Last night, after all had gone quiet in the house, neighbours had gone home and Diederich and I had finished our Bible story together and he too had gone home to bed I switched on my computer to spend a little time on the internet reading recipes. I know for some this would absolutely not appeal to them as a mode of relaxation, but I have always enjoyed reading cookery books, and accessing cookery writers on-line has developed from that.
Shopping for food is a pleasure I still revel in and remember with fondness the markets of France and Spain where I would feel rather like a child in a sweet shop, in absolute ecstasy over all the wonderful foods that are available and lamenting the fact there were not enough reasons in the day to eat.
The type of cookery book, or on-line blog I enjoy is when the writer tells me a little about the ingredients, or how they came across the recipe, or how to successfully adjust something, the personal touches that take eating food from a necessity to a joy and pleasure to share with friends and family.
So last night when my head finally hit the pillow it was buzzing with ideas, but also a strange feeling of inadequacy – there is so much to learn and when I looked at what others have and are achieving I found myself thinking how little I know. There is no doubt about it, with the accessibility of the internet avenues have opened up to all who want to explore, but also along with it has come almost a competitive spirit, the ordinary person can now do what only the extraordinary did some few short years ago.
This morning gave me cause to reconsider what or who really is inspiring. As usual, early on a Tuesday, I had gone to see Norma, the elderly lady in the village who has the bakery, and, as usual, after the study, our conversation turned to food and cooking. Despite her advancing age and health issues Norma is still keen to learn and asks a myriad of questions about what I cook and how. It also works the other way around too, I learn from her, and there is still much I want to learn, especially about her huge wood fired oven and what it is capable of.
So, as I headed for home along the lane I found myself still thinking about food and planning what we could eat and by the time I arrived back in the house I had made up my mind to make some bread, something I hadn’t done for a while. It crossed my mind though, how inspiring I had found Norma to be, a gentle sweet natured soul, but still with a great appetite for life and learning. I doubt she really knows what a computer is for, and wouldn’t have the slightest idea what a Blog is, keeping up with the latest of anything is far from her mind, but how inspired I felt after I left – maybe even more than I was after a couple of hours reading the highly polished and professional pages on the internet.
It just goes to show that the simple pleasures in life are what most often bring the most joy. Since bread, the staff of life, is one of those simple pleasures I will post for you on friday a pizza recipe that is both simple and delicious.