Tuesday, 28 June 2016

School Holidays YIPPEE!



I remember clearly dragging my sorry tired arse towards the end of term, racing through report cards and parent interviews and sometimes school performances and all manner of office bullshit. Sure kids need holidays too, they get ratty and impatient and tired and sometimes naughty and sometimes they just slowly shut down until nothing but the promise of the latest video game and a lifetime supply of sweeties can peak their interest.

So the teacher / kid household was a very quiet place for a couple of days as we both eased into the PJ mornings and the movie afternoons and the odd meals and the general finger up to all the normal schedules.

But now I look forward to the hols so much. I am one lucky Ma. My girl works and so Zig comes to visit. Ah what wonderful company he is, and this time with Stevie on his jolly, we are just kicking back and being patiently silly and hopefully we'll be a little productive too, cos Zig has been watching kids' cooking on the tellie and wants to have a go.

His first project was blueberry pies.

Yep we found a recipe, still seems a bit odd to me, like maybe something is missing, and we cheated a little cos we bought the frozen pastry, but everything else was all US.

He wanted to have a go at a lattice pastry top and I reckon he nailed it.

We have pies for pudding!

But shit aren't they expensive? This must be why people so rarely bother. Without the cost of eggs or sugar or electricity, these little suckers cost more than $5 each and they took a good chunk out of our afternoon.

I reckon cooking like this is all about confidence. Being sure about trimming off the excess pastry with a sharp knife flourish and swinging the strips over and under and splashing around the egg wash - all this is better done with certainty or at least with no fear of failure.

He is very proud of himself and being a bit anal about my tidy kitchen, I was happy that he bought into the need to clean up as he went along. I know it's necessary to make a mess but I do like to see the sparkle at the end.

Tomorrow he wants to make cake. So as I am not much of a baker I will need to find a recipe that we can adjust with whatever additions the pantry can provide. Zig's not made a cake from scratch before and I reckon the biggest draw card is him being able to use my mixmaster but we will see. It will be lovely for him to be able to treat his mum with some home made goodies on thursday, so long as we don't make a complete pig's ear of it all, but even if we do, we will fall about laughing as we chuck it into the wheelie bin cos really some disasters are inevitable in cooking, aren't they? Or is that just me?

I remember one very inauspicious evening soon after my girl was born when I obviously thought, 'DATE NIGHT' was a good idea. I had spent all day making food, in between nappies and feeds and baths and fighting sleep.

I had made some slow cooked thing that I was gonna use in a pie of sorts, except I didn't have a pie tin, so I thought I'd make cornish roll over things instead.

That was the night I learned that pastry does not like hot fillings. Nope! In fact I would say they are mortal enemies. As I stuffed the pastry and folded it up and tried to slide it onto a baking tray the fucking thing shit itself. I was up to my elbows in pie filling and melted pastry. I was not best pleased.

I picked up the fucking lot and threw it at the wall, just in time for the husband to walk through the door and clean it all up.

It was a lesson well learned and the closest I have ever come to a food fight.

Chucking food about is a bit of a fantasy of mine, but this memory reminds me that it would have to take place somewhere else, where there would be people happy to clean up, cos that certainly would take the edge of the splattering joy.


What's your biggest disaster in the kitchen?