Sunday, December 12, 2010
Mr Life learns to cook
I don't know about you, but sometimes I get a bit ... downcast... by blogs that say,
"I'm married to my wonderful husband, have six fantastic children, all home-schooled and so clever, and live in my dream house in the best country in the world. Our garden has views over mountains, lake and beach and I grow all our own organic vegetables, which is why we all look so slender and healthy. We've just been on a fabulous holiday to Utopia and I'm now putting the finishing touches to my sixth book on how to have a beautiful life like mine..."
So, to balance things out a bit (and as an excuse for a moan) yesterday was – frankly - a bit rubbish. All right – no famine, flood, bereavement, burglary … but not a good day.
I went up town to start my Christmas shopping, armed with a small list and very few other ideas. Quite soon, I went to Waterstone’s book shop in Princes Street to try to get some of the – admittedly somewhat esoteric – titles requested by Daughter 1. I work in the suburbs and am not often in town, so I was looking forward to a nice browse among the books.
What a disappointment! Waterstone’s has moved everything about and turned itself into a shop full of cards, book-related presents and bestsellers. I couldn’t find anything I wanted, couldn’t find my way around and was generally frustrated and unimpressed.
Normally I’m quite a cheerful person but yesterday – well, I was “on a shooglie peg” (shooglie = Scots for shaky) - in other words, only just hanging in there. Sometimes I miss the children so much that it doesn’t take much to knock me off this peg and … anyway, I just had to come home, feeling feeble and wobbly. Having moaned to Mr Life, however, I pulled myself together a bit. I’ll finish the Christmas cards, I thought: achieve at least something. And then I couldn’t find the stamps for the foreign cards. I knew I’d bought them and could remember tucking them away somewhere really safe while I was in the Post Office. I searched everywhere in vain.
Later I decided to make Swiss Appelrara for lunch the next day. (Highly recommended.) I started to cream the first ingredients in my (37-year-old) Kenwood Chef. It started beating very slowly and then went s-l-o-w-e-r and s—l---o….. and died.
Never mind, I thought, stiffening my resolve. I’ll use my hand-held electric beater – hardly used, inherited from my mother-in-law, who died in 1991. At this point, Mr Life, who has known me long enough to notice signs of stress, started rallying round. He assembled the beater and – and this is a first for him, bloggy friends – continued the creaming of the butter and sugar, followed by the almonds and egg yolks. Then he whisked the egg whites.
Mr Life’s first ever cooking experience! Maybe this is the start of a new hobby for him? We can only hope…
Then copious white smoke smelling strongly of burning plastic started to pour from this beater. True to my feeble persona that day, I could only squeak in distress and point – and he unplugged it and threw it outside into the garden.
But I did later find the stamps - in the little pocket of my purse where I’d put them for safety.
And tomorrow was another day – well, it was today – and the pudding tasted good. I think Mr Life should cook more often, though I do need to sort out the mixer problem before too much time elapses.