Anyone of you that have been ingesting my ramblings for any length of time will know that my time in second level education was as choppy and turbulent as the waters brave fishermen like my friend Seamus McHugh face up around Killybegs on an all too regular basis. Apart from the obvious and well documented infrastructural and access issues which spoiled and ultimately terminated same, greatest upset of the era stemmed from not being allowed do my favourite optional subjects by the powers that be.
Woodwork – or Materials Technology Wood as it was curiously dubbed – and Home Economics. The reasons specified for not allowing me continue in the two classes are not about to be harrowed up here again, however, thanks to support, unending patience with and belief in me possessed by Declan Lynch and all of those in RehabCare Dunboyne and most importantly my beautiful fiancee Susan attempts have been made at re-connecting with both. Fairly successful ones too.
Now, the woodwork end of things blessedly began to be taken care of nigh on two years ago thanks to Declan and my second family over in the Centre as can be seen from my participation – to put it very mildly – in production of both the bench and bird feeder for my mother. However, being honest, that the cookery angle would ever be re-visited looked a longer shot than Declan Rice or Jack Grealish getting People Of The Year Awards.
But then, such has been the impact that my darling, my saviour, Susie has had on my life, at this point it feels like nothing is impossible and, furthermore, everything is worth trying and perhaps most of all, it’s OK to dream. Certainly in this instance anyway.
Prior to most recently, the nearest this corner got to having a cullinary contribution to the world was in jazzing up a rather mundane Chicken Maryland with lemon, mixed herb and black pepper seasoning. Very nice it was too but hardly indicative of a budding Jamie Oliver!
Actually, The Hairy Bikers – Dave Myers and Si King – would be a more accurate comparison for a variety of reasons! Anyway, maybe it was a natural progression that, having gone down the vegetable farming route that some class of working with food would get back onto the agenda.
What exactly the manifestation of that exploration/experimentation would be was as clear as mud. However, there was no doubt that if a method could be unearthed, I could not have a better person to find it. Though, as often happens, the door was open for us in a way that could never have been predicted.
When a stinker of a problem turned into a new opportunity. Without going into the nuts and bolts of the first part of the above, let’s just say that intended dinner plans had to be rapidly altered the other evening. Which resulted in the opportunity arising for yours truly to actually get stuck into the meal making measures for the first time in earnest.
Handling raw food – in this case chicken fillets – was strange and a little unsettling for a while, but once the unease calmed down it was actually a really enjoyable and indeed eye opening experience. To a lot of people that have been in the vicinity of the occupant of this seat, either literally or in terms of content produced, will know what a curry fiend resides hence.
Thus, it could hardly come as a seismic shock that the first dish I had an active part in preparing was a homemade version of a spice bag smothered in spicy golden goodness.
Akin to other aspects of the business – and make no mistake it is a proper and expanding business now – there are ambitions I want to achieve from a food/cooking perspective as well. Don’t adjust your sets!