My Favourite Recipe

So, I was reading a thread on a forum and people were putting up their favourite recipes. As my favourite recipe is currently the phone number to the take-away up the road I decided I need to explain about my skills as a Chef.

Now, with that as my theme, I could easily stop typing and click post. I have no skills as a Chef. I’m culinarily impaired you could say. I could eat the same meal everyday and not bat an eye. I could drink the same drink every day and never care. For some reason food doesn’t inspire or motivate or move me. (perhaps my lack of skill contributes to this)

This would be okay to live like this if it were just me. I have the Mr. and Little Poppet who live here with me so I should probably feed them. One thing they have in common is they ‘act up’ when they are hungry. Little Poppet throws all of her toys everywhere and the Mr. throws his comments around until feeding time. I, on the other hand, just don’t seem to be terribly bothered.

I have told people on many occasions that my husband is the cook in the family. I can keep us from starvation but when you taste what I’ve made you may not agree that this is the best thing. So, I thought I’d share a recent example of my adventures in cookery and see what things you can suggest to help me become the budding chef and wife and mum that I should be.

The other night I decided a bolognese would be acceptable for a meal. At least it sounded better than the bowl of meat (mince) with seasoning I prepared for the Mr. awhile back. Meat and a potato. Still don’t know what all the complaining about that was about. It was too late to bundle up Little Poppet to go to the shops (if I haven’t mentioned that it is bloomin’ cold here in London IT IS!) as it was already dark (this happens at approximately midday this time of year *sigh*) and that means that no matter how warmly you are dressed or how many layers you are wearing, the skin on your face will freeze solid and you aren’t entirely sure your feet are still there…

So, I looked in the cupboards to find spaghetti pasta! Save! Brilliant. Oh, okay, a sauce would be nice I suppose. At least the Mr. will want something besides pasta-I’m guessing of course. So, another perusal of the cupboards and I found a tin of tomatoes. Great! It was already a meal to my mind! (I know from experience that setting the pasta on a plate with the tin next to the plate is not acceptable to the Mr. I guess he’s a bit fussy).

I put the pan on the hob and boiled the kettle. Once I added the boiling water to the pan I turned the hob to high and put in the spaghetti pasta. Left those to start the sauce. Oh. Hmmm. I wonder if we have any mince. I didn’t have to wonder long. We didn’t. So, I looked in the freezer and the refrigerator for anything meat like in substance. Wow, I need to go shopping! Why didn’t I just order online from Sainsbury’s and have them fill all the cupboards and refrigerator? They should probably have contacted me by now!

Okay, not to worry, there were two slices of ham lunch meat. Mmmm, ham and tomato sauce on spaghetti. I can already hear Jamie Oliver ordering a supply for his restaurant! Michelin is probably going to be awarding me my first star any time!

Or not.

I chopped the ham slices into bite size pieces and put them in a pan (btw, I know some people have flashy names for their pots and pans (such as ‘saucepan’ or ‘skillet’) but mine are simply known as ‘that pan’ and ‘this pan’. I’m considering calling them names like Henry or Harold but as yet no, just pan) to heat up – since they were already cooked being sandwich meat and all. After roughly 3 seconds they were already burnt toasted so I proceeded to find the tin opener. Already I decided that this should have been done before heating the smoked ham. I honestly do not know how something that essential can be misplaced! In a kitchen! Of course, it was atop the refrigerator. Why I didn’t look their first is anyone’s guess.

Okay, so I opened the tin of tomatoes and poured them over the ‘ham’. Note to self… take the tomatoes out first to avoid splashing. No problem though, I was wearing a white top and everyone knows how simple and easy it is to get tomato red out of a white top!

Now, I looked about for something to flavour it, though I know what you are thinking…. that smoked ham will surely give it a nice roasted flavour, who needs seasoning? Alas, I found some basil and some red mixture (a handy seasoning blend) and some sea salt and some white pepper. That already sounds delish no?

No, is correct.

I put the sauce on a mediumish setting and left it to simmer in its own juices and for the flavours to mingle and melt together and went to see how Little Poppet was doing. She was ready to awaken from her slumber so I changed her nappy and carried her sleepy little self downstairs with me. I brought her into the front room to see if she’d watch Kipper or Pingu or something Sesame Street like whilst I finished the meal. No, No and NO! Okay, so the four middle aged men dancing it was!

Well, of course there is lots of moving and shaking with those boys so we did a little dance and after about 20 minutes the smoke alarm went off to alert me that the meal was done!

I put Little Poppet in her high chair and turned off the hob. Wow, what a delightful smell that is. I wonder what it is? I wondered if perhaps the ham had actually not been made from a pig in fact. Perhaps it was from a donkey? No, it wasn’t the ham. Just then the Mr. returned home safely from a hard day at work. Just in time…

He too smelled the aromatic bouquet of this culinary delight and asked me if everything was okay or if perhaps the toilets had backed up. Nice. No, No, its dinner I proudly announced! He then asked who had been cut! The look of bewilderment on my face apparent, he pointed to my top.

He asked what I used in it and asked me why I had the ant deterrent mixture he’d made for his Mum when she’d left her back door open and suddenly had an attack of ants this past summer was out on the worktop.

Ant deterrent? Quite literal deterr ANT. I masked the fear and trembling with a ‘casual’ question about just what was in that anyway? Is it poisonous? Oh, just out of curiosity, are the fumes from it noxious or poisonous? *as I headed towards Little Poppet to remove her from and declare the kitchen a hazmat zone.

Nothing poisonous no. Just cayenne pepper, coffee and nutmeg I think. It was all natural, whew! Well, whew for the ‘we aren’t going to die from the fumes’. Not quite a whew for my sauce. I explained to the Mr. that I had decided to make a special sauce for the spaghetti noodles for him so I added some of that to the sauce. Ahhh… the gentle sizzling sounds coming from ‘that pan’ reminded me that I should turn down the water in the pasta. Ah no need, there is no water.

Well, unfortunately I’ve been informed there is no way to uncook pasta – especially once it has been fried sans water and sticking to ‘that pan’. It is what it is at this point. Big, soggy, sticky, crunchy noodle-like substance nestled clumpily under a coffee flavoured tomato sauce with a KICK!! of cayenne! Woohoo! It was so delicious!

The Mr. went up the road and bought two microwave curries for 99p each. Yeah, I know, I owe him 2 quid.

Oh, and Michelin didn’t ring. Well, not me anyway.

I leave you with a video of me Pingu making pancakes!

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