Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Strange Magic? My Domestic disasters



Being a food blogger you'd thing that my days of disastrous domesticity were far behind me. Languishing in the land time forgot. Or something. If only. For years now my kitchen has been home to a veritable host of things exploding, burning, inexplicably breaking, or just failing. I've mentioned once or twice how I'm not enamoured with the macaron obsession that seems prevalent at the moment. I was there with cupcakes, skipped over whoopie pies, am all over cake pops, but macarons? Not so much. Truth be told, each time I read a post about them, see them on the television or read an article in Delicious or Sainsbury's Magazine about them I react in much the same way to Doctor Who. When I was 8. In a feat of hitherto unseen gymnastic ability, I vault the sofa, wedging myself in the space between that and my bookcase until the shaking and sweating desists and I can breathe normally again. M is dispatched to "turn the page!" or "hide the pastel monstrosities!" while I consider the dust bunnies that seem to co-exist quite happily with my collection of Margaret Atwood novels. Then, once again I am safe, secure in the knowledge that not only will I never try to make macarons, but that I quite happily prefer the rusticity (it's a word) of almond macaroons. And have completed an in depth local survey and taste testing to find the best in the North London area. Muswell Hill's french cafe, patisserie. The one where I was introduced to M's parents for the first time.





So other than my innate (and some would say irrational) fear of macarons, what other domestic disasters can I regale you with. Well recently my much beloved Le Creuset casserole exploded. Yes, exploded. I'm still finding pieces of earthenware after about fifty attempts at hoovering and sweeping. I made cauliflower cheese. It's a relatively new addition to things I make, and I like to spike it with bacon or chorizo and cherry tomatoes. Just to break up the cheesiness (again, yes it's a word). Broccoli works well as an addition and a large dollop of mustard to the sauce works wonders. So, all components ready, in everything went, covered by a thick, unctuous cheese sauce. Into my (Christmas present) Le Creuset casserole, and into the oven at about 180. Half an hour later, oven gloved up, I removed the dish to the wooden chopping board I keep by the side of the oven. Put it down, turned around to get a plate only to hear the strangest noise. Then a huge BANG! I whisked around like a small Guidery dervish only to witness my beloved casserole in pieces over the chopping board, and large quantities (surely I didn't make that much?) of cauliflower cheese making a bid for my newly washed floor. I can't repeat the language that then ensued, but let's just say the air was blue and the floor delicately frosted with cheese sauce and decorated with cauliflower florets.


Mind you, these disasters aren't the first of their kind. I do come from a long line of women who only need to look at a kettle for it to whistle it's last. My mother goes through kettles like other women go through chocolate. Last week the lever you press to turn mine on. Just. Fell. Off. I only looked at it, and thought - oooh tea, at which point it decided that life in general was too much like hard work and lemminged to an unsuperglueable fate.


Never one to take all the blame for a disaster, of course there's the times I fall asleep and no one wakes me. I take fairly heavy going medication for my epilepsy, and have suffered with chronic pain since 2009 - at the moment it's migraines, back then it was a bad back. A lot of the medication I take makes me sleepy, so it's not unbeknown for me to put something in the oven, or on the hob and have a sit down. Hours later I'm roused by the bitter scent of burning pan or to the sound of a frantic smoke alarm. Fruit compotes, soups and casseroles have all gone this way. I'm getting better at scraping off the burnt bits these days. Food is too expensive to bin on a regular basis.


And then of course there was the time (10 years or so ago?) I poisoned my sister *waves* Hi Mandy! with an undercooked creme brulee. I followed the recipe exactly, but would the b****r thicken? Would it hell! In the end, after seemingly hours of whisking, I consigned said brulee to the ramekins, in a roasting tin of boiling water, whilst declaring "Well I'm sure that's how Nigella does it" Flippantly sure that they would thicken up in the oven. They didn't. Watery custard anyone? No, me neither. Gallantly Mandy decided to brave one and spent the next few days being violently ill. I am convinced-ish it was a virus, she's less so. I say potato you say po-tah-to? Anyone? Just me then.


So yes, domestic disasters. Tell me I'm not alone in my irrational fears, exploding dishes, suicidal kettles, and ability to poison my sister.... please?


This post is my entry to be a Foodies 100 Morphy Richards innovator

4 comments:

Miss Whiplash said...

Don't the Le Creuset things have a lifetime guarantee?
Will they send you a new one?

Mrs P said...

RIP Le Creuset casserole.

I put a bag of frozen sausages in the oven on the defrost function, still in the bag as I couldn't prise it out from between the sausages. Forgot they were in there and whacked the oven up to 180 ready to cook them.

Jules said...

I've nearly blown up a microwave before by trying to cook a burger on it on a wire rack. Look, I was a clueless teenager!

Penny Aylwin said...

Miss W - they finally got back to me at the end of last week to swap it for something similar as they've discontinued mine.

Nice work with the sausages Helen!

Jules I tried to do the same to our first microwave when I was about 9 by cooking a baked potato wrapped in foil in it! Mum was not amused to say the least.

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