I can’ help myself. I have a need to cook or at least be involved in the process.
Recently I had surgery on my right hand which rendered me quite incapacitated – amazing how many things I couldn’t do – including cooking, opening jars, bottles, squeezing toothpaste etc. I was most frustrated one day when my husband had gone out and I wanted to open up a bottle of sparkling red (perfect for late autumn afternoons). I thought it would just be a matter of undoing the foil and then twisting the cork with my left hand. Alas, no. It also required the use of my right hand to hold the bottle tight. Which I could not do.
For the first couple of days while I was still aneasthetised and sedated with pain killers I was quite happy for M to do the cooking – I didn’t even feel the need to make a decision on what to cook/eat. I told him I was happy just to leave it all to him. Day 3 however, things changed. M was going to cook some kangaroo fillets and serve them simply with some greens and I suggestd that the woodfire roasted capsicums would make a good addition – both in terms of colour and texture and flavour. Easy. However in the interim I had been watching Rachel Koo’s Cosmopolitan Cook – an episode where she was in Sweden and had cooked venison steak with pureed celeriac and pickled blackberries. She had also quickly pickled some finely sliced carrot to look like petals. Sounded divine. And I thought that the kangaroo would do well as a substitute for venison. So whilst shopping I was on the look out for something to pickle – not blackberries – but something small and crunchy. I found tiny little baby turnips – perfect. Also found some lovely little dutch carrots and a big celeriac. So when we got home I made up the pickling mixture and trimmed the turnips (bit of an effort given my invalidness) and set them to pickle. I wasn’t sure how they would turn out as all the recipes I had read called for turnips to be pickled for at least a week. Fortunately though they were just right. I had quickly blanched them beforehand but they still retained a nice crunch.
The celeriac was beyond me so I simply gave instructions. Meanwhile M had done his own bit of research into celeriac and had sautéed it with fresh thyme and garlic and then steamed it till it was cooked and mashed with a fork. Not how I would have done it as I had envisage a very smooth white puree spread on the plate and the kangaroo on top, but it was absolutely delicious; so much so that I could have just eaten that on its own!!
I did have to apologise for my intereference but I just couldn’t help myself. While M is a really good cook he’s often a bit pedestrian while I’m always on the look out for new ways of doing things and even though I may not set out to get inspiration from a cooking show or recipe, inevitably I do get inspired and want to create something that sings on the plate and palate.
However having overstepped the mark yesterday I have sworn to not interefere with his ideas and repertoire – after all, everyone has their own way of doing things and I think he likes to cook for me as much as I like to cook for him.
So I shall embrace my debilitation and just sit back and enjoy being catered to.