Since I’ve been incapacitated with the shoulder surgery, I’ve really been unable to do any cooking1. Even opening a tin is a two-handed operation, so OH has Taken Over The Kitchen. You see, he’s lived through two long periods with me being unable to cook, and this time he decided that he should learn to cook, so that we could both eat better. As this is something I have frequently told him that he ought to do, I was pretty happy to hear it.
At first, he needed me there right by his elbow2 to guide him through every step, but he’s learned pretty quickly. Now I can sit in the lounge for most of the time, and he’ll call through to ask specific questions, whereupon I can get up and help in a more involved way where necessary. He’s cooked shepherd’s pie, making a nice soffrito as a base, cooking the meat in proper beef stock – no stock cubes – and serving it with gravy and fresh brussels’ sprouts. OK, so he used instant mash with a little grated cheese for extra flavour. You can’t have everything. It tasted great!
OH has made me some great salads. He’s oven-baked chicken breasts, made pasta sauces, which he served with fresh pasta and nary a jar in sight, and he’s made pies with a option of oven chips or new potatoes – plus gravy for me, because I love gravy.
He’s made beef stew completely from scratch in the pressure cooker, and served it with rice3.
He has roasted vegetables, taking fresh onions, peppers, courgettes, potatoes, baby tomatoes, baby parsnips, mushrooms, butternut squash, and rosemary, and learning to clean, peel and chop them appropriately and getting the oil hot and all, despite his extreme respect for the oven and spitting fat.
He made a very good goat cheese and asparagus risotto the other day. All fresh ingredients, with nothing tinned, or instant (unless you are pernickety enough to call a basic but purchased chicken stock (Waitrose) or dried herbs ‘instant’).
Yesterday, he made meat pasties, which we had hot yesterday with roasted vegetables, and cold today with oven chips and brussels. So sue me – I love sprouts so much that I’ll eat them in the oddest combinations! Anyway, after we’d finished, the following conversation ensued:
OH: “Was that OK?”
Me: “Yes, thank you, it was lovely!”
OH: “I gave you the one with the thinner pastry, because I thought it would be easier for you to manage one-handed. This one was a bit harder to cut.”
Me: “I picked mine up and ate it with my fingers.”
OH: “Oh … I didn’t think of that. Well, you could have had this one then. I didn’t know you were going to pick it up with your feet and thong it into oblivion!”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Word Salad continues. No worries – we’re off to the Papworth sleep clinic again on Tuesday! Maybe they’ll come up with a plan …
1 – Even opening a tin is a two-handed operation, and I have zero strength in my left arm, and strict admonitions as to what I’m allowed to attempt.
2 – “Move back a bit, you’re in my light”. “Where did you go? I need you!” Etc.
3 – The rice was microwaved from a packet, but come on – he’s only been learning to cook for a few weeks, and he’s done some pretty impressive stuff without recourse to very much in the way of pre-prepared foods. More than most people, I reckon!