[pf] My first cooked meal for years
a 26 April 2000 letter to the Positive Futures* List)

** This is mainly about me cooking some food for myself for the first time in more than 7 years; I eat bread, raw vegetables and peanut butter, day in and day out.

** But first: I was hoping to write this last night but the computer was constantly in use, because my wife Bera was still home for our ANZAC holiday April 25. Recent governments have cut back statutory holidays to three and a half days a year - the half is the morning of ANZAC day. It celebrates New Zealand's greatest defeat in war, on the Gallipoli (Gelibolu) peninsula in Turkey, on the north side of the Dardanelles Strait (connecting the Black Sea with the Aegean), in 1915. There the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), under British command, made a disastrous attack on the Turkish defenders - the commanders were more than usually stupid. As a fraction of the national population, more NZers died than any other country, in the first world war. Every town and city in NZ has its war memorial, where ANZAC day parades are held. It was the turning point, where New Zealand became a nation separate from Britain.

** Anyway; some months ago I bought a 10 kg plastic bag of rice, believing we could keep it sealed so it would not deteriorate before we finished it. However, either because the top was left open, or because they were able to chew through the thick plastic, the grubs of those food moths got in after we'd eaten the first 5 kg. Our son found he was having to pick them out before cooking up a rice meal for himself, and finally told me he was unwilling to continue and asked us to buy some fresh rice (in smaller amounts), which we did.

** Since I thoroughly believe one should take the consequences of one's own actions, I will be eating the remaining ~5 kg. I don't mind eating those grubs: since being eggs they've been totally within our food, so they're as clean as the rice was before they got started. And I don't notice them as I eat.

(** This keeps getting interrupted by my hanging-out two loads of clothes on the line. We've had quite a rain-storm this Fall, following a month-&-a-half of late drought. This is our first good drying day after the most-welcome rain.)

** Yesterday afternoon I put quite a lot of rice, all that wouldn't fit into a couple of 3-litre juice containers, into our biggest triple-base pot together with the same volume of water plus a third of that. I cooked it for about 3/4 hour (it took quite a while to come up to boiling point), turning down the heat to simmer, towards the end. There was enough for me to fill half a dozen 1-kg glass peanut-butter jars, after Bera and I took our meals (she ate hers with her distance-glasses on so she wouldn't be able to see exactly what she was eating).

** I'll work my way through the rest of what I've cooked during the next week or two, eating it cold with tomato ketchup for one of my main meals, the other being my usual sandwiches. Our daughter who lived in China for most of last year cautioned me not to try to live only on rice.

** And afterwards I'll be cooking-up 3 or 4 more batches, before I've got through it all.

** Sorry for all the detail, but that's how I live my life now, taking interest in small things. As I've said so many times: nobody should try to live like me - I'm an extremist.


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