Reed in Asia
The chef comes home
No plans for that Sunday, so I just went downstairs and made my usual morning pot of tea, I switched the stereo on, found a good radio channel with some soft music, sat down on the sofa and just relaxed listening to the music quietly, everyone else was probably still asleep because it was only 06:30, so I kept the volume down to a reasonable listening level. This was my first day with nothing planned, nothing to do really just relax at home today for the first time, so I just relaxed back on the sofa listening to the music and occasionally topping up my tea.
Feeling a little peckish a little while later, I thought that I would go and make myself a slice of cheese on toast to go with my tea. I went into the kitchen, got the bread from the pantry, took the cheese and butter out of the fridge and then started looking for some sauce to top it with. The only sauce that I could find was a bottle of tomato ketchup and looking around I only then realised that we still needed a lot of things. The day that we went to Chip Bee, I had left the shopping up to Myra and now that morning in the kitchen was the first time that I had seen what she had bought to stock the kitchen with and for me, we needed a lot more that she must have forgotten about or just overlooked. Back on the sofa after eating my cheese on toast, I started thinking about dinner later, so I went back into the kitchen and checked the fridge, freezer and pantry to see what food Myra had bought for us.
The only food that I could find in there were some packets of fish fingers, fishcakes, a packet of bacon and some sausages and when I looked for some vegetables, the only vegetables that I could find were potatoes and onions. I then started looking for condiments, spices and herbs and all that I could find was some salt and pepper and that was it! Now I did have a plan for the day, I needed to stock our kitchen properly and I started to write a list of things that I thought that we needed:
My shopping list:
Pork, fresh chicken, stewing beef, liver, kidney, boiled ham, Piccalilli, Branston, HP sauce, Chilli sauce, mixed pickles, mayonnaise, garlic, chilli, tomato puree, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, Worcester sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sage and onion stuffing, black pepper, bay leaves, coriander powder, English mustard powder, Oxo cubes, Bisto powder, cooking wine, cauliflower, Broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, processed peas, carrots, turnips, green beans, fresh tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, celery, lettuce, spring onions, bean sprouts, water cress and finally some good cheese: Stilton, Danish blue, Camembert, etc. and of course some cream crackers.
After I finished my list, I went upstairs, had a quick shower and got dressed ready to go out. Myra was still asleep, so I didn't disturb her, it was still only 07:45, I closed the front door quietly and started walking slowly down Preston road, it was a lovely morning for a walk, it was a little warm with a bit of a breeze. When I reached Alexandra road, I got in a taxi and went to Chip Bee NAAFI supermarket, they were just opening as I arrived and there were no other customers around at that time. I just took my time wandering slowly around with a shopping trolley and I managed to find just about everything on my list that I wanted, I also picked up some curry powder that I had forgotten to put on the list. I was quite enjoying myself just walking around the shop slowly and picking up an extra item or two that I had overlooked on my list and my brain was so tuned to working on recipes and ingredients, that I almost forgot something very important, BEER! I was almost out of beer now, so I thought that I would take a couple of crates with me that day and to give people a choice of drinks, I also bought a bottle of whisky and some soda.
I was really loaded up with bags when I left the shop and quite luckily there was a taxi available outside. When I got home, Myra was already awake and dressed, so she helped me to carry the bags into the house from the taxi. It was almost lunchtime then and being Sunday, I decided to have an early beer whilst I was storing all of the goods that I had bought, Myra helped me but she seemed fascinated by many of the things that I had bought. When everything was put away, we sat in the livng room, I put an album on the stereo and started to relax sipping my early beer. Myra then asked me why I had gone shopping, so I told her that we still needed a lot of things for the kitchen to be able to cook properly, she looked down at the floor a little and then she told me that she had never learned to cook anything special and that she was not very good at cooking and looked very embarrased, so I just quickly replied that it didn't matter, because I had been cooking for many years then and I was quite an inventive chef, I admitted also that I had never learned cooking, it just came naturally to me and was probably attributed to my mother being an excellent cook and me just watching and helping her as a child.
I then asked her if she wanted a drink and showed her the bottle of whisky that I had bought, she nodded her head and I made her a fairly weak whisky and soda in a long glass filled with ice from the freezer. We talked about many things that afternoon and I tried to keep the conversation away from the subject of cooking, because I could see that it embarrassed her. A little later though, I had to plan our dinner, so I asked her if she would like some chicken curry for dinner because I would have to start making it then and again she nodded her head, so I adjurned to the kitchen and started the meal for that evening, because it would have to simmer for a long time to taste good. After I had set the curry simmering in the pressure cooker ( a wedding present), I returned to Myra in the living room and I had to admit to her that I had forgotten to buy something, I had forgotten to buy some rice, so I asked her if it was okay to eat curry and chips for dinner, she smiled and agreed quickly, it was a little selfish of me really, I prefer curry with chips myself rather than curry with rice and I hadn't thought about other people, because I was so used to just taking care of myself before.
Early evening, I turned my stereo up a little louder, grabbed a fresh bottle of beer and went to sit at the front of the house to watch the sunset, John was there already and we just sat together chatting and drinking beer as usual now, then Myra and Pauline both arrived and I asked them if they would like a whisky with ice and soda and they both agreed to have one. It was very pleasant all sitting outside together watching the sun go down, I was thinking to myself "This is spoiling me, I could very easily get used to this, but what do I do when we have to go back to UK?". After sunset, I invited everyone into our house and topped up everyone's drink, when John amd Pauline sat down they both said to me "what are you cooking, It smells very good?" So I told them about the chicken curry and invited them to join us if they wanted to and they agreed, I went on to say that I had no rice, only chips and that was fine with everyone.
Then a problem presented itself, the only dining table that we had, had my stereo on it, but everyone said that they would just eat on their laps and place the plates on the coffee table to eat as required. So I went to the kitchen, cooked some chips for everyone and Myra put the curry in some bowls. There was a lot of curry, easily enough for all of us, I like to make enough curry to last for a few days, because I have found from experience that it improves with age. We had a very good evening again that day, everyone enjoyed the curry and everyone had plenty to drink, but we all retired a little early because we had to work the next day.
'The chef comes home'
I shall be adding to this site over time, so if anyone is interested then please have a little patience and call back here from time to time. One of my very few pleasures in life these days is beer so I shall be occasionally referring to beer, I just wish that beer was the only reason that I am legless all the time
Thanks for viewing my site, cheers for now, Legless
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