This week’s Sage, The Goat Herd, likes to refer to herself as the Prince Charles of the Homestead kitchen. As someone with very little interest in cookery (and a firm belief she is kitchenly impaired), she is often heard declaiming her hope that The Milk Maid will retain full use of her culinary marbles until Farm Girl is ready, willing, and able to accept the ceremonial spatula and spangly toque blanche. The rest of us feel she’s speaking utter rubbish; she is a totally competent cook with (and this is the important bit) wonderful taste but there’s simply no telling her. She’ll happily allay our unplaced but very real fears by calculating the stress load the water tank places on our pump shed without batting an eyelid and with utter confidence, but sauteing onions gets her all of a lather.
She’s pretty good at choosing conversation-promoting words, though. These ones are particularly resounding to one of the older Homesteaders who, as sparkly eyed youngster, was hell-bent on saving the world and didn’t care who knew it. From the nuclear issue to littering to use of plastics to organic vegetables, their very loud, impassioned opinions, predictions and proclamations echoed, although utterly sincere and with only the best intentions, tended to have the opposite of the desired effect. Luckily age, experience, and not a little despondency taught the valuable lesson that the wonderful Mr Pratchett summed up in a small handful of words. If you stomp around telling people what’s good for them you get nowhere. You do a lot better quietly getting on with practising what you were preaching – which is how we ended up where we are now; namely eating The Goat Herd’s homemade Chicken Vol-au-vents.
Can’t cook?? Pshaw!!