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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Not about pig's cheeks

Every so often a miracle occurs in our household. I have never marked such miracles before so this time I photographed one.

So what are those doodads above? Pig's cheeks, but they are also part of a mystical process. I'm sure in nearly 55 years of marriage we've had pig's cheeks before but I can't recall them and I can't check; for the moment VR slumbereth.

Fact is we ate them in a sort of casserole a few weeks ago (see pic below) and they were routinely delicious. However they are incidental to what I have to say. This post is not really about pig's cheeks, understand?

Months before, in some meatery I have long forgotten, VR saw these miraculous symbols and bought them. I'll never know exactly why. Then she cooked them and we ate them.

Now here's the nature of the miracle. Chez RR, VR does the cooking, day in day out, year after year. I can only judge what she does by my disinclination to do it. I can cook, did cook for a time after I'd retired and VR was still working. But I don't enjoy cooking, I'm harassed by the deadlines and the detailed skills.

Imagining myself in VR's position I can't help thinking that by now I'd be worn down by what seems a burden. Certainly I wouldn't seek to vary the daily round; I wouldn't be tempted by invention; I'd want it to be all over quickly.

But no! On what to me seems a domestic road to Damascus, VR saw something new and responded. The fire of creativity (which burns well ahead of what goes on in the kitchen) was there as an ember and VR breathed upon it. I profited.

Look, it could have been calf's brains, except I don't like them.

To those readers who don't cook - and are lucky enough to be cooked for - I invite you to kneel with me and consider the Arundel Tomb.


  1. I do cook but kneel with you praying for a vice-cook to appear.

  2. Wow, that stew looks great.

  3. What will survive of us... isn't pigs cheeks.

  4. I am sure you can calculate just how many dinners VR has turned out. I am fortunate to have a man in the house who can and does make the occasional dinner and usually weekend breakfasts. It is a real treat, even for someone who likes to cook. My husband still travels for work and I rarely make anything more complicated than an egg when he's away. It's the need to come up with something interesting every single day that gets wearying.
    Meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up can be a real drag when you've been doing it every day for fifty years.

  5. As you, RR. I kowtow to my wonderful cook. Does it day in, day out. Like you I can, but don't 'cos I cannot be arsed (good with a frying pan though)

  6. I find myself wondering what Avus does with the frying pan that is not cooking?

    The Blonde Two household are currently experiencing one of my 'let's try eating this' experiments. Mr Blonde Two is very patient and appreciative, I am enjoying the culinary challenge. For me, doing the cooking means that I am in control ... no more probably needs to be said!

  7. Ellena: Ever poignant.

    MikeM: The bay leaf, representing attention to detail, says it all.

    Lucy: Beautifully put and if I were literary craftsman I'd leave it at just those two words. Then I recall VR's gift of eggs mornay. Guided by something beyond consciousness I remember inserting this phrase - utterly irrelevant - into a bit of verse I posted. Joe immediately noticed as, I think, did you. A tribute in both directions but I cannot take credit for it.

    Stella: This is always the way. Without an appreciative client your desire to invent falls away. Your husband and I have a minor if honourable role in the process but both of us should, from time to time, proclaim our good luck. Although possibly Mr Stella goes further by repaying you in kind.

    Yes those things are a drag. These days I share the supermarket round and offer my suggestions when asked, always defaulting to dishes which are the least trouble. A form of shriving, possibly.

    Avus: But you can, I take it, be arsed to eat it. I assume you play a handicapped form of ping-pong with the frying pan.

    Blonde Two: I may have answered your speculation.

  8. I noticed the bay leaf right off the bat ... perhaps I can serve as vice-cook to Ellena and VR?