It seems everything gets a bit less as the years roll by. Our strides with Milo are shorter now, as when, for example, I was marching up the Austrian Dolomites so many years ago. Of course I never took any measurements of my strides then nor will I resort to it now.
It is the same with intake of food. Our meals are shorter in that they are smaller now. From the huge plates of yesteryear, laden with heavy clay spuds, sprouts and massive steaks, we now eat a miniscule little baby beetroot with single small Dutch carrot and a single sad eyed sardine. The plates are smaller and those big plates are only taken out when the grandsons are over with their noisy enormous 3 kilo potatoes appetites.
Yes, it has all become so much less or smaller. Even noise is getting less. It is rare to have loud music blaring out or TV on without watching. I have noticed that it seems to be quite acceptable for the younger generation to have the TV on or loud radio cackle without watching the TV or listening to the sounds. It is more or less something that appears to give some meaning to their lives, almost as if the noise confirms they are really living and whooping it up, just like everybody else.
Anyway, whatever the pro-s and con-s, (more cons) of modern life, within our duopoly of domesticity a rather peaceful era has arrived and we love it. We are sometimes still invited to a sleep-over at our children or friends but we rarely accept. It means we often scurry back, in the hollow of the night (now with the new foot-rest car), to our own nest and throw ourselves down on the newly stuffed divan, utterly content with our own abode. No noise, no TV chatter, just us. How lovely. How much better can this get?
With all the diminution of those superfluous materials in our lives and a concentration on quality rather than quantity we seem to be somewhat burdened by having things we never use. Cupboards are filled with too much. So many spoons and forks are rattling in drawers, not too speak of cork screws, bottle openers, ladles, swirly things and other cooking implements. We have a round saucepan made of granite or stone given to us years ago. A thing you pre-heat in the oven and then you can cook something in it afterwards. Why stone? Apparently some obscure tribe in Papua or Tibet use that form of cooking. We have never used it.
We have so many saucepans. One is so huge, I can’t remember we ever cooked for the army or orphanages. It has a large handle and on the opposite side a smaller handle as well. You can only lift it by using two strong arms and that is without food cooked in it. With food cooked in it I have to stand on a chair for extra leverage and need Helvi’s aid as well.
With the weather warming I prefer to cook outside. It is so nice to wake up not to the smell of fried onions. I have a super duper barbeque with Teflon hot plate and stainless steel burners. Late in the afternoon, I slice potatoes and Helvi makes some top side grass fed Angus cow meat patties. With that a variety of vegetables, all in miniscule portions and I barbeque like mad. Not a single saucepan gets used.
In the meantime our cupboards are groaning with all our past cooking machinery and implements. Stainless steel saucepans. Cast iron saucepans. Teflon saucepans. Ribbed saucepans (cast Iron) to give that ribbed look on the salmon or sole. They are all resting there in our cupboards waiting for heat, food, but above all for the human touch to be taken out and used once more again. They live in hope!
Perhaps it will happen at this year’s Christmas.