No prizes for guessing that I am writing this after eating a very good Christmas Day lunch several days ago, courtesy of our elder daughter who has been married for long enough to have got it down to a fine art. She was taught, of course, by her mother. It is probably also easy to surmise that tonight Hubert and I have had a very good turkey curry (if I say so myself) with pilau rice, cooked by me.
I first had curry many years ago which came in a ready mix of dried ingredients which were rehydrated in a saucepan with a prescribed amount of water. Wonderful, I loved them, so exotic. Funny thing is, today I would not touch them with a barge pole, all those chemicals, no fresh ingredients and so forth. These were the swinging sixties though, a time when all sorts of new things were making an appearance, plastic chairs, mini skirts, a wonderful fizzy drink which came in a small tin in powder form and stirred into water it burst into bubbles that went up your nose and were such fun. More chemicals.
Fast forward a few years, to a time when I am married, with two children and a husband to cook for. All three had very good appetites and warnings began to surface about these chemicals and things my generation grew up with began disappearing off the shelves. It is no longer post war ration time and so we were learning to cook with a whole new variety of ingredients, I needed recipes because, frankly, my dear Mum’s cooking remained largely unchanged from that which she had grown up practising. This was because like a good many others, my family rarely ate outside the home unless on holiday then it would be self catering with perhaps a meal at a local fish and chip restaurant, complete with bread and butter and a good strong cup of tea. Lovely.
I have always enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes and by and large my family enjoyed eating what I made. With time and practise they came to like everything put before them although I was charitable enough not to put cauliflower on the younger daughter’s plate because she really did not like it. Eventually, when the girls were a bit older, we started having meals out, different ones, Chinese, Indian, and Italian , for example, until there came the time when, via the media, I began to realise that this was something I could try doing at home. Thus the cuisine from foreign countries is now everyday fodder at our place. With much practice it has improved a lot since the earlier days, but it does take practice just as it takes practice to do anything well. Piano and violin playing, dressmaking, knitting, driving a car; it all takes practice. That other thing as well, reading the scriptures. This, too, takes practice as well as finding the time. Something can so easily get squeezed out in our modern 24/7 working world. I read just recently that very soon our local general hospital will be fully staffed 24/7 in order to cope with the increase in the local population. Do you suppose, that in order to reach out to all around us, that churches will need to look at 24/7 provision?