I can’t cook. There, I said it and already I can see you wincing and tut-tutting at my ineptitude. Or some of you who are of a more callous disposition will say I am just plain lazy! But dear reader, I honestly feel, as this tale will tell, that some men are pre-destined to cook, (as some women are pre-destined to shop) and some men are not
My story begins a couple of weeks ago when I was invited to a dinner party with the department of witchcraft and beauty. The hosts, a lovey couple, were offering both a meat dish and a fish option. Imagine. You had a choice. In someone’s kitchen! However let me rewind forty five minutes earlier, as I am walking up the driveway with my good lady and she informs me that “Terry” (that’s not his real name, but I can’t risk libel), the husband was doing all of the cooking.
Apparently, he had just completed one of those weekend cookery courses in Ballymacookalot or somewhere. A gift for Christmas from his “I’ve had enough of this kitchen” wife. I gave an indifferent shrug of the shoulders as I pressed the doorbell. When the door opened however, I almost laughed. For there standing before us holding the door open with one hand, the other holding some type of “kitchen instrument thingy” was Terry. However it was what he was wearing that made my ribs tickle. For after his three day course, he was now bedecked in a navy apron from his oxters to his ankles and emblazoned in bright orange letters over his left breast was “TERRY”
My point here is, men who cook are great, but don’t they tend to go on about it? To be honest, the food was lovely and a few days later, I began to become engrossed in cookery programmes.
”Only takes about twenty minutes to make…” “You’ll whip this one up while they are having their starter…” The presenters boasted.
So, I decided I would take my inaugural steps into the world of culinary delectations. These steps turned out to be as successful as a one legged drunk coming out of a free bar. It all started to go wrong when I went shopping for the ingredients for this “simple dish”. I had downloaded the recipe from the internet and was heading out the door when, the department whizzed past mumbling something to the effect of “Can you bring the kids with you, I’m going to get my hair done”
Bereft, I headed out with the orphanage in tow. As this was my maiden shopping trip of its kind, I could find nothing. One of the boys went missing and was located half way through a packet of Jammie Dodgers ten minutes later in aisle three.
My great meal involved filo pastry and there was none to be found anywhere. So rather than go through the whole rigmarole again, I bought the ingredients I had and resigned myself to not cooking today. We went home. But I was not to be defeated! On unpacking my wares, I said, “No!” Let’s go elsewhere on the hunt for filo pastry! The kids groaned. I bribed them with promises of comics. When we arrived at supermarket number two, there was no parking and it started to rain. Heavily. We ran, drenched, to the shops to get comics. I had left my wallet beside the half unpacked groceries at home. Rooting frantically, I found a fiver in my pocket which paid for the negotiated magazines, leaving no money for filo pastry. They had shelves of it!
So, as I sat with a bowl of tomato soup watching Jamie Oliver disembowel a duck, and turn it into a design similar to a small garden, I reflected that I am just not meant to cook.
“And this one is so simple to do”, Jamie’s assured.
He looked funny as tomato soup drizzled down his face from the bread I had flung at the television.