In mid-November, my husband and I took our girls to Ikea to grab some things my sister needed us to send her overseas. It was meant to be a quick in-and-out trip, but just before we hit the registers, there was a massive Christmas display. I was drawn to the twinkling lights, the shiny baubles and the rolls of pretty ribbon. I wandered the aisles, completely forgetting my family even existed. In the display I saw beautifully decorated glass jars, and I imagined them filled with delicious homemade shortbread.
Eventually I pulled myself away and left the shop. But my mind kept coming back to the jars and several weeks later, there I was at Ikea, loading 12 of them into a trolley. I arrived at the Christmas stall, hoping to stock up on all the paraphernalia needed to imitate the pretty display. But the stall had been ravaged. Possibly by looters.
“Excuse me, where’s all the Christmas stuff gone?” I asked.
“Sold out, sweetheart” said the sales guy. “It all went pretty quick.”
I bought the jars anyway and headed home. I can probably find other pretty stuff somewhere else, I decided. I pulled into the Coles carpark on the way home and bought butter, flour, custard powder and corn flour, and I took it home. I was ready for a mammoth bake off.
I stood in the kitchen. And that’s where I was when I remembered that I hate baking.
The jars are sitting in three boxes in my bedroom. The bags of flour, corn flour, custard powder and icing sugar keep getting shifted around the kitchen.
And the silly thing is, it’s not the first time I’ve done this.