I watch the odd cooking show and I confess to being addicted to the train wreck that is Gordon Ramsay on whatever show he is on, which appears to be most of them on US TV at the moment. I watch because I live in hope that one day somebody will give him a taste of his own medicine instead of meekly saying "YES CHEF!" in response to his verbal assaults and temper tantrums.
But the point is, chefs like him (but alas not their students) make it all look so simple.
I'm not that great in the kitchen, but I've had me moments. In 40 years of marriage I've learned a thing or three and two of those things were to get in and get out of the kitchen as fast as possible. Because, let's face it, it's not just the bloody cooking is it? I mean they don't show you the hours of washing pots and pans after it's all done do they? They casually destroy a kitchen in minutes flat, but the fairies must be waiting in the wings for the clean up part, and then you see the finished result which looks mouthwateringly good, not to mention attractively plated and ready to serve. Nobody ever turns the camera on the kitchen sink, walls and floor, fridge and stove aftermath and says, "Now look at THAT bloody mess! It's going to take me FOREVER to clean that sh*t up!"
So I know I'm apt to start imagining things and I really should think twice when the urge takes me to get in the kitchen and 'create' after watching one of these shows. "God, that looks SO EASY!" I think. "And as a matter of fact I think I have most of those very ingredients in my fridge and cupboards. I think I'll just go upstairs to the kitchen right NOW and knock that very dish up for my lovely husband."
and I'm quite excited at the thought of all that blending and cutting and mixing and stirring. I can visualize the end result and I just KNOW it's going to be wonderful.
and that's when the trouble starts.
I put a Jamie Oliver video on the Ipad and put it on the kitchen counter next to me as I worked. I was going to make a) Jamie's Fish Pie and b) Jamie's meatballs. Two different meals taken care of for the coming week. Look at me I'm flipping marvelous.
I followed Jamie's steps to a T!
Jamie's fish pie looked fab. My fish pie was absolutely horrendous. How could this be? My other half dutifully ate his way through a plate of the stuff as did I. "Mmmm" he said and smacked his lips as I served it up. By the end we were both silent. I tossed the rest into the compost bin and we've not mentioned it since. Jamie One, Clippy Nil.
Onwards and upwards.
b) Meatballs. Do this! Said Jamie, Yep! Said I. Do that, he ordered. Yep, I obeyed. Done, done and done.
Serve with pasta. Smelled divine. I channeled my inner Italian Mama for this one. Into the fridge they went to be consumed as meal number two this week.
It may have taken me most of the rest of the day to clean up the resulting mess and destruction - but it was SURE to be worth it.
OH GOD how is this possible? My other half has just phoned me from work. I sent him with a container of pasta and meatballs for himself and his partner for their evening meal as they are on the late shift.
Panic stricken he asked, "What did you eat for supper?"
Me: "Pasta and meatballs."
Him: "er How was it?"
Me: "Dreadful! I don't think they were right somehow...."
Him: "Gary thinks I'm trying to poison him. They were still pink in the middle."
Me: "Did you both eat them?"
Him: " I ate most of mine. Gary spat his out."
Me: ":Why did you eat yours then?"
Him: "I knew you'd be upset."
Me: "We're going to die."
From now on I'm going to watch DIY shows only. We have a lot of tools in our shed and I really think I could knock up a nice piece of furniture. It looks quite easy on TV.
Image from here