I’ve been chatting with The Ice Cold Chef, aka John Joyce, who is hoping to publish a cook book for carers. Find out more about this fabulous project here.
How did the idea of the cook book come about?
7 years ago my wife Bev was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive MS at the age of 45. At this time I didn’t cook as I worked away – Bev taught me the basics and the rest is history! The cook book will be for charity and is aimed at carers and their families, hopefully to encourage them to cook a meal from fresh ingredients rather than eating frozen or processed food. I hope the fact I have started from scratch in the kitchen will inspire them!
How have you adjusted to your wife being diagnosed with MS?
It was a shock to hear the news, and at the same time we both felt alone, alone in the fact that we didn’t know anything about the condition. I was 42 when all this started and we went through all the anger, frustration and upset but we weren’t going to give in and I started to help Bev in my usual positive way. In turn, Bev taught me to cook. In fact, we are a team then and we still are and I am extremely proud of us both.
What about family life?
We have one daughter who is 26 and married to another John, who is known affectionately to us as the Golden Child!
Are you a carer for your wife? If so, what does this involve?
I am the main carer for Bev and one carer comes in the morning to help us. I get up every morning at 6 am and prepare all my morning chores and make sure we are ready for the start of the day. Caring for Bev involves me using a hoist to transfer her and getting her in to the level access shower. Bev is then helped to get dressed and is transferred into the riser recliner chair in the front room. Bev has her breakfast and I give her the ipad – all our Christmas shopping has been done online, a massive help. I come home for lunch and then leave again for the office and normally I can be back home for just after 4.30pm.
Would you say that this cook book is your way of escaping the mental and emotional strain of being a carer?
For me, the Ice Cold Kitchen is my haven. I know when I leave the office, I can chill out by working my magic and creating meals and breads. Everything we eat in our home is cooked or baked from fresh and I have just baked our Christmas cake. I also know that when I am around, Bev is more relaxed and this makes me feel relaxed too. I tend to see my glass as half full and am always smiling – I’m known for it! I am a firm believer we can achieve anything in life. Putting a positive spin on any situation if possible always helps to keep us moving forward.