Sunday, December 03, 2006

Culinary Chaos in the Cook-house

It's sad, isn't it? Some kids have a Jamie Oliver, a Nigella Lawson or a Gordon Ramsay for a parent. Lucky them! If the domestic goddesses were electing a new member to join them, I'd be an instant reject. It's not just that I don't LOOK the part - I don't COOK it either.

It's a miserable, wet, dreich Scottish Sunday afternoon, but Pseudo-Supermum decided to spoil the family. She'd cook toad in the hole, followed by a real rice pudding. (They haven't tried rice pudding since they were toddlers, so it didn't seem unreasonable to invite them to try it.)

The Toad rose. The Pudding flopped.

The recipe told me to bake in a very hot oven (230 C or 450 F) for 10-15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 140 C or 275 F and bake for a further hour or so. Well, I needed the cooker to stay hot for the Toad, so I pre-heated the top oven to the lower temperature and transferred the pudding after 15 minutes. Wrong, wrong, WRONG!!! It was nowhere near done, an hour later. Really not done another 15 minutes after that. And only just done 15 more minutes later.

Ocarina kid pronounced, with childlike logic, "Well, I don't know what you did to it, but you're rubbish at it." True. He had a yoghourt for his honesty.

The annoying thing is that I used my all-time favourite cook-book - the one I trust most. I've just consulted the pudding rice packet. It tells me to heat the oven to 150 C or 300 F, and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours at the one temperature. That's somewhat different. I think I went wrong by moving from hot to cool oven, rather than letting the oven cool down to the required temperature - which would have kept it hotter for a good bit longer. So the rice didn't have a chance to soften at the outset.

As for Super-Spouse's shopping trip? It went like a dream. Apart from, "I saw you'd forgotten potatoes, so I bought some." You can guess the end-result. We had quite a lot of spuds at 9 am this morning, but we have a whole lot more now ...

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