I told him we were having cabbage and mince for dinner.
He looked at me with those eyes perfected by orphans the world over – at least those orphans in orphan-focussed musicals.
The eyes were sort of puppy shaped, slightly moist and beseeching in their earnestness.
But this was no Annie or Oliver in front of me. This wasn’t the boy about to be thrown down the bannisters and fed on cockroaches served in a cannister (OK I do love an orphan-based musical).
This was a man who was accustomed to the very best when it comes to food and its daily indulgences. This was a man whose cooking was all about the sauces and the flavour and ingredients I couldn’t even begin to understand.
And let’s face it, this was a man who wouldn’t really suffer if he ate cabbage and mince for once. I can’t even get him to remember the simple fare of his childhood, raised as he was by a mother who worked as a caterer and keen to bring her skills to the family dinner table.
On the first night, I cooked my first roast dinner (yes, my husband did point this out to me and yes, he was right). On the second night, I cooked cabbage and mince.
My husband who is the usual cook (OK the only cook) was unable to use his hand having had recent carpal tunnel surgery and so it seemed that if we were to eat, the culinary choices and preparation were mine.
Having spent the last 43 years on a diet of restaurant standard meals prepared by my own personal chef, I sometimes yearn for some simpler fare. And cabbage it was.
My husband kept giving me directions from the armchair, suggesting I add various herbs and Italian tomato pastes. But my vision was plainer than that.
I did succumb to some onion, garlic, sesame seeds and carrot (although I found the carrot the next day in the microwave, where it was overlooked for par cooking).
I also threw in a few random things I found in the fridge and voila, the cabbage was a taste sensation.
At least I thought it was.
My husband admired my cooking form, showing considerable restraint in not mentioning the lack of herbs and tomato-based sauces.
It was enough to spur me on to new cooking adventures. On the third night, I cooked some sausages and learnt how to use the air fryer for the chips.