Recipe for disaster

I love my husband. I really do. How he’s stuck with me all this time is nothing short of miraculous because when we first met I really don’t recall dating him with the same conviction he did me. I just thought I’d suck it and see for a fortnight to find out how we got on. I never realised all these years later that the same man and a full jar of Nutella would still make me so very very happy.


There’s always one area in a marriage which will cause an argument. And for us it’s when I “help” in the kitchen.

When I was single I didn’t starve to death. I knew how to burn toast and incinerate a can of beans. But when someone keeps telling you, you can’t cook, it slowly erodes your confidence. You begin believing it. So any mention of “help” and Guido will shudder but grudgingly assign me a task, well let’s call it – a damage limitation exercise. Like scrubbing a potato.  I, on the other hand, like to imagine myself as the late, great, Antonio Carluccio.  Chucking any old rubbish into a crock-pot with gusto, but still creating a culinary masterpiece. In reality this is probably more like a disturbing episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.

The problem with frying is that one minute everything’s sizzling away looking just like it should do, but, take your eyes off it for just one minute to read a short text message from your mother and it’s turned into a sort of molten lava. And no amount of stirring or scraping will resuscitate them. Well that’s what happened last night, so I did what any novice chef would do with a skillet smoking dangerously and on the verge of bursting into an uncontrollable fireball. I tossed it into a sink of freezing cold water. For those of you who’ve never done this, please don’t try it at home unless you have the fire brigade on quick dial.  Apparently it has a very similar effect to what happens in the core of a nuclear reactor when they expose the plutonium rods. There’s a big whooshing noise and steam erupts with enough piston power to generate free energy for most of the East End of London.

Confronted with this unfolding scene, Guido began to look and act just like Gordon does. He went a weird crimson colour and you could see the veins in his neck all pulsating like he was about to throw the mother of all tantrums.

At this point I had a horrible flash back to the last time I “helped” grilling an aubergine so I knew what came next. After the vein throbbing comes the teeth gnashing and the feet hopping and there’s a lot of colourful language. Let’s just say if this blog post was a podcast it would have an “R” for restricted rating.

Well, I defy anyone to remain calm under such trying circumstances. So I did what I did when I was single and had one of life’s catastrophes. I ordered Chinese. I had sweet and sour pork and Guido had a stir fried chilli beef. It arrived in fifteen minutes and was absolutely delicious.

You know this “cooking from scratch” thing – I really don’t think it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

43 thoughts on “Recipe for disaster

  1. You should write a cookbook titled, “Don’t Try This at Home!” I learned to cook as a child, and learned to enjoy it as an adult. Nothing you can’t master with 40 years of practice – though my grandmother never did.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When I read the title I thought, oh no he is going to write about Brexit. Since Ms May is resigning and moving to Benidorm, I think Gordon Ramsey would make a wonderful PM. After this post I understand that you are in trouble now with British Tourism for confirming to the world that the Brits can’t cook and Guido is required to save the day. I think Guido is a Saint, I am calling the Pope to tell him so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Brexit? Where do you want me to start? I expect we will have PM Boris soon, which will be better that PM Corbyn. Perhaps we should move to Benidorm. The climate is certainly more kind.
      Let me know what the Pope says.
      JP x


  3. “I just thought I’d suck it and see for a fortnight to find out how we got on. ” And like Guido’s talent is cooking, your talent has apparently not tired with him!!!!

    And a side with Guido. The lad was here once trying to cook with my best stainless steel pan…and scorched the hell out of it. Looked like the surface of mars or something. He said he’d get me another…I had other plans.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting post. Both of us can cook it’s just that I’m the more adventurous one. And I thought from all the fiction I’ve read by a certain British author that delivery wasn’t a thing where you are

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes I can cook. There are other times when I wonder if I could scorch water in a pan. I imagine we’re all like that.

    As for the Gordon Ramsey imitation, I was wondering for a minute if Guido was screaming “These scallops are raw!” while dropping the plate on the floor. Apparently, that’s one of GS’s favorite PG sayings on the TV show Hell’s Kitchen here in the States.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh dear. And frying is fraught with fire danger. Whatever were you thinking to attempt it? Or Guido, for allowing it? (My suspicion is that Guido wasn’t aware when you started this exercise.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. There could have been health and safety issues involving fire extinguishers. Oh and possibly firemen. Big burly hot firemen with wet clothing on from all that hosing down they need to strip off. In my dreams.


  7. Ok… ok I’m going to tell him, stop pushing me you guys, I’m about to start.
    JP…. so you know we all love you right? We find you sweet, intelligent, witty and you write great blog posts; however the blogosphere has elected me to tell you something and I need you to sit down. I’m sorry buddy but you can’t cook, there I said it, now it’s not that you just can’t cook, it’s that you are a walking disaster in a kitchen… and not just any disaster, like a culinary apocalyptic armageddon approaching iceberg bearing down on the titanic type of disaster. You married a chef, there is no need for you to set foot in the kitchen… divorce is expensive and we will all take Guido’s side… all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh you dear boy…your stories are good for a old ladies heart. I have noticed your new blog picture. Is that your husbands famous eatery? And just what does one do with Nutella?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why yes. Would you care for a table? Perhaps a seat in the window to see and be seen? Or perhaps one of our booths for privacy? You AND Mistress would be welcome!!!
      Nutella… it’s up there with life’s greatest inventions. You open the jar, and spread.


  9. Pshaw. You can cook. You can’t cook while distracted by text messages. (Also you need some lessons in basic kitchen safety so that you do not burn down your flat.)

    I realize that I should be offering some funny/snarky comment but it actually makes me really sad that you have internalized these negative messages about being inept in the kitchen. Not everybody can be Guido, but most people (including you!) are capable of preparing tasty and nourishing food by themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a sweet love letter to Guido. At the same time, it reminds me of when a pan caught on fire & I found that a burning pan will glue itself onto a linoleum floor when flung in terror…


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