April Quickie: Dad’s Cooking

8 Apr

Dad, who suddenly has both the time and (surprisingly) the inclination to cook, has taken over the kitchen and now makes most of our evening meals. Predictably, he went into it like a typical middle-aged man and militarised the entire area. He spent huge amounts of money on murderous knives, arcane slicing mechanisms, and a little thing that tells you exactly when your eggs are done. He is the owner of a set of electronic scales which can tell you the exact molecular weight, accurate to the tiniest degree, of a piece of toast. He is responsible for introducing to our relatively peaceful home a knife sharp enough to slice open God and all his angels*. He is armed with all the cookbooks my mam has collected over the years, complete with recipes from dozens of stellar chefs from Delia Smith to Gary Rhodes. At Christmas, Mam bought him his own gigantic complete cookbook filled with literally hundreds, possibly thousands, of recipes.
Instead of reaching culinary nirvana with all this intimidating gear, however, or at least trying a new meal every week or so, we simply went from Mam’s weekly menu:
Pasta bake
Chili
Fucking awful cheese omelettes
Salmon (with steamed carrots, potatoes and green beans)
Gammon (with steamed carrots, potatoes and green beans)
Chicken (with steamed carrots, potatoes and green beans)
Salad for them, microwaved shit for me

To Dad’s:
Shepherd’s pie
Chili
Fucking awful minestrone soup
Cod loin (with steamed carrots, potatoes and green beans)
Curry
Hotpot
Salad for them, microwaved shit for me

Aside from the fact that he actually goes into a sulk if you don’t like one of his meals, the most irritating part of this fiasco is that when Dad started learning to cook, he waxed lyrical about how our meal rotation had become predictable. “Steamed carrots, potatoes and green beans! Such pedestrian efforts shall know no place in this man’s kitchen. Under the glorious new regime, every meal shall be a paragon of human endeavour, a crafted, sublime work, worthy of Dionysus himself. Come, let us rest in the orchard of greatness, and eat, and finally live,” he may not have said to me, teary-eyed, one night.

Raising complaints to either parent often yields the strange (and incredibly stupid) response that “you can’t cook, so you don’t know what you’re talking about”. Firstly, while I may not have made a great deal of food, I have certainly eaten a lot of it, and I know bad food when I taste it (and I’m a lot less fussy about the crap I eat than they are). Secondly, not only can I cook, I can probably do it better than Dad can – the only stumbling block is that I don’t know as many recipes as he does. Someday I’ll have to overthrow him and claim the family kitchen as my own. Or move to uni and cook for myself in September without fifty-year-olds moaning down the back of my neck. That’ll be more likely, I think.

*Including Ezaqueel. Yeah, no shit.

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2 Responses to “April Quickie: Dad’s Cooking”

  1. laubrau April 9, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    “Secondly, not only can I cook, I can probably do it better than Dad can…” I think that’s grounds for a father/son YouTube challenge extravaganza.
    It’s all about competition at the minute.

  2. Jack April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Knowing us, it would become hostile very quickly. “Gaze upon my beef stifado, and despair!”
    “Nay! My five-alarm chili shall be your doom!”
    Knives would be taken up, blood would be everywhere, YouTube would be displeased. Honestly, though – a few gallons of claret would probably improve Dad’s curry.

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