Tuesday, 4 June 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: Red Pill, Blue Pill

If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOURISHMENT.

Frying Onions with Calf Sausages

You want to do what! Replace our beautiful, well formed, 100% veal swiss sausages with a pill. It took me more than forty years to perfection my ideal of Swiss cooking and now I can just throw experience and knowhow away; just swallow one of these and you have time for all the other things you want to do.

I do not think so. My mum always said “I pity your old man (she meant husband – she was a cockney). All he is going to get is fish fingers when you get married.” Sorry mum, but you could only cook what your mum cooked and to be quite honest, it was not my taste. Admittedly money was scarce at the time, but the saying “as long as we have food on the table, is all that matters” did not really impress me. It meant that life’s nourishment consisted of boiled potatoes with every meal. As a vegetable we had greens (some sort of English type cabbage) and a piece of meat (I was too young to know the difference in quality). One day I rebelled. I think it was the first sign of enjoying the art of cooking. I said “just a mixed salad and some meat will do”. I was looked upon as a cuckoo’s egg that had been laid in the family nest, but at least I ate it all.

Later I spent two years in an Indian-Swiss household and then I really learnt how to spice my food. Mum only used salt and pepper (I think). I discovered chilli, cumin, turmeric, cardomum, coriander, and cooking in Ghee instead of oil.

The next step to my culinary development was catering for a six-headed family every day, until the kids left. It is now just me and Mr. Swiss – at weekends and evenings my eldest son. It was then I discovered Rösti (a fried potato dish), Bratwurst (see photo above) and geschnetzeltes (finely chopped meat usually served in a cream sauce). Switzerland having Germany, France and Italy as neighbours, our cooking had a definite continental influence.

Now I should replace my creative talents in the kitchen with a pill: no more shopping excursions in the morning, choosing the vegetable, examining the meat, and buying according to the seasonal offers? : no way.

The scene changes to lunch time..

“Love, what’s for dinner?”

“I thought I would serve one red one and a blue one today. There is now a new development.. At last the colours have been mixed. There is a striped pill in red and blue, and if you miss a salad on your plate, you can have a pill with an additional green stripe.”

“Anything to drink?”

“Of course. If your pill gets stuck in your throat, you can wash it down with a glass of water.”

So husband and wife sit down to a meal and after two minutes they are finished. There is no washing up to do: a stress free life. Wife has spent the morning playing with her vacuum cleaner and the extra time won by not cooking or shopping, she might play games on Facebook. She just loves café world, where you can build your own café, cook dishes and build various kitchen machines. She can even expand her virtual restaurant, accommodating more guests and have a wider choice on the food offered. In the meanwhile her husband decides to take a walk into town where he meets some friends at a street café. He orders a cup of coffee and a croissant. He finds it good that the wife has no stress with cooking, but now and again likes to reminisce how it used to be.

No, people, this is not my idea of life. As opposed to my mum that regarded cooking as a necessity, I enjoy cooking, especially since I am retired. I enjoy my shopping excursions, meeting people, talking to people, the real world. I enjoy designing a meal; savouring the flavours and spices, trying something new.

The bitter pill we might have to eat one day is that the world is not producing enough food for everyone. In our comfortable Western world, we see the pictures of starving children in other lands torn by wars and greed of their government. Those children would be thankful if their mothers gave them a pill or two every day to ensure their healthy survival. There are always two sides to every coin.

1 comment:

  1. No way, Jose!!! There will never be a day a pill would replace the sheer enjoyment of a good meal. I'm not much for cooking myself (although I can when I feel like it), but I love a rich variety of foods of different ethnicities.