Thursday, 7 July 2011

A tribute to my grandpas cullinary skills and a lesson that we all need to cook, even if only once a week

In all households, there is a main cook/chef whatever we fancy ourselves. Someone who regularly cooks the meals, for many many generations it was the women, there were many reasons for this, but I'm a bit of a feminist so I don't think that just having male bits 50+  years ago and sadly some people today still think that way, means that there is absolutely no reason for men to have no idea how to cook a thing!!

A perfect example of this is my grandpa, my beloved gran was quickly taken from us 4 years ago from cancer. She was a whizz in the kitchen, cakes and slices etc were here speciality and jams etcs. She did a mean roast etc but as most Aussie, English/Irish based women of that era, dinner was generally meat and three veg, no pizza, stir Fry's curries etc! Grandpa never did anything in the kitchen apart from washing and wiping up, at times. When gran passed we were all so worried, how was he going to cope! The ironic thing is that now he is cooking pork roast dinner with awesome crackle!!! (he won't even call his children or grandchildren to share it with him so he can enjoy it himself hehe, go grandpa), he is cooking soups, all kinds of things. And the most amazing thing is its all from memory. I tell grandpa, who is 83 by the way that I can hear gran cursing him, all those years she busted her butt cooking for him and he never attempted to cook until after she had passed away!

At our house I'm the main cook, mainly because I love cooking and I'm more experienced without blowing my own trumpet too much.  Since the accident, I have found cooking to be like a therapy, for me some mornings I wake up thinking about what I'm going to cook that night and go to sleep thinking about what to cook for the next day or next few days.

But the severe neck spasms have knocked me for six! It's been four weeks now, and I've been completely out of action. My beloved husband Poppa Smurf has been cooking some awesome meals, his confidence has grown as time as progressed and take away has become something that he is less likely to suggest more frequently. He is enjoy experimenting with food, adding ingredients and watching me enjoy his creations. At times in a slightly zombie state (thanks to muscle relaxants) I wonder into the kitchen and stir the pan, or fiddle with what he is cooking and I soon get sent back to bed or the lounge and out of the kitchen. I think what has encouraged his cooking is me being so sick and unable to come and nag, we all do it, 'why don't you add that', 'are you really using that pan?', those words just come out without thinking, its like verbal diarrhoea. Then they just think why bother if they are only going to be nagged, we all do it no matter how much we think we don't.

So the morale of my post is to make sure that both partners are cooking, even if its only once a week. And if you have kids, boys or girls, make them from the age of about 12 (I think that's how old I was), or younger , have them cook a family dinner once a week. It teaches them so many things, particularly if they are coeliac, or have any allergy, its so important to learn the skills of how to cook a nutritional family meal, that adheres to the various allergy problems of the family members.

This is also a bit of a tribute to grandpa, at 83, what an impressive effort to be cooking all those things (a large majority from memory). Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Grandpa I love you so much xxxxx

So all men out there if my 83 year old grandpa can get out there and cook a roast, you took are quite cable of getting in the kitchen and doing something too.

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