My introduction to cooking came early. As an only child, I spent a lot of time hanging out with Mom in the kitchen, watching her go through the rituals of meal preparation.
And rituals they were. Mom made everything the old-fashioned way, as she learned from her elders. Of course nearly everything she made was Armenian.
I thought watching her was great fun, especially as I got to taste everything. Our kitchen time became even more enjoyable when Mom started to show me how to cook. Mom stressed that it was important to be self sufficient and not become the sort of man who needed a wife to feed him.
Luckily for me, I learned Mom's lessons. Better yet, I also got a wife who feeds me -- and quite well, thanks!
This arrangement has worked out well for years, as we've taken turns being the daily cook depending on whose schedule worked best. But life takes funny turns now and then that upset even the most reliable routine.
I've written before about my sudden loss of smell after a head injury a couple of years ago. It hasn't come back, and it most likely never will. This has played havoc with my taste, but that's another story. The problem that cropped up recently was much bigger.
Anosmia, as it's called, comes with a list of things to avoid because of potential danger. Among them is using gas appliances. I'd never know if there was a leak. This is not usually a problem for us because we have an electric stove.
The problem is that we took a trip to New Jersey to stay at Robyn's mother's house, which has a gas stove.
I happily stepped out of the kitchen, until Robyn's mother unfortunately was hospitalized for a week or so. Robyn and the rest of the family migrated to her sister's house, closer to the hospital. I stayed behind to finish a writing project on deadline.
That left me with no way to cook except with the microwave. I won't bore you with the details, but I filled up mostly on canned soup and Minute Rice mixed with madzoon.
Robyn returned to discover that I'd survived, although I'd been drinking sour milk -- another little sensation I can no longer detect.
I can't complain, as so many people have much bigger problems. I think Mom would be proud that I am still self-sufficient.
I'm just not always as well fed.