The other day, L (photographer here), who is participating in the creation of her school's first-ever cookbook , needed to test a recipe. And so, for the first time she took over dinner from start to finish. I didn't lift a finger, and she made this shepherd's pie, peeling potatoes and carrots, chopping them, adding onions, browning meat, mashing potatoes, seasoning. Everything. It was a red letter day for me, and an eye-opener for her about exactly what it is I do every night.
We decided to get out the casserole dish that my mother always used for special occasions to bake it in. She always made what was then a slightly exotic concoction of boneless chicken breasts, sauteed rice, mushrooms, and pimentos, baked in this special pottery dish that I think she had received as a wedding present.
I did take over the washing up, and as I submerged casserole, I caught a whiff of that dish my mother made. Proustian moment? or perhaps my mother was around, peering over L's shoulder as she made her first supper.
I hope so.