Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Value Planning

They do say "the grass is always greener the other side of the fence", so why not jump over and view your own plot from your neighbour's perspective. Chances are you will find yours is not that bad after all. Look for the advantages that we still have - but often don't realise until we look from a different viewpoint - and make the most of them. Could be your neighbours run three cars and holiday abroad, but they could also be living off ready-meals and spend half their life wishing they could have some of the home-made bread, cakes and casseroles made in your kitchen next door. There is nothing quite as tantalising as the aromas that come from a cook's kitchen, and there is nothing like eating a good home-cooked meal to make life feel so much better. I know which life I would rather choose.

Strip away luxuries and we all end up in the same boat, but it is those that can cook that are the luckiest and -dare I say it - ones most sought after. My friend recently left me a pile of 'The Lady" mags, albeit a year old. It was fascinating reading the ads for the cooks/housekeepers etc. There were several that offered free accomodation (like a cottage in the grounds), use of a car, husband to follow own occupation, and a wage on top. Sometimes just for cooking, and this often only at weekends. Particularly liked the one where a 'cook for Christmas' was requested. Living in a 17th century house, log fires, able to use their car, do all the shopping, and cook the food - even if only for the Twelve Days. My idea of Heaven - and would be tempted to do it for free. Oh, if only I was younger.
So bear this in mind. Finding someone able to cook well - and often all is asked for is just 'good plain food' - is today not that easy, so all you cooks out there, consider your worth and never underestimate your abilities. Like anything - 'hand-made' (knitting, embroidery, carpentry...) cooking has become a dying art, and there are people out there willing to pay over the odds for such skills, and many families extremely envious because you have them in the first place.