Sunday, 3 February 2013

Cooking Calamities


In the last three weeks something weird has happened.  I’ve had an urge to cook.  Now anybody who knows me on a day to day basis would be nervous to hear this.  Firstly, they’d wonder exactly what I’d cooked.  Secondly, they’d politely say it wasn’t their sort of dish – pretty yuck in other words.  Gordon Ramsey I am not.  Although I do a mean impersonation when staring at a charred saucepan with a smoke alarm shrieking the house down.

Due to having a hungry family who can only take so many meals of beans on toast, for years I’ve been one of those women who fill her shopping trolley with ready meals and spend a fortune at the check-out.  ‘The weekly shopping is how much?’ Mr V has frequently been heard to cry.  Have you ever seen a huge hairy man having the vapours?  It’s a terrifying sight.  So is it guilt that’s finally got to me?  Up until now I couldn’t have given a tossed pancake about being a cooking goddess.  But the desire to turn my kitchen worktop into a heaving mass of chopped herbs and fresh produce persists.  There is also a little voice in my head saying, ‘Perhaps you are trying to cook properly because your Christmas efforts for extended family were so shaming.’

On Facebook you only have to scroll through your newsfeed to see how people delight in posting pictures of dishes they’ve slaved over.  Whether it’s cupcakes or curry, pasta or puddings, friends and acquaintances display their nosh for all to see.  I’ve always refrained from doing likewise.  I mean, what’s the point of posting a picture of a plastic tray sporting synthetic mash?  But when I gave in to the urge to cook a simple Shepherd’s Pie (the equivalent of a dinner party recipe in this house), AND it turned out to be not only edible but delicious, I suddenly found myself joining the masses.  That is, whipping out my mobile phone and uploading a photograph to Facebook.  The excitement was so extreme I felt as if I’d won the lottery.  Mr V kept saying, ‘Did you really cook this or did your mum do it?’

A macaroni cheese came next, followed by cannelloni, lasagne and then…wait for it…the giddy realms of experimentation.  Stir fries with chilli jam and mouth watering chicken in red wine.  And then I tried a risotto.  Which was absolutely disgusting and tasted like socks.  Unwashed socks at that.  Never mind.  Two steps forward, one back.  But the point is, I seem to have found myself on an adventure. And – I never thought I’d hear myself say this – it’s actually rather exciting!

Which reminds me.  I’ve refrained from experimenting with cereals.  I heard a man drowned whilst making his breakfast muesli.  He was pulled in by a strong currant…

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