Recipe for healthy living

I used to, well, every publication in The Sentinel, em, later The West Edinburgh Times, insert a healthy eating recipe. You see, I used to be a cook in the army. I was in the army catering corp. I have five children. When my wife took ill, she was confined to a wheelchair for the last seven years of her life. So I was cooking for the family. And I just carried on. I will just put in a wee recipe in the [news]paper, and at the bottom of the recipe, I will say: “It is as easy and quick as cheap”. Also, one period I did a healthy eating course in the Dove Centre – the Health Project. They sponsored me for a six-week period [to teach people how to cook], and it was quite popular. On my first day, I had 15, by the end of that month I had about 20 to 25 turning up every week. because in contrast to em, cooks on the telly was what I did was – you and one of  you you have to come down and do this with me. I gave them hands on. And at the end of my sixth week, the Project Manager say to me: “Bill, I did a wee survey on your course. Nine out of ten said very satisfactory. The tenth one said: “I will give you nine out of ten – no bugger’s perfect!”. Hee, hee, that was the joker of the group.

Well, the benefit to the residents was that I used to go to the healthy food shops, em in Tollcross, Bruntsfield, em, because we used to be able to buy spices, herbs down at the shop where Lidl [in Wester Hailes] is now. But, they would sell you a jar, like this. It will last over two years. Whilst I can go to Tollcross and say to the bloke: “I can give you for the blah, blah”. And he would say: “Oh, aye, aye, alright fair enough”. And I could get half pounds of this whatever herb it was. It cost pennies. In fact, I would go round the ladies in the course and say: “what would you want hen, what would you want hen, picked up from the shop for the next week”. I use to make a wee list and get it for them for the next week and give it to them instead of them buying a big jar. It costs them coppers. It keeps their expenses down, and their pensions down as well, you know. Oh, I use to walk in thinking, what the bloody heck am I doing here. These women have their husbands and families and used to keeping their house and here I am telling them how to boil an egg, you know.

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