I have been an early riser and a very active person throughout my working life no matter where my wife and I have lived. And because I was so absorbed in my work I never had the time or the inclination to learn how to cook. My cooking was Bar-b-Q which lets face it is not really refined or taxing on the imagination. About two years ago my wife ended up in hospital and was not able to do any cooking at all. Due to an accident in our garden.Therefore there was no preparation time to cover the eventualities of this kind event, and I was left to fend for myself. I do not really like fast food because my wife is such a good cook the net result was that I have literally been spoiled for all of our married life no matter where we lived. And I can tell you we have lived in 9 countries around the world each one with a different challenge in the cooking department everything from different ingredients to having to learn about different native foods. I know someone reading this would reason why not just look up the information on the internet. Well there are several good reasons for not being able to do that, the biggest one was that the technology had not arrived in the world, and many of the places we lived in did not even have telephone communication. So we carried around with us a moderately sized library of cooking books we acquired over time. Why I mention this is because today to find out How to do something it is as easy as Google.
Well I digress. Here I was having to fend for myself. So I decided this can’t be too hard and I sat down with some of the more simple recipe books and with the assistance of the internet. I managed to cook my first meal unsupervised all on my own. It was fish cakes peas and mashed potatoes and green beans. Not very adventurous I know but a good healthy meal nevertheless. At the end of about a week I had prepared several meals all different and in my opinion all very delicious. When my wife returned from the hospital some 10 days later she obviously could not be expected to do any domestic activities because of her limited mobility, and her required convalescence. I continued to prepare the meals for both of us. My wife was surprised at my new found but basic talent.
My ability to be able to cook I find to be very relaxing and I do not find it a chore. In-fact I treat every meal as a project (I have been in construction all of my working life) so I tend to plan the meal including the timing of the meal to the table with such precision that it is impossible for anyone else to be in the kitchen at the same time as myself. And my biggest thrill is when I prepare a meal that the meal comes together, on hot plates and good presentation. The ability to be able to cook has been one of the Unexpected Pleasures of my retirement. I find I am now being more adventurous and I also bake all of our baked goods. We very rarely purchase bread from the store, because we enjoy our own home-made variety more.
I certainly would recommend cooking to anyone trying to find a very relaxing out let.
Sefton, I remember you sitting at our table in Alaska telling us chicken stories from your days in the African Bush. Well I am cooking as well and also enjoying it. Almost as much as the eating. We are in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, also a beautiful place and prospering. A couple of years ago I tried retirement but it was too much work so I have just started a new Company, Revient LLC. We have almost a million board feet of antique, recycled timbers from 10 warehouses in the mid-Atlantic area that we are marketing. It is amazing material much of it from the late 1800’s, hand hewn and joined the old way. Walnut, cherry, maple, all kinds of oak, hickory, ash and a lot of as yet unidentified hardwoods. We have one of the largest supplies of American chestnut (now extinct) that has lots of character (like yourself) and finishes up beautifully.
We would love to see you again and come through Seattle often on our way back and forth to Alaska.