When the Lord of the Manor found me in the kitchen surrounded by raw ingredients he stopped dead in his tracks. “Are you doing something scary?” He asked, appraising the scene from a notably safe distance.
I looked at him over the top of the recipe. “Maybe.” Then squaring my shoulders, “Yes. Yes, I am.”
He took one large step back. “Do you need help?”
If his back tracking wasn’t obvious enough, his tone left me in no doubt he wanted nothing to do with this. But where’s the fun in that?
“Yes,” I replied sensing a rare opportunity, “I do need your help.” If this escapade ended in hell and high water his assistance would assign us both equal blame.
His voice disappearing with fear, “What do you need me to do?”
“We’re going to stir fry this chicken,” I declared. “Using your jet burner.”
“Okay……” he drawled, a slow smile replacing his hesitation, a wary excitement filling his eyes. The jet burner makes a very big flame. It could literally launch a rocket. A big boy toy.
“Slice chicken, coat in flour, fry then add sauce,” I read. “Simple!”
I forgave his derisive snort. No. No… it was totally justified. Simple and I do not co-exist in the kitchen – EVER!
I can over-whip meringue, burn shortbread, bake flat cakes and generally stuff-up the most basic recipes. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve rumbled with the Kenwood, come to blows with the rolling pin and hurled the wooden spoon, but it’s a lot. Baking is by no means my favourite pastime.
Now, I tried my best to stuff this up, dear reader, I really did. There’s nothing funny about success, but the jet burner brought the wok up to an incredibly high temp and the chicken was fried to perfection within seconds; tender and juicy. I didn’t set off the smoke alarm – a usual sign I’m stir-frying – not once. The kids didn’t even complain when I set their dinner down in front of them.
“Why do you look so glum?” The Lord of the Manor asked. “Dinner was delicious.”
“That’s the problem,” I muttered darkly. “How am I going to finish my blog now? And worse, this completely ruins my reputation for being useless in the kitchen.”
“There. There,” he soothed. “You’ll always be useless in the kitchen to me.”