Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bleeeeauuuugh.

Note to self: whilst a few sprigs of rosemary put in with roast potatoes and parsnips works very well, putting double the amount into a chicken casserole makes it smell and taste like pot pourri.

This then induced a Jacob's Ladder-style series of nested flashbacks to previous cooking disasters, including:

1. Boiled turkey mince.
2. The first time, when I lived in Penryn, that my and then-flatmate attempted to using her oven for something other than boiling pasta, so we roasted a chicken, which worked very well, although we then put the carcass back in the oven and forget all about it. So three weeks later, when the rising stench finally reminded us what we'd done, the savaged remains were by then so fuzzy with brightly-coloured moulds, it looked like H.R. Giger had designed a Muppet.
3. Making 'twists' at cubs camp. 'Twists' are flour and milk turned into paste, wound around sticks, burnt on a campfire and thrown away. They have no reason to exist, other than for ritual purposes, like communion wafers, or Alan Yentob.

UPDATE: Kaiki's comment just reminded me that for my last christmas at the bookshop in Canterbury, I made all my closest work chums a gift bag each of coconut squares, some white and some pink.

ASSEMBLED RESPONSE OF ENTIRE BOOKSHOP STAFF, EACH OF WHOM HAD AT LEAST ONE ARTS DEGREE, AND HAD KNOWN ME FOR OVER FOUR YEARS: 'I didn't know you were gay'.

Because that's what gay people do with their time, they make coconut squares, like Alexander the Great.

14 comments:

realdoc said...

I for one would like to know the ritual purpose of Alan Yentob. (I saw him in a restaurant once but I didn't spit fish at him, it wasn't that sort of relationship.)

kaiki said...

once, while i was a member of the truro brownies i attempted to make peppermint cremes to sell at the jumble sale in the church hall - the resulting glutinous, viscous, alien white blobs so closely resembled toothpaste mixed with sugar that people did ask me if that is indeed, what i'd done. i said 'no'. the shame.

james henry said...

Ooh you've just reminded me of one...

kirsten said...

Oh gosh, one day I, the only Asian in the house (and therefore assumed to be able to cook rice), used my host family's (rather new) rice cooker to make porridge. It was only afterwards that I realised that pouring extra water in the rice cooker doesn't make porridge, it just gives up extremely thick and sticky and fat and pasty rice.

Also, I noticed a strange layer of transparent film flapping about the rice cooker, thought I'd totally boiled the contraption and made plastic peel, freaked out about poisoning, and chucked everything away (except rice cooker, of course). Thus I brought the shame of the Asian race onto myself: wasting of rice is a big no-no.

Turned out later the transparent film was just starch. D-oh.

I still maintain that it was the strange effects of Augmentin on me (because I was suffering from a mouth and ear infection) and it wasn't my fault. No one believes me.

Dan said...

While at university I lived from loan cheque to loan cheque - these cheques arrived once every 3 months. This led to a cloistered existence, where I ate like a king for 3 days and starved for 11 and a half weeks.

Once, as I was due to receive my next cheque in a day, I scoured the kitchen for food. In the back of the fridge I found 4 old hotdogs, slightly grey in colour.

I then had a 15 minute internal monologue concerning the delicate balance between preservatives in hotdogs and what grey means for meat products.

I ate the hotdogs, reasoning that there was probably very little actual meat in them to go off.

I immediately regretted it, and had a chance to tell the offended meat tubes that 10 short minutes later when I was hunched over the bowl.

Apparently, hotdogs can go bad.

Loganoc said...

thanks James, that made me giggle quite a bit. Especially the alien muppet :D

Billy said...

How do you make these coconut squares?

james henry said...

Hmm, I think the recipe's back in Falmouth, I'll have a look when I'm back this weekend...

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

My finest cooking hour came in Home Economics many many moons ago in school. We were supposed to be making Lemon Meringue Pie.

Unfortunately, I made rather a hash out of it. It came out of the oven burnt and tasting strangely savoury as it appears I had managed to confuse salt and sugar.

I was so dejected that I threw it straight in the bin without my teacher seeing it. When my teacher asked me why I'd thrown it away I replied snappily "Because it was shit miss"

Suffice to say, I got detention...

Sylvia said...

On my father's side of the family, I come from a long and proud line of crap housewives. The fact that my family is still alive to tell the tale is indeed a testament to the power of the stomach pump. I did my best to finish them off with the rhubard recipes in the Nigella books, but they rallied.

I did find the secret to getting them to eat the food. Put enough butter and cupasoups into their food and it becomes quite palateable ( think that's how it's spelt).
Luckily they are quite keen cooks themselves, so hopefully soon I'll never have to cook again.

ps - congrats on your news!!! hope it all works out for you and the rest of the GW team.

Mangonel said...

What news?

Tim Footman said...

It's not the coconut squares that made them think you were gay. It's the making half of them pink. That's quite gay.

I was once on the same plane (to New York) as Alan Yentob. And I came back with Jimmy Mulville. Such glamour!

Gabriella said...

Alan Yentob was on the same plane as me when I went to Italy, then two weeks later I saw him again at the airport when we were on our way back and he had his arm in a plaster cast...maybe he'd been trying to follow us and fell into a ravine?

Skeadugenga/Kate said...

You can overdo it with coriander as well. Last weekend I interpreted "a small handful" as "might as well use the whole bunch" and what started as a casserole ended up looking like a salad.