I took this photo on Friday morning, long before the office, long before my streetcar ride, and even before I showered or changed out of my pyjamas. It's a marinade for pork ribs. Simple enough, it's a sticky concoction of oyster sauce, thick honey, garlic, dried chilli flakes and whole star anise.
What I had done before I prepared the marinade, was ease into my slippers, and sip on some warm coffee while reading the Nigel Slater recipe I was about to make.
I was calm, content, and completely outside my usual weekday morning mindset. Normally, I wake up later, but from the moment I wake up, the focus is on the workday ahead: the newspaper, the radio, the BBC, the New York Times, NPR, the Guardian ... whatever will fill my head with ideas for the story meeting that day.
Yet, on Friday, I got up earlier, and created an hour-long buffer between the alarm clock and the workday. And I filled that hour with kitchen-puttering. And when I was done, I started my usual routine of rabid news consumption. Only this time, the coffee had a chance to kick in, and my mind was allowed an entire hour of wake-up time before I thrust it into its daily news-junky mode.
I think I'm on to something here. I must wake up, putter for an hour. And only after that should I turn into a mad producer lady.
It also reminds me of my favourite coffee table book, A Year of Mornings. Decidedly not from the minds of mad producer ladies like me.