Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sentimental Like Seal

I think the over riding theme of my weekend has been cooking... it's not something I do either frequently or well, but it was the only thing I really wanted to do all weekend. In the course of Saturday and Sunday I have made two batches of cookies and one sea bass and sweet potato salad.

The two batches of cookies were as different as they were disappointing - neither set seemed to really achieve the nirvana of melted softness and chewy satisfaction that I was aiming for. The first batch could easily have been mistaken for overcooked sugar-turtles as they lurked unassumingly on the plate in their arcs of brown icing. The second batch looked more like cookies, and hid beneath them a melted Toblerone centre which I was particularly proud of. I don't think Mary Berry needs to watch her back though.

The sea bass and sweet potato salad was an intense success - utterly delicious and a combination I'd recommend to anyone bored enough to want to try it. The only sad part of this meal was that none of my house mates were around to witness by experiment and subsequent success. I contemplated making a plaque that made it clear I'd eaten something other than toast, but thought this might be pushing it even for me.

Cooking is something that has always been somewhat of a mystery to me - I like the look of it when it's on Blue Peter and all the ingredients are measured out into cute glass bowls, and I like the fact that they never have to wash up.

But, in reality, when faced with large packets of random ingredients and asked to not only choose the ones that go together, but also how much of them to use, I panic. Some people say they can cook using instinct... I think that's like asking someone to write down pi by means of ESP.

If cooking was more like George's Marvelous Medicine I'd be all over it - running round the house making purple smoke and poisoning old people into being nicer... genius. Sadly, the second you put tooth paste into a meal it kills it. Also, putting the pills meant for horses in it makes you a fairly high grade criminal too. Probably best avoided.

Tomorrow I return to my diet of apricots and rice cakes - all of which requires not even a smidgen of heating and are therefore a far more satisfactory kind of meal altogether.

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