it was what I had always wanted to do," B.... told me.
Another friend has died. I will admit she was in her 80's and she had been treated for cancer but she still seemed full of life.
We first met her not long after they moved in close to us. Mutual friends introduced us. Soon she and her husband invited us "around the corner" for a meal.
What a meal! No, it wasn't incredibly exotic. There were no strange ingredients. The portions were not huge.
It was just right. The ingredients were simple. The portions were the size that could be enjoyed. The presentation was superb. We felt as if we were eating in a five star hotel...or even better.
She laughed and said, "When I retired we opened a little French restaurant. I did the cooking and O.... did the service. We employed just one other person. It was something I always wanted to do. We ran it for eight years and sold it at a profit."
That takes some doing. The amount of work involved must have been enormous. They loved doing it but they knew when to stop. B... went on cooking and baking.
She came to the event for me some weeks ago and she told Middle Cat, "I'm bringing cake so don't worry about getting any cake." Middle Cat didn't even bother to argue. B... was making cake. I didn't get a piece...growl! I am not that fond of cake. Most of the time I am happy to ignore it but hers were as light as the proverbial feather. That cake was no exception. Everyone who had some thought it was wonderful. I complained (nicely) to her that everyone else had enjoyed it and she laughed again. "I'm going to make you one. Come up..." She was living in a retirement village but had her own little kitchen. We arranged a date but she put me off saying she wasn't feeling the best. And that was it. We didn't see one another again. I wish I had. The cake didn't matter at all. We both knew that. It was her company that mattered.
I loved the way we could invite her and her husband to eat with us and say, "Come to the house of the amateur cooks." I'd never try anything fancy either. It never looked as good but she would give me a hug and tell me it tasted good. I actually made "proper coffee" for her...we have instant by preference and I don't even really like that. If she called in at morning tea time she liked to have tea made with rain water and proper tea leaves in a pot...made by me. I can understand her liking the difference between that and the tap water of this city and a tea bag dunked in hot water!
Her husband developed Alzheimer's so they moved into a retirement village where he could eventually get extra care. Her mother was still in the nursing section of the same place. She cheerfully cared for both of them. When they died she found other things to do. She sewed and came to me for help with knitting. We went on having morning and afternoon tea on occasions...
and sometimes she made cake.