It’s funny how you grow to miss things you never really thought about while they were a part of your life. I don’t mean people in this instance – but random objects, rooms, food groups/food items, etc. For example: When my mom, my sister and I moved country, we didn’t exactly have a lot to work with. Somehow (and it’s only now, as I’m working myself and realising how expensive it is to live, that I realise just how amazing this was) she managed to find us a flat to live in, we had a car (otherwise known as the ‘rust bucket’) and a small amount of furniture. Obviously, as money was an issue, we didn’t walk into a fully-furnished flat. All the furniture had to be bought new as we had literally come across the border on the bus, with whatever we could carry in suitcases. So what were the important things? Kitchen stuff, obviously, beds, and – something my sister and I couldn’t understand – a dining-room table with four chairs.
What Sis and I couldn’t figure out, was why on earth a dining-room table was so important. Surely a lounge suite would make more sense? My uncle had decided that we couldn’t survive without a TV, so they lent us a small TV and a little stand to put it on – but we all sat on the floor to watch for a good few months as there was nothing else to sit on.
However, now that Sis and I both have our own places and own families, we have discovered a surprising desire. All we want is a house/flat which is big enough for a dining-room table. We finally get it. It’s important – it makes mealtimes an event instead of just something which happens. It’s a drawing pin attaching the family to the universal cork board.
Also, somehow we both ended up with husbands who don’t eat onions. Sis’s husband is actually allergic to them (and garlic and chicken and blue cheese – all the good things in life), while mine just doesn’t like them. Do you have any idea how weird it is to start cooking without onions? Onions go in everything, from soups to stews to pasta sauces to stocks. Occasionally I decided that I need an onion for something and he doesn’t really get a choice about it – but then I either cut the onion up so fine that it’s barely noticeable, or leave it big and chunky so that he can pick it out. Again, though, if anyone had asked me if I liked onions before I got married, I would have looked at them as if they were slightly bonkers. Onions just… are. I never thought about them. Now, however, I can truly say “Yes. I like onions. I really, really like onions.”
My sister, on the other hand, has it tougher than I do. She has had to give up not only a family of vegetables, but one of the most versatile meats. Chicken. Now, on the rare occasion that they go out for dinner – everyone else is looking at the steaks, or the lamb shanks, etc – she makes a beeline straight for the chicken. If she’s at my place or our mom’s place without her hubby, we try to make a plan to make sure she gets chicken.
A good few years ago, we were told that we were gluten intolerant. Now gluten has become a catch phrase lately, so it has become relatively easy to find gluten-free stuff. As it turned out, the intolerance was a symptom and not a cause – we sorted out the cause and now we can all eat gluten with abandon. But while we couldn’t, we struggled. Especially at the beginning – imagine trying to make lunches for your kids at school without using bread. There’s no such thing as a meal on the run. You can’t buy a pie if you’re away from home and you need something to eat. You can’t make toasted sandwiches for a quick mid-week meal. Now – every time I can do something like that – I appreciate it just that little bit more.
Am I the only one who has felt like this? Have any of you felt the same way?
-G O A S-S B