Sunday, 16 October 2011

Pumpkin partners. Not.

Okaasan showed interest in cooking again.
It's that rare an occurance that it merits a blog entry.
This lady who long-ago attended a highclass Tokyo cooking school, who spent years as a Super Wife cooking for the family and staff parties can just about heat up soup, pour hot water on instant noodles and peel a vegetable.

And then on Friday evening.
I was settling into some quiet time making pumpkin stew when Okaasan came home and noticed what I was DOING IT WRONG.
First she was shocked to see me peeling the pumpkin (actually only some pieces to make the all-orange stew base), and then I was using a knife to take out the seeds - NO! No! No!
She saw these terrible deeds from her room....and ran into the kitchen to set me straight.
Don't peel the pumpkin! It's wasteful! In Japan we eat the pumpkin skin!
Don't use a knife, use your fingers like this!

Inside my head I was fighting my feelings.
Good Oyomesan - ahh, must encourage her to show off her skills, must thank her for teaching me something, dementia people need to feel useful blah blah blah....
Bad Oyomesan - get OUT of my kitchen and go back to watching TV pleeeese.....I can make pumpkin stew without your help...pleeese let me have this quiet time in the kitchen to myself...pleeeese go away.

I managed to be Good Oyomesan. I thanked her for teaching me etc. Then.... I went upstairs and stayed away for 20 mins., hoping that it was enough time for Okaasan to forget about the pumpkin cooking and settle down by the TV again...
And it was. When I came back to the kitchen she was down under the kotatsu heated table entranced by some noisy, talentless people TV show again....and I could complete my pumpkin stew in peace.

Okaasan hardly ever shows an interest in our cooking in the kitchen. She usually drifts through and into her room or the toilet or bathroom, just barely noticing what we are doing.. until we call her to come into the kitchen for a meal. I am so, SO glad for this - everything would take 10 times longer and be 10 times more stressful if she wanted to be there too.
There is always "The Way"/ "The Japanese Way" to do things. And MY way of doing something is totally wrong.

I know helping to prepare food is good for her brain activating and hand dexterity, but I hope to keep it to the current level where she fixes her own lunch from stuff we've left out for her - heats up the food, boils an egg, burns a pan....if she started taking part in the evening meal prepping it would be a nightmare.
Here's hoping the pumpkin partnership was a one-off.

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