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Master Chef I am Not!

So after coming up with a meal plan for the week I had a look at some fun ideas for meals that I thought I would try, more specifically ones that I thought I could actually achieve. Now I’m not a complete basket case when it comes to cooking but the only thing Michelin would give me is a set of tyres! As I said I’m not a completely useless in the kitchen and have even cooked occasionally in professional kitchens but I never enjoyed it and it’s different to being in your kitchen at home and the stress levels can be pretty high. My problem in the kitchen is that my repertoire of meals are limited to dishes that I do very well, unwilling to try anything new, that is my wife’s domain. She is the one who will scour the net, magazines and cookery books looking for new things to cook, usually with great success. Only very occasionally and (very cautiously) with a certain amount of fear and trepidation I’ve asked her not to cook something ever again. But as I said there are dishes that I do very well when I cook, and when I was only cooking once or twice a week that wasn’t a problem. I could easily bash out my famous toad in the hole or cottage pie and it wouldn’t be a problem, but now I’m sure that the family will revolt if I just repeat the same things over and over again. If this were the case my meal plan for the week would be:

  • Monday- Cottage pie

  • Tuesday- Chilli con-carne

  • Wednesday- Toad in the hole

  • Thursday- Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Friday- Fish pie

  • Saturday- Chinese chicken curry

  • Sunday – roast of some description

  • Repeat weekly and hope no one notices

Now I could substitute some of these for some of the other dishes I can do but I’m pretty certain after 2 months there will be a revolution in my house and I will find my tenure as chef short lived. And so I too have started to scour the internet and watch some shows on the television and there are some really good ones out there. Some who I won’t even watch like Jaime ‘put some chillies in it’ Oliver and the Big Fat ‘lots of cream and butter’ Contessa but one I do like is the ‘Pioneer Woman’ she does some amazing family meals and has great easy to follow recipes and I loved Keith Floyd’s approach to cookery, get blitzed and anything tastes good.

And so after looking at some things on the net I saw something that I thought my daughter would like, not having to worry about the Boy as he eats anything that you put in front of him (including mail, placemats and fingers). I didn’t follow the recipe exactly but changed it to suit what my daughter(and myself) like to eat and I didn’t think that this would be a problem as it was a pretty simple dish even with my tweaks, and any idiot could do a simple dish right?. WRONG! After preparing what was now essentially some little mini quiches I put them into the fridge and went to do the school run, telling my daughter that I had made something awesome for dinner.

These are my beautiful frankfurter quiches before I put them into the oven and I was very pleased with them. I was sure my daughter would be super excited when I presented them to her for her dinner as it was something different and new. After about 5 or so minutes I looked through the glass to see how my little creations were doing and what I saw was.... disaster!

The sides had collapsed and the egg mix had seeped out all over the tray and what I had was an omelette with some pastry randomly sitting in it, my daughter bless her came in and said they looked amazing, and having no back up dinner I put them back into the oven to finish cooking and after some damage control they resembled something edible and actually tasted very good.

My daughter said it was the best dinner ever and she has named our new dish “Disastrous frankfurter quiches” so it turned out ok in the end. More importantly I have learned from this little experiment so all was not lost and the next time I attempt this it will be more of a success. I'm sure this won’t be the last time that my culinary prowess is tested to it’s limits and at least this time it was edible and no one died.