Cooking Baking and General Mess Making

I have a strange relationship with cooking.

I am, in effect, a good cook. My speciality is Coq Au Vin, as learnt from Delia Smith, and I suspect the reason she is so good at it is because that’s the only ‘Coq’ she’s getting at her age.

I love French food. I love anything to do with France really. In my head, I will end up retiring to an idyllic village in Brittany cycling around with bread and cheese in my basket.

In reality, when I lived in Brittany, we used to cycle to and from the beach wasted so often that if someone didn’t end up in the ditch it wasn’t a night out and I once had to go back in the morning to recover my flip flop.

So although I can cook these lovely, intricate things, I struggle with the basics.

Eggs amaze me. If I boil one, it either comes out like something that is produced by your vadge  during childbirth or something you shoot out of a cannon. Scrambling is fairly straight forward, and my omelettes end up being scrambled eggs any way. I’m lucky to have scrambled eggs as a way to disguise my disastrous omelettes.

I don’t know about you, readers, but it’s the SIMPLE things that mess me up in cooking. One mothers day when I was about 14, I thought I’d do a good deed and make my Mum hot cross buns. Now in this day and age most fire hazards have a lot of warning (see the stick person on fire on the back of boxes of matches), but greaseproof paper, did, and still does not, come with a ‘please do not put under the grill warning’.

Needless to say my Mums mothers day that year consisted of me taking her up a cup of tea and saying ‘grill was on fire, put it out, late for school now bye’.

Pot noodles. How can someone cook a lovely Mediterranean salmon with their eyes closed and not make a Pot Noodle. I’m sure this is a well known fact but IT IS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO MAKE A POT NOODLE CRUNCHY. When I make a Pot Noodle I feel like I’m eating curry flavour cornflakes.

Toast. Seriously, what setting does the toaster go on? My toaster has two settings: Raw bread and fire.

I don’t know about anyone else’s smoke alarms, but mine sounds similar to what they would play if nuclear war had been declared. When the cats come downstairs in gas masks you know its probably time to turn the smoke alarm volume down, which is on my to do list with de-scaling the kettle and replacing the batteries in the clock that has said 5.50pm for 6 months.

Another thing I am not great at is the mess part. After cooking a meal, my house slightly looks like a hungry poltergeist has made an appearance. For some reason I just cannot help using every pan in the house. My kitchen side is like an identity parade of saucepans after I have finished. Pick the one you think had the cheese sauce in? Probably the one with enough cheddar burnt to the bottom of it to genetically clone a cow.

I’ve always loved cooking. One of my earliest memories is standing on a chair making stir fry when I was about 6. In hindsight I’m surprised my parents were not pulled up on child labour charges.

As one of the guys with LD I used to look after so eloquently put it ‘Well….if you want a husband…you better learn to cook first’. So although I can make a mean Coq Au Vin, its obvious I’m single because I can’t boil an egg.

It’s absolutely nothing to do with the fact I’m selfish, want to be single, don’t like 90% of people that are not me, have a fine line between texting enough and texting too much and have REALLY high personal hygiene standards.



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