I never used to talk about the weather or even acknowledge it. It simply WAS and I was unavoidably and deeply immersed in it so there was no need to chat about what was so far beyond my control. Hey! Do fish talk about the ocean? I used to snort at people who talked about the weather. “Wet enough for you?”
I never used to even think about gardening, either. OMG, what a colossal bore gardening was! People talked about Zucchinis and tomatoes and ‘Oh how their garden grows!’ It was sad. It seemed to me that they were simply saying, “I have no friends!”.
And cooking was also very NOT on my hit parade of interests. My previous approach: eat when you are hungry. Who cares what it is so long as it can be eaten ‘on the go’ and men-in-aprons were just plain silly EVEN if dressed so only at the BBQ (I also used to propose the theory that a woman invented the BBQ to make her husband cook. I claimed it was Gloria Steinhem – and she made a fortune selling BBQs!). I had all sorts of ‘obvious’ positions on many, many mundane topics but those listed above were the most enduring. Those were NOT gonna change. I would not be talking about that crap.
Well, that was then. This is now. I now cook. I now garden. And, worse, I sometimes BBQ! I do the dishes, too. And I have been literally fascinated by the weather out here for years….fer Gawd’s sake!
I am not proud of myself. I have succumbed to the ordinary. I am now a really boring man. Almost English. Hell, these past few years, I have even begun to talk about ailments! And – this is what is prompting this confession – I have gone downhill, so to speak, even further. I am interested and have been learning about growing mushrooms. You may recall my previous attempt at growing ‘shrooms failed miserably.
But I am not easily deterred by failure. How could I be, given my track record?
Back to the ‘shrooms. I started initially by simply trying to determine what would kill me if I ate it. Our property has a lot of fungi growing. I was convinced they were all as deadly as cyanide. So, I read up on it and only a small percentage of the wild mushrooms are really toxic. And maybe another 20% are good-to-eat. Or edible, anyway. It is really quite interesting that all the mushroom books I have gone through (3) are noticeably vague on what is good, what is bad and what is great to eat. They are pretty clear as to what is poisonous but, if it won’t kill ya, they just kinda leave it on the list whether it tastes good or not. Bottom line: I am sticking with the basics. I am going for Morels and maybe Chanterelles.
Sally, thank God, is the real gardener but, like cooking, she can only be counted on to do the majority of it and only relatively conventional dishes/plants. She will grow the potatoes, for instance. But she will NOT stretch to the unusual – like growing Morel mushrooms. Or cooking squids. Or maybe trying Sea Cucumbers. If it is a bit ‘out there’, that seems to fall to me. Cooking is very much the same. Sal will cook meat and potatoes with cauliflower in white sauce. Sushi is up to me. Curry was up to me until she found a few bland curries to make and so a battle-of-the-curries is slowly shaping up. A hot curry is still mine to make (or attempt).
And so it goes.
Here’s the one that surprises me the most. I now want to grow flowers. I never wanted to grow flowers. ‘If you can’t eat ’em…..’ But, this year we have a large flower patch and the bees are literally ecstatic to be there and well, I quite like bees, so I am gonna garden ’em up a nice place to hang out. Mind you, my natural instincts still tend to ‘eating’ and so I may also make a small bee-hive or apiary in order to get a little local honey. The chore of collecting that honey will fall to Sal.