Summer Holidays, Depression and Food

At the beginning of the summer holidays I was able to be full throttle Mum and still write for OTC. After just 2 weeks I experienced a PTSD trigger that resulted in a 3 day depression episode (for me an episode is feelings of fear/exhaustion/inadequacy that make simple tasks very hard). I made a decision that I couldn’t simultaneously do OTC justice, be the Mum I wanted to be for the kids’ holidays and keep my mental health under control so blogging had to go on hold.

So this is my first post in almost six weeks and I’ve been a little nervous about writing again after such a long hiatus. The serotonin-depleted part of my brain has been trying to sabotage my confidence with questions like ‘Are my recipes actually helpful, are they easy enough to follow, is my writing good enough?’ All these doubts simmer away at the back of my brain but today I’m writing in an effort to prove them wrong so I thought I’d give you a quick look at the food and love that peppered the OTC missing weeks.

Food Tourism

Like thousands of others we had to cancel our holidays plans (no bottomless Beaujolais and mountains of fromage for me this year…*sob*) so we did a little traveling around the UK for lovely day trips with the kids. In amongst the playgrounds, sandcastle-building and swimming pools I found time to pop into independent food shops. I get such inspiration seeing great ingredients but I’m also constantly ready to eat so buying lovely food makes me really happy. One of my favourite hauls was in Harrogate where my love of jars and the deli-counter culminated in one of the best anti-pasti platters I’ve ever made.

Paul’s 40th

Paul turned 40 in August and we had a wonderful celebration, whilst missing our Canadian family a lot. I arranged various surprises for Paul’s special birthday including two incredible Tomahawk Steaks from I first saw Tomahawks at Granville Island in Vancouver and squirreled it away that one day I’d love to cook them so Paul’s 40th was the perfect opportunity. At 1kg each, these two steaks fed 10 of us alongside two sides of ribs, a side of salmon, corn cobs, mango salsa and new potatoes straight from my Dad’s garden. It was a truly memorable day with seemingly endless food.

Days out and Pizza

With some restrictions still in place throughout the summer, the kids and I did lots of playing outside, picnics and paddling. I made lots of sandwiches and snacks and pizza was dinner on many more than one occasion. Food was about fitting in with our time rather than finding time to cook. It felt good to serve beans on toast for dinner and not worry that they’d had it a few days ago. The kids were happy and that was more than enough.

What’s Coming up in Autumn on OTC

This is one of my favourite seasons because the harvest comes in which means an incredible array of vegetables so next week will be harvest week focusing on foods I’ve harvested from our garden. As the weather cools I’ll be sharing comforting one pot recipes as well as North American pumpkin favourite and recipes ideal for Halloween and Bonfire Night.


Published by One Tough Cooker

I'm the writer at One Tough Cooker. My experience with post-natal depression has shaped my appreciation for the family cook. We make thousands of meals to feed our families' tummies, hearts and minds.

2 thoughts on “Summer Holidays, Depression and Food

  1. Great to see you are reposting again Claire. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Autumn related posts ( my favourite season 🎃🍁🍂) I find your openness towards your depression is so refreshing also, thanks for sharing.


    1. Thank you Laura, that’s so kind of you. I love Autumn and can’t wait to be back in boots 🙂 Realising I have to coexist with the depression has made it easier to talk about. It doesn’t define me but it’s part of me.


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