Here’s the thing about me that is bound to make me unpopular with the vast majority of TV viewers in Australia – I loathe cooking shows. Most likely because I also loathe cooking.
If the ratings are anything to go by, I know I am an island on this one. Millions of people are tuning in to watch culinary cults such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules each week, yet I can safely state, hand on heart I have never seen a full episode of either (let alone even a single minute of the MKR franchise). Even the jingle to “Ready, Steady Cook” irritates me in a nails on a chalkboard kind of way that I cannot explain. To me it is not enough to be a food lover to watch these offerings, (which I am) because of the fact I fail rather spectacularly as a food creator. And no TV show can convince me otherwise that I will ever be game enough to attempt a croquembouche for tonight’s dessert offering, or make a meal out of a various assortment of random ingredients.
Sometimes I convince myself the reason I am not more gastronomically gifted is that I just don’t have the time. Come nightfall and I am (mostly) home alone with the toddler, trying to painstakingly put together some fancy feast, while simultaneously juggling bath time seems like a literal recipe for disaster. Then there’s the stronger than average chance Master H will shun the meticulously, loving created dish in favour of fish fingers…
And speaking of recipes – it’s likely just me, but they might as well be written in Swahili for all I understand from them. How the hell does one flambé a banana for example??
My nearest and dearest thankfully (sadly) are aware of my lack of culinary prowess and generally cut me some slack. “My skills lay in other areas” is my standard disclaimer attached to any meal I offer up. I don’t mind cooking for others, but I am often nervous as hell about the taste and appearance of the finished product. Even as recently as last Saturday night, when I invited my brother in law to stay for dinner I managed to not only inadvertently pass off the cooking duties to him, but even burn the one thing I was responsible for – the garlic bread! Oh yes, hostess with the mostess, that is me… While I did repeatedly offer to resume the cooking duties he’d assumed while I multi-tasked with other household chores, he insisted on overseeing the production. And damn he did a kick-ass job – Master H and I are still revelling in the left overs days later!
Might I just add, this is the brother-in-law I speak of, who is featured in this months Cleo!
The husband too has been a wonderful utensil that all Australian kitchens should come standard with. The fact he has never once complained about the fare I’ve served him up with over the years surely shows the way to his heart has thankfully not been via his stomach, as is the tradition with most romances. It must be love on his part because I know at times it’s far from inspiring food he’s coming home too, yet he never complains (probably because he’d then be coming home to Vegemite on Toast – which incidentally I could live off if it came to that). At times however, I surprise myself, such as last week, on his birthday, when I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to cook him an entirely new meal made from an actual recipe (one thankfully NOT written in Swahili) – one that I know was a success because the super fussy child actually polished off the entire bowl!
So even though I am sure the rampage of cooking shows will continue to dominate our TV screens, it will do nothing to cure this cooking affliction of mine. And despite the years of practice I’ve had in trying to retrain my culinary challenged brain I will just accept I may always be miserable failure on the food front. I’ll just remind myself if all else fails vegemite on toast will do me just fine.