My mom has a beautiful garden at the country house growing the following: okra, sweet potatoes, arrowroot, luffa, peppers, long beans, cucumbers, soy beans, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, mint, cilantro, basil, pomelo, dragonfruit, passionfruit, and one rose bush.
My dad is a great cook. He was a great cook in Washington but moving back to Thailand and using mom’s garden has made him somewhat remarkable. It’s a hobby, while I obviously think he should monetize it. He maintains that the moment he makes it a profession, he’ll lose interest.
I respect this, but I pay their bills. It’s a challenge to be both supportive and broke.
They have some friends in their area and one evening each week, they host a big dinner. It started with them and four neighbors – two elderly couples – and has snowballed into a dozen person event. First, mom takes guests through the garden to show off the crop. Then, dad takes them through the kitchen to show his preparation. Guests bring the wine.
And then they eat. Dad says that food tells a story and he has an obligation to ensure that story can be a part of the meal.
I never eat as well as when I am at home, which is why trying to match it in my city life is largely wasteful of means and time spent Out There.