Sunday, June 6, 2010
Desperate Housewife or Domestic Goddess?
I think that people generally fall into two categories - those who like, and those who don't like - Cooking! These days it's quite a sin to be the latter. Food has become the new entertainment and it really is not kosher these days... well not to know what's kosher!
Jamie has taught us that hamburgers are hip, tarts are trendy, cold cabbage is cool as is everything, as long as it's mixed with Extra Virgin. Speaking of which - Nigella sashayed into the kitchen and has taken making spotted dick to an all new level. Cooking is now sexy! A tactile, finger-sucking, lip-licking, breathless activity for those with serious libido and a wonder bra. Nigella has taught us that life is not worth living without a daily decadent dessert, cream is the fountain of youth and who needs a whisk when your fingers do the job just as well.
These super-foodies all live within walking distance of the most amazing delis with seventy odd different cheeses or even better, huge markets where you can virtually butcher your own meat or where fish is presented on a marble slab still flapping - excited at the prospect of the fresh dill sauce you are going to drench it in!
They also have simply marvellous friends who come laughingly into their dinner parties with much air kissing and arms of flowers as an offering to the Domestic Goddess. They chink glasses and threw wine back and no one ever gets drunk or fat or spills Merlot on the tablecloth. There are no heated discussions or inappropriate advances to other peoples partners nor does anyone play with the candle wax occasionally setting fire to their serviette, or yodel the National anthem, nor do they eat out of the serving dishes.....unlike my world!
I was a desperate housewife for many years although I have worked hard to become a fairly recent domestic Goddess. On my journey I have burnt boiled eggs, burnt baked items (several times), and blackened many dishes that were not supposed to be Cajun. I have even burnt the plates that were put in the oven to warm.
I had no idea that you had to thicken gravy and served my new husband meat swimming in meat juices to which I had added a tasty stock cube. It took me a while to get the hang of gravy and sauces, and my tea strainer came in very handy as a de-lumper for many years (and still occasionally).
I have roasted chicken a-la-plastic with the giblets still inside. I have served garlic apple crumble which I baked in the oven with a garlic bread - that was quite interesting and perhaps was the inspiration for the latest nouveau herb deserts. Speaking of which I have made a cheese cake with chive cottage cheese - quite different although the little green flecks went well with the lemon jelly colour.
I once made a complicated orange dessert which involved scooping out the middle and folding something whipped and custardy into the centre. These were great for dinner parties as they could be made in advance - which I did - not banking on my young son knocking one off the platter and riding over it with his sit-and-ride at the eleventh hour. I rescued it and made a note to serve it to myself and not eat it - except my very helpful husband insisting on bringing them in and placing them in front of our guests while I sat in silent horror as a friend ate it.
My journey to goddess has not been plain sailing and as a true warrior I have the scars to prove it - several burn marks on my lower arms, a few from knife slashes on my fingers and I once slipped on melted butter resulting in a dislocated shoulder. I have had several small fires and managed set the smoke alarm off in my son's apartment in Shanghai causing a small international incident.
I think that I have earned my title of Domestic Goddess and will be defending it daily - I think Nigella would cry in ecstasy at my Pavlova and Jamie - well I could also show him a thing or two with whipped cream!