Sunday evening, my day at this juncture has incorporated writing the essay Decor Differences, hoeing the borders of the back garden, removing the deadwood from a clematis and cooking of a roast beef dinner.

I don’t claim to be a chef of repute, my ventures down the culinary lane entailing the experimentally bereft strategy of sticking to the twenty, or so, meals I’m confident cooking. In my defence, though, the platter I serve is generally flavoursome cuisine cooked to a pretty decent standard.

Apart from an old review on TripAdvisor from the pen of my estranged wife, claiming I’d overcooked the asparagus in a vegetarian broth, negative feedback relating to my efforts with pan and skillet are conspicuous by their absence. Her complaint leading me to conclude the adage of asparagus being an aphrodisiac was inherently flawed.

My late dad was a great cook. A mantle which passed to my brother Ian and latterly my son Jonny. The trio less reticent to experiment with ingredients and attempt new recipes than yours. truly. “A meal is a family event. Greet each feast with gratitude, good conversation and correct dress code!” he would advocate as family head.

He also taught his offspring to “Never cook with shoe leather and ear wax!” Advice we’ve all managed to adhere to, apart from the shoe leather, chilli sauce and pitta bread my son Jonny once produced after a night on the tiles….. Although, in his defence, I think the tuck was probably a kebab from one of the less reputable takeaways in his locale.

I’ve been serendipitous enough to have eaten many splendid dishes created by the fair hands of my old man, brother and son. A trinity of chefs who are/were so thorough in their meal preparation they even filtered the water prior to adding it boiled to Pot Noodles.

My dad even used bouquet garnis in his cooking process….. I lacked the inquisitive nature to ask what the ‘teabag’ of herbs contained. This lack of curiosity leaving me with the only certainty that a bouquet garnis components won’t include shoe leather or ear wax.

My dad’s signature dish of coq au vin cooked from scratch was life affirming. It’s taste without doubt the finest home cooked meal I’ve had the good fortune to’ve experienced. This cordon bleu offering marginally beating the cubed pork dish he cooked in cider, mashed apple, bacon and herb sauce.

If truth be told, I’m selling myself short with regards my cooking acumen.  After all, for the last six months, I’ve cooking every meal for my mum and yours truly. Thus far each morsel has been of decent to good standard. My culinary skills to a standard where my mum’s not noticed the shoe leather and ear wax infusions in many recipes.

Seriously, though, the roast beef dinner was beautiful. Mater was so appreciative of my efforts at cooking her a resplendent meal, on conclusion of her Sunday dinner was moved to utter about the dish “It was alright….. The gravy was cold though!”

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