we had a delicious meal of chicken and noodles in wine sauce. Harold had put
the culinary delight together by gathering ideas from several different
websites and tweaking the recipes to make them his own. He has a knack for
blending seasonings and adding surreptitious touches to any dish he makes.
Tonight we had a delicious meal of chicken and noodles in wine sauce. Harold had put the culinary delight together by gathering ideas from several different websites and tweaking the recipes to make them his own. He has a knack for blending seasonings and adding surreptitious touches to any dish he makes.
I’m not sure that it is a total coincidence that Jim was also a good cook. It could have been dumb luck that I married two master chefs. Yeah, I’m sure it was a coincidence or dumb luck.
It also happens that they both had mothers who were well known for their cooking/baking talents. When Harold’s mom baked, it would have been picture perfect for a cookbook or magazine layout. Dorothy’s cakes, pies, brownies, or cookies looked as beautiful as they were heavenly scrumptious.
Jim’s mom had always cooked for a large family. I never knew anyone who could prepare a meal at warp speed and still be as tasty as everything Virginia cooked. She could perform magic with flour, milk, shortening, and baking powder. Virginia’s biscuits and gravy were legendary. She could bake a pie faster than anyone I ever saw in my life. And her light rolls were to die for.
Jim found solace in cooking. Between his physical pain, PTSD, and depression, there were times he could not work. A VA psychologist suggested that he take on some household chores to combat his feelings of worthlessness. Jim started cooking the meals and washing the dishes. His method was to clean as he cooked. By the time the food was on the table, the only thing that hadn’t been washed was the dishes necessary to eat the meal. I was never that organized when it came to cooking, and usually left a pile of dirty dishes in my wake.
Dementia is a thief that steals talents and personality traits. At first, the losses were minor and barely noticeable. I noticed differences in Jim’s skill level about a year before anyone else did. When I started telling people that Jim was having difficulty with his reasoning, I think most of his family thought I was the one with a problem.
We were all in denial and hoping against hope, that Jim would get better. He was so young that several specialists thought his condition could be reversible. It took a full day of testing to determine that he couldn’t do simple math or complete any questions that required abstract thinking. We both cried when he was diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.
In the early stages of dementia, Jim could still cook. The transition was so gradual that I don’t remember exactly when he no longer prepared the meals or when he stopped cooking completely.
More prominent in my memories are Jim fixing a complete meal on his camp stove at Moraine Park in the Rocky Mountain National Park. There’s nothing better than drinking coffee by a campfire and watching Jim fixing bacon and eggs on the camp stove. That culinary delight lingers in the recesses of my mind and in the depth of my heart.
Copyright © July 2022 by L.S. Fisher