Sunday, June 01, 2008

I don't know why I bother

If there's one chore that I really don't enjoy it's cooking. Oh, and taking the rubbish out, but at least that never takes long and anyway, everyone knows it's a man's job so I don't have to do it very often at all.

I'm not too fond of hoovering either, but that's also a man's job in our house, by virtue of the fact that I never do it and hubby hates crunchy carpets.

He's lovely, hubby is, but he's not much of a cook. And whenever he does cook, he needs someone else in the kitchen with him, which kind of defies the whole purpose of *him* doing the cooking while *I* put my feet up. Now this aversion to cooking wouldn't be a problem if I was one of these people who eat half a slice of bread, a sliver of cheese and a lettuce leaf and call it dinner, but I'm not. I like my food and I like it to be cooked and I also prefer it to be healthy and nutritious, which means we don't order take away more than once a week. Which means someone's got to cook and there are only two of us.

Now over the years I've developed a repertoire of recipes and products that work for me and I tend to stick with them and not experiment too much. I'm not good with cookery books as the list of ingredients for the average recipe is longer than the number of things I've got in my fridge on a normal day (and that's if I count each apple separately), and I don't tend to bother with fancy ingredients as they're used once and then forgotten at the back of the cupboard until 3 years past their "use by" date.

Unless, that is, I get carried away by one of my foodie friends and end up with all manner of weird and wonderful stuff from that lovely Italian deli in Hampstead, which supposedly does the best cheese/bread/pasta/pies/whatever. This is exactly what happened to me this weekend and it's how I ended up with a bag of *very expensive* giant tri-colour pasta shells, which my friend Soula said would taste lovely stuffed with feta cheese and spinach. I thought I probably wouldn't stuff them, but you never know. If I was in the right mood.. mmmm... a gourmet dish could well have been on the cards this weekend, feta cheese and spinach being two of our staples (this is what the foodie influence does - it clouds your thinking).

Now you'd think I couldn't go wrong with pasta. All I had to do was read the instructions (cook for 10-11 mins, it said), boil the water, add the pasta and simmer for the required time. Which I did. Admittedly for 11 minutes rather than 10, but I was too busy sorting out the sauce (tomato, onions, carrots, mushrooms, kalamata olives, green pepper, capers, mustard seed, oregano, mixed herbs - the works). Needless to say, I didn't have the time or the inclination to mess with feta and spinach, so I figured we'd have them plain with just the sauce. All sorted :-)

Then, I drained the pasta, and this is what I ended up with:

"They're shells," hubby said. "They've broken". Well, just as well I wasn't planning to stuff them!

We debated throwing them away and trying again, but we were pretty hungry by that point, so we cut our losses and served them up as they came.

They actually tasted very nice with the sauce, although I'm sure they weren't meant to be eaten with a spoon...

Next week it's back to spaghetti. At least you know where you stand with spaghetti. Or penne. Penne have never let me down.


Karen said...

I'm sorry to have laughed out loud at you! Your sauce looks wonderful, as I'm sitting here starving. My hubby has gone to pick up a pizza, because (even though I love to cook) I have long declared Sunday my Day of Rest. I hope it's as good as your *shells* were!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

oh bummer. But I tell you, that sauce looks *fantastic*.

Tinsie said...

@ Karen: In retrospect, pizza would have been a brilliant idea ;-)

@ Maryam: I have to admit, it did taste pretty good. Shame about the shells...

Cheryl said...

Hey, if it tastes good, that's what's important. I'm just starting to cook. I also have to take out the garbage. Since I don't have a man to do it, and I don't like it to get stinky, or bug-infested. Sigh...chores suck.

Tinsie said...

Tell me about it - although taking the rubbish out is a doddle compared to cooking stupid *fragile* pasta shells, and I've never had clothes break while I'm ironing them or shelves break while I'm dusting them ;-)

Clothes or shelves breaking would be more of a problem though. Hmmm. I guess I should just be happy I wasn't cooking for a dinner party or something. Now *that* would have been interesting - pasta shell bake anyone?!

Shionge said...

Good try good try and I know what you know about cooking, it is a big chores what with planning, cutting, preparing, cooking eventually eating it and finally CLEANING ;(

Per Stromsjo said...

Never mind the spoon, looks delicious with that sauce!

RennyBA said...

Why don't cook together - actually it can be real fun in the kitchen if you play together you know ;-)

Your sauce looks delicious - actually I made one very similar today, but your pasta looks even tastier.

ShadowFalcon said...

I don't understand, I love to cook and so does E, we often fight over who get to do it.

But sometimes its not you its the pasta - as long as it tastes good :-)

Anonymous said...

olo: Mporo na parageilo 1 piato gia to mesimeriano mou?

Tinsie said...

@ Shionge: Oh don't get me started on cleaning - I hate it even more than cooking!

Stranglely enough though, eating's never been a problem...

@ Per: Thanks! That's nice of you to say :-)

@ Rennyba: Actually we did that a lot when we first met (cooking together, not playing in the kitchen hehe ;-) but after a few years the novelty wore off and we decided that a chore is always a chore, even if you share it.

@ Shadowfalcon: Clearly that's where I went wrong - if only I'd met a man who loved cooking, life would be so much simpler :-)))

@ Olo: 1 μόνο;

Emperor Ropi said...

I can't cook but love to eat.

Loops said...

Tinsie - that looks fantastic (and the sauce hides the broken pasta). The best food usually looks homemade - compare identikit mince pies from the supermarket to the wonderful, but very "individual", sumptious ones from Konditor and Cooke!

My worst chore is hoovering and I hate it so much I'm contemplating buying a robotic hoover.

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Anonymous said...

olo: ΓΚΚΡΡΡΡΡΡΡΡΡ....ναι μόνο ένα είμαι σε δίαιτα!!!!!!!....χεχε δεν πιστεύω να το πίστεψες .... βάλε από όλα !!!!!!!!καλοκαίρι έρχεται να έχω γυμνασμένους κοιλιακούς!!

Claire said...

Hee! I've cooked like that before!


Tinsie said...

@ Emperor Ropi: Who cooks for you then? Can they come and cook for me too?

@ Loops: Let's just say that no one would think *for 1 moment* that my pasta dish was anything but homemade!

I totally share your feelings re: hoovering.

@ Jules: Thanks but no, thanks.

@ Olo: Χαχαχαχαχα θα σου βάλω τρεις μερίδες για να τους γυμνάσεις κανονικά :-p

@ Claire: Phew!! Glad I'm not the only one :-)

Betty C. said...

Poor Tinsie! I'm sure it tasted good though!

Mandi said... are a girl just like cupboards are the same as yours pasta always ends up mushy....I hate the vacum cleaner cos i can't stand the noise or the way the stupid hose bit hits the back of my legs whilst doing the pushing....putting the rubbish out is a pet hate....but the two worst of all things is... I hate my washing machine ....sounds like concorde on a landing strip and water hose pipes...why can't some one invent one that never kinks or one that doesn't want to eject the nossle and drown you as quickly as possable....glad my daughter doesn't take after me!!

Tinsie said...

@ Betty: They did taste quite good, much better than they looked. But, as my mum said when she saw the photos (once she'd stopped laughing that is), it's not like they were going to remain intact for ever if we ate them ;-)

@ Mandi: Ι used to feel the same about washing, but then my washing machine broke down and I bought a new one that is soooo lovely: efficient, silent, doesn't move much, my clothes come out almost dry - and I can wash all my "handwash only" clothes in it too! I hate to admit it, but these days, doing the washing is almost a pleasure :-)

palmtreefanatic said...

That looks amazing!