Maude Lewis

Recently, I stumbled across a movie titled ‘Maudie’. Ethan Hawke stars in it, so of course I had to watch it! Am I glad I did. I don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t seen the movie or heard of Maude Lewis, so I’ll try not to give too much away.

Maude or ‘Maudie’ was a Canadian folk artist that was afflicted with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She had no formal training nor did she apparently ever see works of art, yet her paintings are incredible. She was a tiny, humble woman with a refreshingly positive outlook on life. And, a great sense of humour. Gotta love that combination! She’s not had an easy life, yet she went about her days with such gusto, in her own quiet, unique way.

It got me thinking. We live in a world where anything over-the-top is glorified and revered. Flashy, expensive things have become symbols of success. Yet, Maude lived with her husband Everett, in a teeny-tiny house that she covered with her paintings – on walls, window panes, front door, everywhere. And, it looked like the most charming, most welcoming home you’ve ever seen. A far more appealing home than the sprawling houses popping up everywhere these days. Don’t get me wrong, many of these houses are impressive, and yet, this tiny house that the Lewis’ lived in until their death, sustained them, enclosed them in their happiness. They didn’t need a mansion to be happy. Do we? Having said that, I’d like a larger laundry in my home!

As for her paintings, wow! I’d like to own one, if nothing else but to serve as a reminder that simplicity is beauty. She never did have formal lessons, yet her paintings are amazing. She just loved to paint. So, for those of us without formal training in cookery, we have hope!

I see lots of photos of food dressed up to the hilt. Some of those Insta pics do make your mouth water! So much so, I’ve been tempted to dress mine up, too. But, that’s not me. I like my food fresh and wholesome, without additional toppings and sauces that might look good on Insta but are unnecessary and just overkill. The food industry could learn a lot from Maude Lewis’ artistry and humanity – simple, wholesome, honest yet soul-satisfying and enduring.

The Joy of Cooking?

I’ve always said I do love cooking but it’s unrequited…haha! My experiments can be a hit and miss. Okay, maybe more misses than hits, whatever. So, having my own food truck is a little weird.

It took me a good 18 months to get our Churros recipe just right. Mind you, when the season changes, there’s a mad rush to adjust the flour to liquid ratio. That’s super stressful. When my Churros are not up to scratch, I obsess about it for days. I look forward to the next market or event to redeem myself. Often, hubby and kids are left perplexed because to them, the Churros they tasted were fine. That’s the thing. When running your own business, you’re so invested in it, physically, emotionally and mentally, that seemingly minute details are glaringly obvious. Given cooking doesn’t feel the same way about me as I to it, I’m acutely aware of (perceived) imperfections. This explains my head-held-sky-high feeling of intense pride, when we receive unsolicited praise from customers, that have just eaten our food. It’s the best feeling. For me, it’s like cooking and I have a reached an understanding, at least until the next batch of ‘just okay’ Churros!

So, when you’ve enjoyed a meal, especially from a small business owner, do let them know. It would mean the world to them, guaranteed.

My Churros Journey

From climbing the corporate ladder to frying up Churros. It’s not likely to make us millions, but it’s far better than the circus of the corporate world.

It wasn’t all bad working in the office. I learnt a great deal about business processes, conflict resolution, running meetings, creating reports (yuk!) etc. However, I allowed it to take my soul. Quite a dramatic statement, I know but it’s the truth.

Now, I still get stressed but nowhere near what I had experienced in the corporate environment. Plus, I get to be with my boys more. They’re probably not as thrilled as I am about it, though!

As this is my first blog, I’m unsure how to end it so I can get onto cleaning the trailer, for our Pop-up in Canberra this weekend.

Um, bye? ‘Til next time?