He’s always enjoyed cooking. When he was at university, sometimes I’d get a phone call – “I’ve bought some tuna, can you suggest a recipe?” Or he might ask for a good sauce to serve with chicken, or enquire about the finer points of making gravy.
It does’t happen every day of course, but a few times a week I spend half an hour or more going through a pile of cookery books, deciding what I’m going to serve for dinner. I leave the more experimental things for when the Sage is out and sometimes take the opportunity to cook a fairly elaborate meal containing ingredients he isn’t too fond of. Not that he’s overly fussy, just compared to me.
Having said that, I frequently don’t follow recipes at all, or use one just for guidance. I cook quite simple food most of the time, though I’ve been giving a bit more thought to meals with Elle to cater for. Not that she’s difficult to feed, she eats almost anything too.
It puzzles me that children nowadays seem to consider eating vegetables an ordeal. I never did, it wouldn’t have occurred to me, and I don’t remember any children of my age being fussy about food. Of course, anyone can dislike certain tastes, but that’s not the same thing at all.
Having said that, I probably was less fussy than most. I remember one occasion, I was probably about seven, and my mother opened a tin of celery hearts. Now, cooked celery is about my least favourite vegetable (though I like it in casseroles and soup) but I wouldn’t have dreamed of leaving it on my plate. But I cut into it and found, right in its heart, a slug. A cooked, canned slug. Fortunately, my mother left the room to fetch something from the kitchen at that moment (we were alone together) and I picked it out quickly and slung it in the fire, where it sizzled. Then I ate the celery.