So I was glad to go out for "lunch", albeit primarily liquid, for the big birthday celebrations yesterday as I had to get out of the house. I was about to start eating my own hands.
The Royal "We" popped to the supermarket yesterday morning and braved the rushes of people expecting South Wales to resemble Antarctica for several months. Still, it never hurts to be prepared. I was very much impressed with the Scouts on their winter camp that BBC News 24 were showing having a whale of a time in the snow. A great bit of PR for the Scouts, I thought and lets face it, the youngsters could do a lot worse than enrol in one of Baden-Powells troops. My Sister-in-Law runs a Guide troop (I think they're called "troops") and I think it's a very good thing for our youngsters. The modern twists on traditional skills are fantastic and I think any opportunity for interaction and skill sharing between generations is a massively important thing. Should be compulsory, I think.
In said supermarket (stay with me) I picked up a lovely big ham joint. That'll keep us going for a while, I thought.
So, yesterday lunchtime, I set it to cook in the slow cooker (best invention known to man - or woman) with two colour onions, a couple of cloves of garlic and the left over from New Year wine and beer. Just the stuff that had been started and not finished. That was what got me thinking about respect. I think the people less fortunate than ourselves and the people struggling to feed families on rations had an awful lot more of it than us.
It would have been very easy for me to pour the wine dregs down the Belfast sink and chuck out the bottles for recycling, or worse, in the refuse. But I put it to one side and treated it with some respect. In turn, it gave me a ham joint so utterlyscrumptious that I had to leave the house to get away from the delicious stink. Getting it out of the pot at 9 o'clock last night was an issue, though. I knew it was succulent, so I stuck my biggest knife right through the middle of it, blunt end up, and attempted to lift it out onto a plate.
20 minutes later I finished picking pieces of ham out of my hair after the blunt edge of the knife slid through the incredibly tender meat and showered me with it. (Of course I ate it! You would too!).
But there's still more respect I can give it, so I turn off the slow cooker and leave the yummy juice to cool overnight in a freezing cold kitchen. In the morning, then, I can easily move the fat off the top with a big spoon and then it's into ice cube bags and the freezer for the most yummy and usable stock in the world.
It's really easy to just chuck stuff away without much regard for where it's going. Chucking stuff "away" doesn't mean that it disappears off the face of the earth. It just becomes someone else's problem. The term "disposable culture" has been overused by many dreadful politicians but it's a mindset that's very difficult to get out of. I've been doing a lot of intricate bead work over the last few days and have found myself cursing if two of my sequins are stuck together and I only notice after I've sen them on. I want every single tiny beautiful sparkly one of them to be used to it's very full potential. I think this might mean that I either have Tourettes or my sense of respect might be coming back.