Every friendship has a story. Where you met, how you met, why you “gel” and why, after all these years, this person is still particularly special in this minuscule fleck of existence that you call your life. I have a few such people in my little life, one of them is Loreen.
Hi, this is Loreen (with a big bottle of whiskey):
Loreen and I met at uni in 1998. We were enrolled in the same course and ran into each other every now and then, wearing exactly the same clothes on more than one occasion. I know, right? TEENAGE DEATH BY DUPLICATE FASHION. But instead of becoming narky about it, we bonded over our shared fashion sense and became good friends.
Over the course of the years, Loreen and I shared a number of inimitable experiences, from witnessing my little dog rape her little dog to surviving the rather gory death of a gold fish to partying and falling down many a stairs (just to name a few) and when we graduated and started making some mulah, we decided to be flatmates!
My friendship with Loreen has shaped my life more than any other, I think. She was the one who got me through that heartbreak. I mean, it may not sound like a lot to you guys, but Loreen was the one who made sure I would get up every day and shower and brush my teeth and eat a quarter of a slice of toast. She burnt me lavender oil to help me sleep and she made me leave the house, even though all I would do is cry and cry and cry in the car/restaurant/supermarket. I can’t express in words how much energy she invested in me, and I can barely begin to articulate how much I thank her for it.
With all her caring, I eventually became a whole person again.
I left Loreen in 2003 to move to Sydney, and I’m sure in utter spite for what I did, in 2004 she moved all the way to London. We kept in touch sporadically because she’s not an emailer, but you know, she was always up to speed with the loves and lusts of my life, because that’s the most important news to debrief, no?
In 2007, Panu told me he wanted to move to London. I said I’d think about it, but I didn’t really want to leave Sydney and inside I was in agony, wondering how I was going to leave this perfect guy I’d just met. But alas, I didn’t have to. Loreen and Felix —
— Hi, this is Felix, he air guitars:
Loreen and Felix got engaged and decided to get married in France, their most favourite country. If there’s one wedding I would cross the world for, you bet it’s Loreen’s. And since I was going all the way to France for her, I figured I’d get a visa and stay a while and… I’m still with Panu today.
You see how she’s shaped my life? YOU SEE? It’s crazy.
Anyway, Loreen’s done a bunch of fabulous things in her life, but I have to say that the best was to marry Felix. Loreen doesn’t cook. Felix does. And he’s awesome. Last weekend they invited us all over to their place for a steamboat. Felix had prepared two pots of stock – one chicken and one tom yum, and all the usual goodies (fish balls, fish cakes, chicken, beef, eggs, fish, noodles, tofu, cabbage, mushrooms, SO MUCH AWESOME STUFF!)
We ate like kings.
I made a matcha sponge cake. With white chocolate and almond cream, naturally.
Some of us drank.
We all had a bloody great night.
|Matcha sponge cake with white chocolate & almond cream|
|White chocolate & almond cream:
150 grams double cream / heavy cream
60 grams white chocolate, chopped
Matcha sponge cake [NOTE:THIS RECIPE ONLY MAKES ONE LAYER]:
This recipe is adapted from Scandi Foodie – her recipe creates a chiffon cake. I found mine wasn’t as fluffy as a chiffon cake and came out more like a sponge cake. So imma call it that.