Dad what on Earth is that.
I’m trying to make home made Hummus.
Are you sure it should be that colour.
No that was not what I was expecting.
Dad it looks like something from the X-Files.
I’d moved from trying it with some carrots to which bin it should go in. It might even need a Priest and an Exorcism before it’s safe to do that. Wonderful. Yet another culinary masterpiece.
Dad let’s take the pup to the woods. If we go now should have the place to ourselves.
So leaving the alien hummus to mutate into something with teeth we set off. The signs of autumn are now all around us. Less than 900 miles away the first winter snow has come to Italy. So that’s another summer ticked off. It also means the 30 year old boiler is being fired up for the first time in months. That process is always done on a wing and a prayer. Apparently when it goes to boiler heaven it’s going to cost a fortune. Not just the boiler but the pipes, a good part of the central heating and the oil tank will need to be changed. We couldn’t afford that when we had two incomes never mind when it’s become one (on less hours and at a much lower pay rate). I remember being told by one mum that I should just hire childcare or put son in a club so I could work full time again. Not the first idea about single parenting and Autism but to be fair her hummus will be considerably better than mine.
This might have been a good place to go on about some of the practicalities of when you go from two to one parents but not when it is so close to THE ANNIVERSARY. Anyway the old boiler has fired up. Which is a bonus. THEN….
Dad did I tell you school has changed the PE Polo Shirt from white to black. You can use the old ones for a couple of weeks then if you don’t have the new colour you will get negatives.
With the great news of yet another visit to the school uniform shop still fresh I decided to try the demon hummus. The taste sensation was somewhere between wallpaper paste and a skunks bottom. But on the bright side I might have found a home made recipe for wood putty. That might come in useful this winter.
We do the same dog walk everyday with our son. We do it that often that I’ve got names for many of the straw bales. This one is Eric.
Routines and repetition form a key part of our lives these days. Some things have to be done at the right times and in exactly the same way. Anything else yields anxiety and stress. In a couple of days school starts again and all these anxieties are going to magnify again. But at least we can now smile at them thanks to the brilliant TV series Red Dwarf. Every time one of us is anxiety stricken we have to both put on our finest Kryten accent and shout
“Grind those worry balls like you’ve never ground them before”
Before the world changed son loved to go to see his Little Nan every Sunday. He would sit with her and watch something like Ivanhoe. I dread to think how many times we have seen that movie. His Nan would read him a Mr Men book. He would also have an expertly cooked Sunday Lunch.
It’s a changed world now. But some things are constant.
We have the Ivanhoe dvd. We have the Mr Men books. Unfortunately I just can’t read the stories as well as they used to be read. My accents all sound the same like some really rubbish rejected extra from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The Sunday Lunch cooking baton has also passed to me. Every Sunday I prepared Yorkshire Puddings, peas, carrots, sweet corn, potatoes, sausages and gravy. The food has to be plated so that each item is separate and don’t mix. I’ve had countless arguments with other parents and school over this. The ‘well just tell him to eat it, he will eat it when he’s hungry‘ line is just not helpful at all. It shows a complete lack of understanding. Maybe I should invite those parents over for one of my special baking disasters. Then they can just eat it that abomination when they are hungry….
The Sunday lunch is not exactly difficult to make but remember my cooking skills are military grade. Over the 3 years I’ve almost become competent in this particular art. HOWEVER Part of the Little Nan Sunday Feast was a sensational pudding usually Apple Crumble. Sadly this is still beyond me. Every so often I try but the results are as my Dad would say – a tad manky.
I have tried bought apple crumble but these have not been to our sons liking. So the search for the holy apple crumble grail continues. Until it’s found Plan B is Rice Pudding. Even I can do one of those – sort of. Don’t tell anyone but son hasn’t worked out that he quite likes tinned rice. Tinned rice is now part of the routine.
My sister phoned me last night. I can’t remember how but I mentioned that I had blog. She found this hard to believe. But when I went on to say that it’s a turned into a bit of a cooking one, she just fell about laughing. So she still doesn’t think that I have a blog. I think she sees me as her little bro who plays with his toy train set and watches Captain Scarlet. The second is correct and I’m always hopeful Santa might deliver the first.
Now that I’ve worked out that you need to turn it on, the slow cooker has been a revelation. Over the last few days the worlds worst cook has produced some very nice tasting dishes:
- Sausage Casserole
- Rice Pudding
- Apple Crumble
- Chicken Casserole
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Vegetable Curry
- Leftover rotisserie
- Lamb Tagine
So we have this blogs first ever recommendation. If you can’t cook, can’t afford a personal chef, just go and buy a slow cooker.
The second recommendation is Captain Scarlet should be made into a movie – come on Marvel and DC.
Let’s not pull any punches – I’m a monumentally bad cook. There is no recipe that I can’t mess up. No appliance I can’t arc weld food to. No Kitchen is safe in my presence. I am like the Arch Poltergeist of the food world. As a result so many people have recommended getting a slow cooker, they are fool proof I am told. Well let’s see.
It was the usual school morning start. Drop a heavy dumbbell on my foot. Stand barefoot on a Lego figure. Wipe up another cat accident. Try to find the missing school PE sock. Trip over the dog and drop son’s breakfast over floor. Why has the school bag shrunk – currently as full as a parachute backpack. Try to find ingredients for Food Technology (son so helpfully informs me 2 minutes before we have to leave). All while convincing son that everything is cool and going strictly to plan.
A slow cooker is purchased, reassuringly I opted for the one which said ‘the easiest way to cook great food’. First recipe – chicken stew- it’s must be a winner. All I have to do is dump the ingredients in (which is fantastic given the morning chaos unfolding around me) and let it cook on the low setting for 6 hours. Leave it to cook while he’s at school and I am out – perfect. Even our son was unusually looking forward to some edible food for the first time in years (excluding pizza deliveries).
More of a rarity, as I pick up our son from school he talks about maybe even dipping some bread in the mouth watering stew. So we both excitedly enter the house waiting to enveloped by the intoxicating aroma of high end cuisine.
Nothing no smell. Must be the really good lid sealing in those mouth watering flavours. I wish….
“Dad it’s stone cold, you did switch it on”. Followed by “What a muppet”.
So that nights fine cuisine was tinned soup and bread. That was actually option 3. Option 2 was microwave risotto – unfortunately somebody forgot to rip a hole in the top of the packet and at 45 seconds it exploded.
So tonight’s fine cuisine will hopefully be cooked and hot sausage casserole. Yes it has been switched on.