Florets #9: A Recipe for Disaster
by Yazz James
A guide to making me. God forbid you ever decide another one is needed.
You Will Need:
1 Bottle of Lush Twilight Body Spray
100ml Tears (caused by Happiness)
80ml Tears (caused by Films)
40ml Tears (caused by Sadness)
21 Years of Overthinking
300g of Self-Crazing Flour
12 Pages of Unfinished Books
Vampire Weekend’s Discography
2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Confidence
The Obvious Child Screenplay
50g of Internalised Misogyny
Ink of 1 Biro Pen
1 Filled Journal
Socks and Scrunchie (must be colour coordinated)
Top of Your Choice
1 Pair of Doc Martens
1 Pair of Elaborate Earrings
Hundreds and Thousands – Student Debt Flavour
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. At this point you should put Vampire Weekend’s debut album on. Queue the others behind, but feel free to play a couple of Sam Cooke tunes or Julia Jacklin ballads throughout too.
I’ve always been a crier, so I’d start with the tears. Combine them all in a large bowl: happy, film-caused and the salty, sad ones too. That’s a good basis for my over-emotional centre, I think. The film-caused ones shouldn’t be very hard to find, but I can assure you that a screening of If Beale Street Could Talk – or even just forcing me to listen to the score – will get you a good 50ml.
Once the tears are well blended and you can no longer hear sniffles, it’s time to add the years of overthinking. I’m someone who’s very much in my own head, so again, it’s essential that this is added early on.
At this point you should also add in bicarbonate of confidence and then the self-crazing flour. Stir it in a spoonful at a time. If you add too much, you’ll know from the low hum of mumbling – it’s the sound of my brain going a mile a minute. To calm the babbling mess in front of you, you can add a few drops of biro ink (it’ll trick me into thinking I’ve written my thoughts out). This should help lull your mixture, returning it to a smooth consistency.
Now, the book-ish bits. A journal, the Obvious Child screenplay and pages from books I never finished should all be shredded. Shredding them will ensure that some stray thoughts, quotes and facts will stick better than others, leading to erratic fragments of information being shared over time, I’m not the most eloquent speaker.
If you’re concerned with which kinds of books to tear from, there should be a range of fiction – I’ve attempted some classic novels and fluffy romances – and non-fiction. I often abandon music books and have struggled to get through some on global politics too. Sweep the shreds into the bowl and stir well. The mixture should start to thicken and come together to form a ball.
Use inky fingers to remove the dough from the bowl. Rotate it around in your hands so it's lightly stained and face down. It should be playdough-like. Known for being a people pleaser, it’s absolutely essential that I can take on many forms. In search of a keen university student? Easy. An internally-exhausted pub buddy? Of course. Someone to laugh along with you even when you’ve upset them? I’ll do it!
Next, it’s time to add the misogyny. Start by dusting on the counter-top and onto the ball of dough itself and knead. Remember, this is internalised, so you’ve really got to work it into the dough. We want it to be pretty deep, but not so much that she can never unlearn it. It might help to read out some typical phrases at this point: “you’re not like other girls”, “wow, I can’t believe you’ve seen [insert very well-known A24 film]”, “I’ve never met a girl who knows [popular band]”.
You’re going to want to knead the dough until it’s elastic: she’s got to stretch, and I mean really stretch. I’ve been known to overextend myself and so the dough must be able to span the entire city of Brighton & Hove. I’m always trying to do everything for everyone and it’s my own fault. I make these plans, I say yes to work opportunities and my voluntary roles are my decision. It’s bad, but if I’m being honest, I get bored and upset with myself if I’m not busy.
Now that your dough is ready, it’s time to shape her. The original Yazz is about 5”1, she’s got some curly hair and a cheesy grin. Yours might take another form though, it’s expected that they all end up being the same once baked anyway.
Before you place her in the oven, she needs to be coated in Lush’s Twilight – my signature scent. A quick spritz should cover the surface.
Bake for around 25 minutes, or the length of This is the Day by The The when played five times in a row. It’s a common habit of mine and should be the perfect cooking time.
Remove from the oven and dress with dungarees, a pair of elaborate earrings, doc martens, and the colour co-ordinated sock and scrunchie combo. To finish, sprinkle on some student debt flavoured hundreds and thousands.