It’s been a funny old food time.
I’ve been cooking for my parents since they were ill. My poor parents: they produced three children, two of whom are quite talented cooks but they got me as resident chef and yes, I am the third one!
Mum didn’t eat much (anything) while she was in hospital so when she came out we tried hard to tempt her with what she fancied. She made a face at some of her normal treats (avocado pear) but was willing to try another one (cottage cheese and pineapple – BLEUGH, what’s that all about?) She couldn’t eat my carrot and potato soup because of the garlic… but if I stuck to simple, traditional (dare I say it) nursery food, we seemed to be okay.
After about three days (of fourteen!) my repertoire was running thin. My Dad is a carnivore through and through. His freezer is full of grown up meat, like chops (BLEUGH on the bone?) Or with names like chuck steak or braising steak that I don’t know what to do with. Some of the packets were entirely unlabelled. (I took comfort that there was a large bag labeled with ‘cat or dog meat’ and assumed that the unidentifiable steak I used one day was actually for human consumption.)
Gradually, Mum’s heightened senses returned to normal and I managed to get her to eat my version of Snob’s Guacamole, well, okay, I missed out the chili peppers.
Last Thursday, while I waited for the taxi to take me to Heathrow, my Mum and Dad were preparing supper. It was a joint effort; the first evening meal they’d had to make since before they were ill. Dad cooked leeks from the garden and par boiled potatoes while Mum layered it into the oven dish.
I watched while they prepared the leek and potato gratin from a vegetarian French cookbook. And I thought, ‘yeah, my job here is done.’
My first choice of food when I got home: stir fried cabbage and garlic. Yum.