As I contemplate the smoke rising from the wok and listen to the cheerful ringing of the fire alarm, I consider a thorny problem. What makes a good chef? And, can such skills be learnt?
I make no pretence at saying that I can cook. I love food, but just never seem able to get it together on a plate, in an edible, attractive way.
An example of how bad it can be.
Last week, we bought a Chinese meal from Marks and Spencers. All that needed to be done was ‘Heat oven. Open packets. Place packets in oven (when correct temperature reached). Time. Take packets from oven. Eat contents’. I volunteered to do all the bits before ‘Eat’.
My daughter decorated the table, beautifully, with flowers and all sorts of Chinese ornaments.
Then I brought the food out.
Oh dear. Happy, hungry faces were replaced by concerned, worried looks. But, being my family, they gamely crunched through the rock-like spring rolls, the chicken bullets and the shrapnel rice. I am eternally optimistic about my efforts, but even I secretly admitted that I had surpassed myself.
I’ve never been good at cooking. Chipping rust off the bottom of the car was more in my line. And strangely, my chicken casserole does resemble the underside of a Ford Fiesta.
I’ve always wanted the Offspring to eat home cooked food, so she’s probably suffered the most. Poor child. Hopefully, it hasn’t done her too much harm.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.