Friday, 29 July 2011

In the beginning there was fire

Thankyou for visiting me as I begin my latest project/fad/attempt at being multi talented.  This is my account of being a working mum who tries very hard to be a domestic goddess but gets it a bit wrong.

I didn't learn to cook until I left home at 19. Until that point I believed all food stuffs came out of a tin or a box; my mum was the queen of convenience food way before the concept was even properly invented. I remember poking mysterious, polystyreney "noodles" from of a box around my plate, convinced they were space food. Even now she will amaze me with her inability/refusal to cook anything fresh, and recently phoned me up to say how wonderful it was that Iceland had started selling bags of scrambled egg that were microwave ready in 2 minutes.

I almost burned the school down down at 13 during a home economics class. We were instructed to make a gooseberry fool, and I was concentrating so hard on pureeing my fruit in a large industrial looking blender that I completely forgot about the custard I had left on the hob. Five minutes later the class had to be evacuated from the room while smoke and flames billowed up from the shrivelled, coal like substance that was once meant to be creme anglaise. Five years later I almost killed my best friend by attempting to cook her chips- essentially raw slices of potato shallow fried in oil and water. Again, there were flames. 

Because of this dubious start in gastronomic life, I was determined that in adulthood I would only ever cook proper, fresh food myself, and pride myself on the fact that no matter how hard you look, you'll never find a jar of ragu or sweet and sour in my house. When Rosie was born 8 years ago I was even more determined to become a domestic goddess , and the kitchen is full of cookery books and "homely" items like scales and gingham curtains. As a working mum and part of the "have it all" generation I feel a need to try harder than the other mothers at the school gates, most of whom don't work and have immaculate houses.     

I am now a pretty good cook of almost anything savoury, and my macaroni cheese with leeks and bacon is legendary within the culinary hot spot that is Aylesbury (look it up). I love cooking and find it relaxing and therapeutic, but all feelings of calm and relaxation leave me if I attempt to enter the scientific world of baking. Whenever I attempt anything vaguely cakey, biscuity or sconey I end up feeling murderous and close to insanity, standing in my once clean kitchen red faced, demon eyed and covered in flour. If I try to cook biscuits they end up cakey, cakes turn out biscuity, and if I attempt to get clever and reverse the process I just end up with something that looks like it's been dug up.

The point of this blog is to share my daily battles with domesticity, and remind working mums that it's ok to be a little bit imperfect. I will be sharing recipes, along the way that you may have more success with than I- and hopefully there will be a few laughs too.

Yours cakily

1 comment:

  1. Very good Sadie...I made gravy last was great...bisto be damned...never again will that red cylinder of helpful beefiness clutter up my cupboard...mmmm recipe,which in order to follow accurately you should probably be blindfolded,is ..the water from the potatoes and oil from frying the sausages in a saucepan,a big squirt of tomato puree,similar squirt of garlic puree,two oxo cubes and a knorr beef stock cube,about a third of a bottle of merrydown cider(nearly half),some salt and pepper and big old shakey splurge of worcestershire sauce,add a bit of cornflour to thicken and Bobs your aunties live-in lover....all above amounts should err on the 'probably too much' side....was bloody fantastic... It's my Birthday in a couple of weeks and I'm making Steak and Jack Daniels pie....If it works,I'll post the recipe...if not,I'll probably be hospitalised so won't...this cooking lark's quite easy really,I just have to resist cooking things till they're nearly black and serving with sauce to kill the taste....