First of all, I wish to apologize to my growing fans for the evil caricature instead of the world famous Rez Notes that ordinary people have grown to love or hate in the last issue. I would like to attribute this loss to the ever-growing dependency we have on technology as a poor excuse but I did have a problem with trying to produce anything funny in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the innocent two weeks ago. Saying or writing anything funny was too inappropriate at that time and my heart goes out to those thousands who have and are still, suffering. But like Burnstick says, laughing is part of healing and I have chosen to tell a story of how I suffered as a young lad only to grow from the experience and eventually become a master baker.
It all started with one hungry day when I was young, sometime in the early seventies, and we were having a nice long walk at the end of Fort George Island, when the pangs of hunger overcame me.
I asked my mother if I could go home and cook something to eat and she said yes, thinking that I knew something about cooking after watching her cook since I was a toddler. I said I was going to cook my favorite food, French fried potatoes, I ran home, driven by a growling and empty stomach and rapidly peeled a handful of ‘taters. My good friend accompanied me with hopes of sharing a plate or two of those delicious fries and even helped me with the peeling.
During my many observations of my mother’s culinary skills was the actual frying process in some liquid, so I proceeded to boil my potatoes. After about twenty minutes or so, I noticed that they were turning golden brown, just as my mother made it, so I started putting other ingredients in such as Soya sauce, and numerous other dark liquids until the potatoes turned black. My buddy decided not to indulge and passed when I offered him the steaming black and malodorous potatoes. I, on the other hand, was confident of my newly acquired talent and ate everything. After gulping down the last morsel, my mother arrived and wondered just what the heck was the mess and smell about. I replied that I didn’t feel so good.
Not long after, at the hospital, I was diagnosed with appendicitis and was in need of emergency medical treatment in the form of surgery. With a temperature ranging in the high 100’s (those days it was in Fahrenheit) arrangements were made to send me to Timmins on the DC-B. For some strange reason the flight was diverted to Moosonee (I believe that it was foggy in Timmins) then I was strapped to the outside of a helicopter and flown stretcher and all on the pontoon of the whirlybird to the green grass of the Moose Factory Hospital. People in white were rushing all around the yard and someone told me to count to ten while being rolled down the hallway.
During this fateful time of my life, completely oblivious to the fact that my appendix had ruptured and I was near to my maker, my family and the community were praying for me at St.Phillip’s church. The next thing I remember was this large nose growing in my foggy vision and the exclamation “He’s alive!” Apparently I was near death or already dead and the minister was there to follow through for my entry into the heavens. For those who want to know. I don’t remember anything of the afterlife only darkness, just like sleeping without dreams.
For the next three months of my recovery,
I was stuck with more IV’s than any modern day junkie, as my stomach lining was eroded and very sensitive to anything solid. I ran out of blood vessels to penetrate when they started plugging into my legs and feet, which resulted in size fourteen feet with little pinkies poking out from the swollen masses of flesh I used to walk on. I was constantly nursed back to health by my guardian angel that took pity on me and she gave me some very powerful words of advice. “Sonny, you’ll have to learn how to cook.”
So… cooking became a very important part of my lifestyle and I learned how to bake from scratch and cook with flair, at par or better than any self-taught chef. I’ve even taught my compadre Neil Diamond, how to bake and he got it right the very first time. The secret to baking and cooking is patience and to know what the hec you’re putting in as ingredients, or otherwise, you may lose more than your dignity when your guests turn up their noses (or turn up dead) to the odor emanating from your oven or saucepan.