Tag Archives: chef

1707. A chef for the homeless

“I think caviar is vastly overrated,” said Lord Brackenbury. This was at a meeting called by the local Anglican vicar. The number of down-and-outs on the streets had sky-rocketed. The local vestry decided they would provide a grand Christmas dinner for the homeless. And the wonderful thing was that Lord Brackenbury was lending his cook for the day. “Lending a Cook” might be too banal a description; Lord Brackenbury was “Providing the services of his Chef”.

“I think caviar is vastly overrated; although it doesn’t get simpler—or more elegant—than crème fraîche and caviar tartlets when served alongside a glass of sparkling wine. However, in the case of feeding the homeless at Christmas I think a carrot tart with ricotta, almond filling and pickled grapes sounds a lot healthier. And my chef Delphine makes it to perfection.”

“We were thinking along the lines,” said the vicar, “of something simpler. A slice of ham or turkey, with mashed potatoes and peas. Besides, I don’t think we could afford such extravagance.”

“And you need a chef for mashed potatoes?” said a stunned Lord Brackenbury. “Delphine wouldn’t have a clue how to go about doing that.”

The vicar was starting to get riled. “Delphine can’t be much of a cook if he doesn’t know how to boil a potato. I suggest…”

“I suggest,” interjected Lord Brackenbury, “that you find yourself another chef. I have standards. No wonder no one comes to church these days.”

“You can stick it up your…” declared the vicar. The vicar’s statement was interrupted by Lord Brackenbury rising from his chair; he gathered his proposed menu notes and stormed from the scene. Fortunately he forgot to take the main thing he had brought for the meeting to enjoy: elegant crème fraîche and caviar tartlets with a couple of bottles of sparkling wine.

“Ham, mashed spuds and peas it is,” said the vicar. “Cheers.” The meeting cut late into the evening.

1664. You get what you pay for

Let this be a warning! A warning to those of you who think the recipes on this site are worth trying. It’s impossible to think of an explanation adequate enough to describe how this person has tried to pull the wool over our eyes. She calls herself a cook. A cook, my foot! I spent a lot of time and wasted energy, not to mention squandered costly ingredients, making this recipe. I followed everything almost to a tee. And what a disaster! She called the recipe “Shortbread”. Yeah right. She was spot on there. It certainly came out as shortbread, but I adapted it because I wanted a coffee cake. It was horrible. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to post.

1566. Cherry clafoutis

Bonnie worked as a chef in a prestigious restaurant in town. Her husband, Alex, was an accountant. Because Bonnie worked all day in a kitchen, Alex did most of the cooking at home unless of course it was a very special occasion, in which case Bonnie would “pull out all stops”.

Because fair is only fair, Bonnie paid for the house finances to be looked after by a professional accountant, and not by Alex himself. It was a happy arrangement.

They had been married for fourteen years. All was right with the world; at least it was until Alex one day got a call from the accountant.

“What is this three week cruise for two in the Caribbean?” Alex had no clue, but with further surreptitious investigation discovered that Bonnie had planned a cruise with the bellboy from the restaurant’s hotel. In short, she was leaving Alex. The day of her departure arrived. How would Bonnie break the news?

Bonnie had announced she would cook. “Let’s make it a special occasion right out of the blue,” she announced. “I shall cook.” Alex wondered if she didn’t have a special ingredient in mind.

At the end of the delectable feast, after gorging on a second helping of cherry clafoutis, Bonnie declared that she had a wonderful announcement. She had planned a special surprise. The two of them were to go on a luxury three week cruise in the Caribbean. “We’ve always wanted to do that, darling. Our dream has come true!”

It was only then that Alex wished he hadn’t laced her cherry clafoutis with weed killer.

1513: Prone to tragedy

It’s such a shame. They were such a lovely couple. They were so down-to-earth – which is unusual for filthy rich personages.

To think how full of promise their lives had become! They had recently moved into their brand-new multimillion dollar mansion. It suited them down to the ground. It had a games room – or should I say “rooms”? The covered heated swimming pool was a delight. The tennis courts attracted so many genuine friends. The kitchen (Jacinta jokingly referred to it as a “my humble kitchenette”!) was big enough for Rufus, their world-class chef. In fact, Rufus had been with the household for years, ever since he was hired by Archibald’s first wife many years ago. Archibald joked that Rufus was the only real jewel in the family fortune.

And then last Thursday Jacinta’s body was found floating in the tropical aquarium. Archibald was devastated. How could she have drowned? He had suggested to her dozens of times not to overfeed the African banded barbs (Barbus fasciolatus). She wouldn’t listen. Fate had clearly decreed that she should drown in the fish tank because of her over-feeding fixation. How she fell in was anyone’s guess.

Some people are prone to tragedy. That is certainly the case with Archibald. Jacinta was his fourth wife to have inadvertently drowned in a tropical aquarium. Jacinta was the brightest star in my firmament of life, said Archibald. Rufus was more matter-of-fact: That’s the last time she’ll criticise my Caraway Crusted Pork Loin with Stewed Cabbage and Sautéed Apples.

799. Dear Julia

887julia

Dear Julia

I am outraged. Your recipe for oxtail stew suggests a cupful of red wine. That is disgusting. You are doing nothing other than encouraging drunken alcoholism. I left the wine out before taking up your suggestion of cooking the oxtail slowly for five hours! Five hours! The meat cooked quickly. It had gone brown which surely is a sign that something’s cooked. I took it off the stove after thirty minutes.

As for the celery, I left that out too. My family are not rabbits. Also the carrots. And the potatoes got the heave-ho; they’re so unimaginative. You’d think being a popular chef on television and elsewhere that you could find something more imaginative than potatoes.

A pinch of salt! Drag yourself at least into the nineteenth century. Haven’t you heard of hardening of the arteries? I left the salt out too. And those other disgusting herbs that you wanted put in, like a bay leaf and some rosemary. Dead foliage I call them.

In conclusion I would like to say that I thought the end product was rather bland. I do wish you’d stop foistering your mediocre recipes on the gullible public. My three sons demanded proper food, so I had to open a couple of cans of baked beans.

Signed: A Proper Cook