Recently, I watched YoungB cook himself brunch: scrambled eggs and ham, accompanied by fresh coffee (I was responsible for that bit). He is somewhat a natural foodie, as you might expect when food is such an important part of Italian culture and family life. He is also pragmatic enough that he could make a meal out of whatever is in the fridge and have you complimenting him when he presented the finished product. Dr B and I have both had a hand in teaching him that sort of versatility, though we approach the task in very different ways. It is certainly true that we could all “cook from the cupboard” in extremis, without missing a beat.
These are good skills for YoungB to have acquired over the years, and likely to stand him in good stead for the rest of his life. Knowing how to cook – his high-school cooking teacher nicknamed him Master Chef because she was so impressed by his pastry skills – and having spent those years working in hospitality have combined to give him a better appreciation of our quality local eateries, at one of which he and I recently enjoyed a hearty brunch.
When he returned from his year in Italy, he scoffed at our pasta machine because – he said; and rightly – it’s not a lot more effort to make pasta by hand, and there’s no doubt that the end product is superior. Quite. Not long ago, when I reminded him that he hasn’t made pasta for us in a long while, he agreed that life is often too busy to allocate the necessary amount of extra time, however small, and that – luckily for us – there are places nearby where we can buy good, fresh pasta. We often do. If you don’t support your local suppliers, you lose them and their contribution to your community.
Today, however, he has been cooking up a storm so that he has something to take for lunch most days this coming week. The gang from his workplace tends to eat out on Fridays, in part to support their local small eateries. There’s a good variety at that end of the CBD, to some extent dictated by proximity to university campuses and a major hospital. But today, YoungB cooked himself some burrito mix, prepped and rolled a couple and put them in his lunchbox ready for tomorrow’s dash out the door.
He wrapped a couple for me, too, so that neither Dr B nor I need worry about lunch tomorrow or the next day. Not only that, he helped me with a couple of domestic chores that have proved beyond Dr B – some at-height cleaning that requires ladders, steady hands and good eyesight, and defies all but the most dedicated efforts – and then let me sit and work at the baby blanket uninterrupted while he cooked.
What a thoughtful young man. He’s definitely worth the food 🙂