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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Friday, 11 September 2015

Needs must when t'devil drives

Yesterday, VR having banged her bum in a comparatively minor accident, asked if I'd hang out the washing. It was sheets and VR has a method which simplifies retrieving them from the line, reducing the risk of their touching the ground. I followed her instructions which ran counter to my normal practice. Late afternoon the sheets were dry and I unpegged them, brought them in, and put them away.

VR had expected to take in the sheets herself. Was pleasantly surprised and said so. Since this wasn't a calculated gesture on my part I was touched.

Age and infirmity modify married life. VR is a good, inventive cook and occasionally invites my suggestion. These days my default is away from elaboration and towards standards: spaghetti, chilli, fish pie, shepherd's pie, stews that last two days. I love these traditional dishes and I'm uneasy about ordering up things that demand much kitchen time. On top of her voracious appetite for books (well over 200 a year) VR has taken to rendering flowers using some weird medium called (I think) water-colour pencils. I'd rather she read and drew instead of chopped onions.

But good cooks are proud and must exercise their skills. Above is a ham terrine* which involved time, effort and imagination. Note the thin decorative slices of carrot and gherkin chevrons below the enfolding jelly. Note the corner cut off by VR for my delectation.

Meanwhile I handle the accounts, work which denies decoration. I also pick up The Guardian. My contributions to domestic ease are humbler and less skilled.

Oh, I forgot. I choose the wine, cool the whites, open the bottles and pour out the glasses. I do this with a certain amount of panache.

* May be a galantine.

6 comments:

Avus said...

That ham terrine looks delicious, RR. You are obviously a "pair"(I will eschew "Darby & Joan")and good luck to both of you.

I find that as we grow old together (my wife and I, 55 years - not you and I) we settle into a wonderful, caring accomodation which far eclipses the passion of youth.

Lucy said...

That is a very beautiful thing, and certainly deserves to be called a galantine.

Sometimes having to put down book or knitting to cook can seem a chore, but in fact it seldom is when I get there, and often seems a pleasant counterbalance, except maybe when it involves pin-boning fish. On the other hand when Tom says he'll cook, or when there's food he's already cooked in the freezer, it's a treat, and I'll even step in and pin-bone if need be knowing I don't have to do anything else.

Folding sheets is in fact rather a nice shared activity. Hope VR's bum is better now. You really should refrain from the 50 Shades of Grey stuff you know.

Roderick Robinson said...

Avus: Its density meant that the terrine/galantine could be eked out to a second meal (ie, tonight). VR surprised me by baking a special loaf of bread as accompaniment. A lot of work involved.

Our 55th occurs in three weeks' time. A night in Poole overlooking the harbour.

Lucy: I checked about pin-boning and VR shuddered. I haven't read 50 Shades so I wouldn't know. I have, however, read 120 Nights Of Sodom but, as you know, it skates over haematomas - hardly worth considering.

Lucy said...

Neither have I read it of course I hasten to add. However like the nicknames of the Spice Girls and the words to more or less all the songs in The Sound of Music, it's something one ends up knowing even when one would far rather not.

Pin-boning is horrid but less so than unwittingly getting a mouthful of the things later.

Roderick Robinson said...

Lucy: You've made this point before. Music has been a very mixed blessing for you.

How about a list of pieces not to knit to:

La Gazza Ladra.
The Flight of the Bumblebee (arr. euphonium).
Schumann's Third Symphony (or Fourth).
Half a dozen Beethoven Scottish songs.

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Rouchswalwe said...

Oh my goodness ... that is a work of ham art. Yes, I noticed the decorative top straight away. This creation could be captured in water-colour pencils. Ahh, autumn always gets my creative juices flowing and my appetite rumbling.

All my best to dear VR for a speedy recovery!