Writing Prompt #36 Do you like cooking?

Dinner

I love watching the cooking programmes on the TV, mainly BBC Master Chef, at least I used to until I discovered after a year it was all the same sort of thing. Although that does not answer the question whether I actually like to cook. I love the idea of cooking, but the actual work is often in the way. My cooking life became an adventure. In England, land of potatoes and greens,  mum always said “I pity your old man when you get married, he will be living on fish fingers”: not exactly, although even fish fingers have their attraction for a quick meal.

I married a Swiss, the combination of French, German, Italian cooking and yes, the Swiss also have their traditions like Rösti, Fondue and Cervelat salad. I learned it all, I had to with four kids and a hungry husband. Enjoying it is something completely different. Cooks in a restaurant and TV enjoy, because they only cook. The cleaning afterwards is done by their staff, they can just sit down and admire the results, or perhaps not. In the TV world of cooking everything is edible, most of it, they do not have tough meat. Even the chips are served in a neat pile, and can be counted, each one the same size and shape.

Today was quite funny. Mr. Swiss and I were at the supermarket to buy food. Today No. 2 son was also at home, and he does not eat brussel sprouts, he is autistic and probably thinks that green is not a colour you can eat. So we arrived at the butchers counter and our favourite butcher was serving. “Good Morning Angloswiss family” he said although used our real names. We do not go under pseudonyms in public life, only in blogging life. “What  would you like?” and Mr. Swiss and I did not have a clue. We thought perhaps lamb, or chicken, as when No. 1 son is at home we eat meat with lunch, otherwise we do not bother so much.

The butcher showed us lamb filet which was reasonable in price and so we decided “yes”. The butcher, who was also once a cook, said would recommend “schetzeln” which is a Swiss expression for slicing the meat in fine pieces, something that I have never seen in England. Mr. Swiss and I found that a good idea. and the butcher continued recommending how. I said with finely cut onion and pressed garlic, and he complimented the suggestion with fine herbs. I told him I have rosemary and sage growing in the garden and he found that would be excellent, with a fine touch of madeira wine. Mr. Swiss added that Mrs. Angloswiss was a good cook (he had not choice to say anything else, otherwise he could have cooked lunch himself) and so the decision was made. We had a remainder of brussel sprouts in the fridge and cauliflower, so what could possibly be better. This together with pasta would be ideal. The result can be seen above.

Going shopping, buying the food and cooking it by midday is a matter of logistics in the kitchen, but today it worked fine. Forget the meat, it is filet, needs only a few minutes. I boiled the water for the pasta and the brussel sprouts, the cauliflower remains went into the microwave. In the meanwhile I sliced the lamb and an onion, prepared a clove of garlic and spiced the meat with pepper and aromat (a swiss herb that every swiss must have in his food – you even take it on holiday with you in case you cannot buy it where you are going. I did not forget my sprig of rosemary and sage fresh from the garden. About five minutes before eating I fried the meat (in butter, because I fry everything in butter) onions and garlic, added a little wine and dinner was served. That is a meal I more or less enjoyed cooking. No big preparations, or time needed and yes it was a success. Mr. Swiss and I ate the brussel sprouts and son No. 1 was happy with his cauliflower.

Cooking is a necessity and I say make the most of it, we housewives do not have a choice. I have a dish washer, a well organised kitchen, and even a Mr. Swiss that clears it away for me afterwards, just like Master Chef, although I do help of course. It seems the only little problem is presentation. I do not create a work of art with my meal as it would probably be cold by the time I would serve it. It is there to be eaten and not to be hung on the wall as a painting.  It is served from the pans onto the plate. We eat in the kitchen and so the food is on the side where I cook it – no problem. What comes on the table are just the plates with the food and cutlery.  That is how I enjoy cooking. I no longer enjoy having guests for dinner or for a meal, unless they are family and I do not have to put on a show.

Just remember, let’s eat to live and not the other way round, then I am a happy cook.

Writing Prompt #36 Do you like cooking?

15 thoughts on “Writing Prompt #36 Do you like cooking?

  1. Looks like a great meal, Pat! We are only two in our household now and I have learned that I don’t mind cooking; I just don’t like deciding, planning and shopping for meal after meal. We have something here called Home Chef. There are other similar companies, such as Blue Apron. Each week you can go online and choose the meals that you would like delivered. They send all of the ingredients, perishables are packed in ice packs, and recipes and you just need to assemble. We use Home Chef for an average of three meals a week. It gets us to try lots of recipes that I would never come up with on my own and both of us are usually very happy with the results. I even bought all new pots and pans recently (All Clad) because I am actually cooking more.

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    • That sounds interesting. We are three person household. No.1 son eats at home in the evening and twice a week midday, although not always. We usually go shopping every second day and get the weekend shopping on Friday. I need my shopping trips as I actually now enjoy them. We are very good with composing our shopping lists. We are on a cloud list on our iPhones which means we can make additions and we both have the same list when shopping. I worked as a cook for two years in a Kinderkrippe, cooking for 12 adults and 20-30 children daily during the week.

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  2. We did groceries today, too. We didn’t need much, yet somehow, it costs almost as much as it did on Friday when we needed a LOT of things. Sometimes, I find that a bit baffling. I did find some very nice salmon and some even nicer corned beef, but mostly, cooking has lost much of its charms for me. We get tired of food. We want something different … usually Chinese or Japanese or maybe Thai. I don’t even want to go out to eat because it’s just more of the same stuff. Food ennui?

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    • We buy stuff on our list and perhaps more, but you can never judge what it costs. Because No.1 son was eating I had to buy more meat. Tomorrow just me and Mr. Swiss and I was surprised it did not cost more. I don’t mind cooking lunch. Mr. Swiss always deals with the evening meal and I just deal with bits and pieces. I do not really enjoy eating out, prefer the comfort of my own home and I do not really enjoy restaurant food, you never know what it contains.

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  3. I loved reading of your mornings adventure. I even looked up the spice mix aromat, which is made with different base ingredients in South Africa than in Europe. I was confused about one thing though. Which son was having lunch with you. Hugs

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  4. I have been cooking for my family for almost 50 years. Of course sometimes you do not know what to cook, and stuff repeats itself, but somehow I always found a solution. Now that Mr. Swiss and I are both retired and go shopping together, there are two of us making suggestions, which makes it easier.

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