts and motives were constantly dominated by perverse and abnormal sentiments and attitudes towards her own eating and food in general.
Now this is where the blog really comes into play, I suppose. As you can see from the description, I want to beat this thing. Basically I want to kick my eating disorder’s ass. But I knew very well, when I made that conscious decision sometime in May 2014, the road to recovery was going to be a long and difficult one. I wondered if it were truly possible, really achievable, at all. But, fortunately for me, help was at hand in a number of ways. Of course, the love and support of my amazing friends and family was indispensable to me in moving forward. But I had a few weapons of my own, too, which I could willingly utilise. Yep, my pretty shitty but equally awesome electiric food mixer which had been handed down to me from my Mam from her own baking days; and, also, a can of hot chocolate. I get through tonnes of this stuff every day. It’s my favourite thing in the world and I can safely say that if I knew I was going to pop my clogs and that I had to choose my favourite thing ever to eat or drink to have before I went, it would be a big, steaming mug of hot chocolate sprinkled with halved marshmallows and Maltesers and such like, complete with a teaspoon to scoop out all the lovely gunky chocolate powder stuff that’s settled at the bottom of the mug.
And so, those are the tools I have at my disposal. My own tools. How they are going to help me conquer my eating disorder - or should that be, how they are helping me to conquer it - should become clearer to you as we go along. But to put it simply, my love for baking is helping me to enjoy life, and enjoy food, once again. In striving to improve my baking I’m taking an active stance against my eating disorder in that I can happily make whatever I choose without any misgivings about how eating such produce could result in weight gain. I’m eager to try new things, explore new eating possibilities, both savoury and sweet. Alongside that, feeling free to indulge in all the foods I love - hot chocolate especially - is now something I do every day. This all stands in complete opposition to those dark and unhappy days when I was at my worst. There was fasting, denial, and hunger. But that’s all changed now, for the better.
I hope this makes sense to you, but anyway, if it’s not very clearcut now, I hope that it will become so further on. I’m just remembering now that I promised to be as brief as possible in this intro. Doesn’t seem right now as if I have managed to keep that promise, so apologies for that. Bear with me, I am nearly finished now with what I must tell you first, honest.
 And so, this is what my blog is going to be all about. Me, my eating disorder, and my baking. But hey, what’s with the name, Ganache-Elf? And what are the other motives I have for writing this anyway that I mentioned? Well. Just realised now that this post is like wayyyyy too long, for a “short” introduction that I had originally intended at the beginning. So forgive me for referring you to my next post (and my soon to be second successful blog. Some achievement I know!!! ) . After all, the cookies that I popped into the oven before I sat down to finish this certainly smell like they’re done. There’s a tantalising aroma beginning to waft its way through the house; my little balls of dough must now have magically transformed themselves into gooey, risen, chocolatey rounds of scrumptiousness while I was finishing this post; and so this is where I must leave you for now. Can’t have them burning, now, or’s Ganache Elf won’t be able to eat any, and that just wouldn’t be fair at all.
Oh! Better explain this pic. The cake in the centre’s mine, the one with the chocolate house on it. It’s a while back now but this was my decorated chocolate cake entry for the Tullamore Show in August 2009. Me and my Dad made the chocolate bricks using a toy brick moulder.

No comments:

Post a Comment