Tonight, I cooked.
This statement would not have raised any eyebrows or been remotely a subject worth contemplating even 15 years ago. A woman, especially a mother, cooks!
Its just that I haven't cooked in some 6 weeks. Life is altered. A woman's existence redefined.
Time for browsing through markets, carefully smelling, probing, testing fresh produce to select the ripest, sweetest, firmest...a chit-chat with the butcher or fishmonger to select the best cut for dinner, and then home to lovingly prepare it with snips of fresh herbs, gentle simmer, slow roast etc...table set for dinner as the dessert bakes, family all arriving home from playing with neighbour's kids, husband and breadwinner arriving with the evening paper and stories of the latest deal signed, and cheeky children falling asleep from all the bike riding and tree climbing that they got up to after they finished their homework.
That's the world I was raised for.
The world I inherited lost the plot and instead, Mummy is breadwinner and cook, arrives late from board meeting at office to daycare to pick-up child from sanitised indoor "Occ healthed-and-safed,risk-averse" cage behind locked doors, kids not tired at all but hyped and hungry and wanting to eat NOW because the high-carb preservative-rich white bread with processed cheese spread or cheap margarine and strawberry jam served for afternoon tea did not dull the boredom of playstation or the same DVD for the 9th time.
So, forget going home, because last night, while you were finalising a whole year in advance's strategic plan for an 8am this morning deadline, you definitely weren't thinking about tonight's dinner preparation needs and consequently the piece of fish you bought to boost the omega 6 oils on the menu is still happily lying deepfrozen in the freezer and you know the asparagus have gone limp and the basil all slushy and slime green, and the vegetable store was just pulling down the shut grill.
Variations on the theme above, interspersed with weekends where you really just want to NOT have to do anything for anyone other than sign a credit card slip, is kind of how things went for 6 weeks leading up to and post a crazy busy overseas trip, with mercifully, someone else cooked and washed for your future genetic hope at boarding school.
So...meandering through the grocery store aisles today as if its some new discovery tunnel and actually deciding what to cook with all the yummy fresh things was actually like entertainment. I can recommend it!