I was brought up in a family where it was normal for dad to cook. That’s not to say that what he cooked was normal. Dad is the king of the roast. He learned to cook roasts at varsity and he does it well. Other things, he doesn’t do quite so well, but he tries. Mum has a policy of eating whatever he cooks without commenting and I applaud her for it. You can’t ask someone to do something and then complain when they don’t do it how you would.
Things are similar in my house. Shaun cooks mexican-in-a-box like no other. The way he mixes those flavour sachets into the mince is something to behold. But there’s only so much mexican-in-a-box that a woman can eat, so his cooking episodes are few and far between. To be fair to him though, on the one or two evenings a week that I go out without him, he does cook for himself.
But back to my dad. Ever since we were kids dad has had an interesting techique for putting together meals. Rather than your standard meat + carb + 2 vege meal, he goes for the everything-in-the-fridge combo. Dad invented the tasting plate before any restaurant thought of it. A meal might consist of a sausage, a desertspoon of mashed pumpkin, one floret of cauliflower, a tablespoon of leeks in sauce and 10 peas. If he tells you he’s whipping up a pasta, rest assured that means he’s cooking up one of those ‘pasta for one’ meals and spreading it across 5 plates as one of several sides. It’s hilarious.
Last night we had dinner at mum and dad’s. Dad cooked his famous corned beef in the slow cooker. He did the requisite meat, 2 miniature potatoes, 1 floret of broccolli, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin… but then he threw in a surprise. I guess he figured he’d branch out. Expand his repertoire.
The meal was served with a delicious side of boiled salad greens. For the first time ever, I was grateful that I only got one spoonful.