Do what you do. Love what you do.
Find the thing that makes you smile. It really is that simple.
Consider a fancy degree and shrug. Consider all the disadvantages: early mornings, ugly shoes, a permanent coating of flour. And jump up and down with excitement anyway.
Make a pros and cons list and screw it up. Work with your visceral reaction. What does your stomach tell you? Does your choice fill you with energy or make you nauseous?
Does it scare you? Then it is probably what you really want.
Do you know where it will lead? Does it matter if it makes you smile? Like running, you pick a tree in the distance and aim for it. When you arrive, you pick another tree. You keep going.
For me, at the moment, it really is that bloody simple. I am going to keep running. I am going to be a pâtissière. You can find me in a little boutique in Montmartre, covered in flour and full of joy.
(It might seem odd to offer a recipe for roast chicken instead some high-faluting dessert. But pastry people’s trousers are called pied de poule, chicken feet.
And this is the most beautiful thing I have made recently: crackly savoury skin ten times better than the simple mustard-spice marinade I stirred together. Peppery outsides, juicy insides. Two minutes preparation. Guaranteed to make you smile.)
Roast chicken with mustard and cumin
4 whole chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs) skin on
2 tbs dijon mustard
4 tbs crème fraiche
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
Preheat oven to 180C. Cover a large oven tray with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix together everything but the chicken. Don’t be afraid to use more mustard as the taste fades slightly when baked. Drop two chicken legs into the bowl and slather all over with the mustard sauce. Be generous – there should be a thick layer like a ladies’ face mask, not like a layer of suncream. Place the legs on the tray and repeat. (Make some more sauce if there isn’t enough left.)
With the legs evenly spaced out on the tray, put it in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. The skin should be a dark crackly brown; if you poke the insides with a sharp knife, the juices should run clear.
Serve immediately, with a grated carrot salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and fresh bread to soak up the last drops.