I had the big sister and her husband for dinner the other night. I was busy pouring over cookbooks and planning to make some outstandingly complicated gourmet meal, when I suddenly thought about my father.
No one could have called him a chef, but he taught me to respect and enjoy the pleasure of plain and simple food. He taught me how to hoe potatoes and how to clean and eat a carrot just pulled from the earth, while still standing in the garden. A bowl of maple syrup with a slice of bread was his idea of heaven. Sure things got a little out of hand when he started trying to light the BBQ while hooked up to his oxygen tank towards the end of his life, but at least the meat was locally sourced.
He loved a good book, his own company and weather. He hated shopping for new clothes. After he died and we were looking through photos, I swear he had the same shirt on in every freaking shot. He could name every tree, bird and wildflower of Northern Ontario. He took me foraging for wild mushrooms and taught me how to cook them with butter. He thought everything tasted better with salt.
I can get carried away sometimes, not just with cooking, but decorating and life in general. I can over complicate pretty much anything. Which is why for once, I made a simple dinner. No couli or reduction or compote this time.
Just roast chicken, beets with butter and salt and corn on the cob. It was divine.