Things not directly related to the theme of this website – but of interest to me anyway.

Apart from family and sport/exercise, I have two other passions: Food and Plants (which at times are the same thing).

I have always cooked – I remember the first time I fried an egg at the age of 8 or 9 – I had the pan so hot the egg practically exploded. Every time I fry an egg now (fortunately seldom) I think of that particular attempt.

My first business was in the kitchen – making my older sister egg sandwiches for when she’d get home from school or work, and for the same client fetching DuFay’s marshmallow bars from the local dairy on my push-bike – you mean I get paid for something I love doing!

My first Pasta experience was when I was about 12. My English mom thought she’d try something new, bless her.

I think she fried the onion for about 5 seconds, threw in a can of tomatoes and then served it on top of truly undercooked dried spaghetti (to her credit the packet probably didn’t sufficiently explain Al dente, so she made sure it wasn’t overcooked). As a family, we were all underwhelmed, particularly my father.

As an inquisitor, I was sure there had to be a better way. To this day my Mother hates Pasta and I consider well-executed pasta dishes (particularly the most simple) one of the miracles and truly great rewards of the culinary world.

As a teenager cooking became my way of hugging people – I like you (unsaid) let me cook for you (said). Of course, if I really liked someone they had to put up with a whole lot of cooking without understanding why.

I am still this way today, I love to cook for my family and my friends. I love that our girls at age 10 and 12 are pretty safe in the kitchen, and can already name more foods than I could at 18. Fortunately these days my family understand that I actually love them, and I am quite open with my friends that to cook for them gives me great pleasure and is a sign of my respect/love for them. I know I share this trait with many other home cooks.

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