On the morning of the 5th January I awoke with mince pie crumbs on my jumper and an inability to come to terms with the year ahead. The stale crumbs clung to me much like how I was clinging to the previous two weeks of festive debauchery, the need to come to terms with reality quickly silenced by another piece of stollen. But the holiday was over, and I had no choice but to face reality head on. I decided to tackle it by opening up a packet of watercress and shovelling it into my mouth much like I would a pack of salt and vinegar McCoy’s crisps. I thought that validating my masculinity would be a good way to start the year, but the peppery leaves were a bit too much for me. What I needed was a vehicle to help me make the transition to being a real person – so I decided to make pesto.
I got two cloves of regret from the previous year, threw them in a mortar with some salt and proceeded to grind them to a pulp with a pestle. I poured in a glug of olive oil and then added the watercress/expectations for the year ahead and continued to work it into a sludge whilst I toasted some almond flakes of uncertainty. Flecks of green hit the kitchen worktops as I added more olive oil, the vague sense of reality that was binding this whole thing together, and it was all finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice and some grated parmesan which provided the zesty and piquant sense of conviction and willpower.
I think I used a bit too much regret, but I’m sure that once I coated some boiled new potatoes with the mixture, their comforting starchiness would soon help me forget any garlicky 2014 woes. I could have used a food processor, but a pestle and mortar validated the masculinity I was trying so hard to assert. As I stood in the kitchen with green splashes on my jumper, I could already feel myself feeling more real by the second.