I love to cook, always have been happiest in the kitchen, and can spend hours baking or making meals. Friends comment on the quality of my efforts and I love to turn out food that looks nice as nice as it tastes.
A crown roast of pork brings gasps of approval and beef Wellington earns oohs and ahhs from the assorted guests. Both these dishes and many others are learned by following Gordon Ramsey videos, on Google. No special talent, just knowing where to find the secrets of the trade and having a good relationship with the butcher, so you get good cuts of meat.
No, I’m not afraid to try anything and love to experiment however, my downfall comes from the simplest things.
I honestly don’t remember ever cooking grilled cheese sandwiches without burning at least one of them. Raising a family of four daughters meant cooking on a budget so one of my “go to” money stretchers was home made soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. All the family loved this meal and would gladly eat it a couple of times each week.
However, I really don’t know what happened but, every time I put the first couple of sandwiches in the pan, something would distract me and I would forget about the pan until the smell of burning caught my attention. In my fifty five years of married life I have probably scraped the burn off hundreds of pieces of cheesy bread and made sure that they went on my plate, so there would be no complaints from the kids.
My real nemesis is the hard boiled egg. How easy it is to hard boil eggs, just stick them in the pot, cover with water and boil for six minutes? Well apparently it is not as easy as it sounds as I manage to boil the pan dry at lest half of the time. This ranges from gently scorched shells to scraping exploded shells and yolk off the ceiling. I have had to throw away many pans that were too far gone to bring back to use.
Being a non meat eater, eggs play a large part in my diet and frequently have one hard boiled, chopped onto a salad. Yesterday I christened my new apartment with another egg incident! I put six eggs on to boil, then put on my coat and went grocery shopping, luckily it was a nice afternoon so I took my little dog along in the car.
About an hour later, as I was trundling my grocery bags along the corridor from the elevator to my apartment, I could hear someone’s smoke alarm ringing. I smiled to myself thinking that I was not the only forgetful one in the building. As I got nearer to my door, the noise got louder and then the thought of the eggs came into my mind.
In a panic I opened the door and entered the smoke filled room, grabbed the pan and put it under the cold water tap, opened all windows and door to the deck then proceeded to do the “tea towel dance” under the smoke detectors. The din they make is deafening so I am surprised that nobody had called 911.
I managed to wave enough air around the alarms to shut them up but I couldn’t believe the sprinkler system had not activated. I guess there wasn’t enough heat to activate the mechanism so I was spared the terrible effects of a major clean-up, not to mention the scorn of my neighbours.
The next hour was spent scrubbing exploded eggs from the stove top, the range hood, the side of the fridge and the wall. Whilst I laboured on scrubbing counters, the dog cleaned the kitchen floor for me. I then sat in the stinky room and had a much needed caffeine break. Luckily the outside air war mild enough to leave doors and windows open until late afternoon.
The past few weeks I have been “feathering my nest”, painting, making drapes, putting up pictures and doing the little things that turn a house into a home. I guess it wasn’t really home until it got that lingering, acrid smell that is my own special signature. Aaahh yes, nice to have the place finally feeling lived in! I am definitely home.