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.