Tag Archives: cooking

2445.  Birthday treat

Babette made twenty little cakes in her muffin tin. They were sponge cakes in which she cut a circular piece from the top, filled it with whipped cream, then sliced and set the cut out top to make a butterfly shape. She called them her butterfly cakes.

With the cream and the sugar and the butter she knew it wasn’t particularly healthy, but what the heck! a birthday comes but once a year.

For breakfast she had two sausages and a fried egg as well as a… no! Not toast, but fried bread; which is a slice of bread soaked in milk and fried in lard. For lunch it was a hamburger and French fries from a local chain, for although she liked to cook, three meals in a day was a bit much work, especially since it was her birthday.

At last came the evening meal. Babette poured herself a wine, set the table complete with her twenty little cakes, and began to prepare the main course of East Lothian beef, braised truffle barley and Scottish girolles. It was to be an early dinner, because as a birthday treat Babette had booked into the finest restaurant in town. She want to see how her cooking compared to theirs.

2337.  Rhubarb and Strawberry Cobbler

Look! I used the recipe you posted on your blog and quite frankly it was disgusting. I followed it to a T, and it still turned out horrible. The comments from some of your readers appeared to be helpful. One said the dessert was too runny, so I added more flour. Another said there wasn’t enough topping, so I doubled it. Yet another said it turned out way too sweet, so I halved the sugar.

The dessert turned out tart, heavy, and solid as a rock. I didn’t have any rhubarb so I used some crab apples off the neighbour’s tree instead. Both rhubarb and crab apples are afterall quite sour. And instead of strawberries I used a banana as it is high in potassium and can only be healthy.

I couldn’t see how crab apples could be put into a pot and heated without any liquid so I was going to put a touch of olive oil in the pot but I didn’t because I didn’t have any. So I used a teaspoon or two of lard instead.

Your recipe wasn’t just tart, heavy, and solid; it was FATTY. You have no right to claim that your recipe is healthy when if anything it is exactly the opposite. We had to smother the finished product in whipped cream to make it consumptible.

What is healthy about that? That’s the last recipe of yours I will try. It was extremely disappointing and you don’t appear to have an ounce of remorse. That is why I graded it with a zero on Facebook. It ruined our Christmas dinner, which was a delicious pre-cooked chicken that we reheated for our sumptuous feast.

My daughter doesn’t like chicken, so she defrosted some beef in the fridge but the blood ran down the fridge shelf and into your disgusting dessert. You have no idea how disappointing your pretentious and crapulous recipe was. A pox on your blog.

2057. Chicken Stew with Duck Confit and Cabbage

Thanks so much, Kitchen Cheffie, for yesterday’s fabulous recipe on your website. I used it for dinner last night and everyone loved it, including hubby who doesn’t always eat everything I cook. He’s such a fussy eater! I have never tried Chicken Stew with Duck Confit and Cabbage before. It’s a winner.

As I have said many times before in the comments on your blog, we like to eat healthy. So I omitted everything except for the water and cabbage. Besides, I didn’t have any chicken in the house. Your recommended cooking time was far, far too long and I ended up having to puree the cabbage into a soup because it had disintegrated too much. Seven hours at a low temperature is way too much. Also the yellowing outer leaves of the cabbage discoloured the finished product a little.

Another reason for adapting your recipe was that I didn’t know what Duck Comfort was. You need to explain things sometimes for your readers. I presume it’s some sort of “comfort food” so that was another reason for omitting that ingredient because of unhealthy overtones!!!!!!

I likewise wondered why you cooked it in the oven when the stove top would have been sufficient?

All in all, a wonderful recipe. It’s a keeper. One funny thing happened which I shouldn’t really tell but I simply must! The cabbage was home-grown, so when I took it out of the oven after seven hours there had been a good twenty or so earwigs hiding in the cabbage. They were cooked along with the cabbage! Let’s hope there were no slugs. Next time I’ll cut the cabbage up first – maybe into quarters. The earwigs didn’t matter in the long run because after I pureed everything no one noticed them.

1830. Poached salmon

Aubrey was preparing a nice dinner for when his wife, Shona, got home from work. It wasn’t a special, special occasion, but nonetheless it was special enough. It was their thirteenth wedding anniversary.

Aubrey decided on nothing too fancy. He was going to poach salmon on a bed of sliced lemon. He would make a dill and mustard sauce, accompanied by potato and bean salad. Then all would be topped off with his wife’s favourite, rhubarb pie.

He was just beginning to prepare the meal when he realized he needed a lemon and had omitted getting one at the supermarket. Not to worry. His next door neighbour had a huge lemon tree, laden with fruit. In fact it was so close to the boundary fence that Aubrey could simply have reached over and plucked one. But Audrey was not one to do that.

He would visit Mrs. Geraldine Trapski and ask if he could have a lemon. Incidentally, Mrs. Trapski was renowned for her generosity. She was involved in the Girl Guides and had even been given a special medal after she had donated a not-so-small château in the mountains for the girls to use. She had also been seen (although some claimed it was a little ostentatious) putting a tin of beans in the bin for the poor at the supermarket. “Oh no!” Mrs. Trapski had said in a slightly louder voice when asked about it, “I always give something to the poor.”

Of course, this has little or nothing to do with this story. Aubrey needed a lemon and Mrs. Trapski had a tree-full. Aubrey knocked on Mrs. Trapski’s door.

“Good morning! Look, I was about to poach some salmon steaks and realized I don’t have a lemon. I was wondering if it was possible to borrow a lemon.”

“Borrow a lemon? Are you intending to bring it back?” joked Mrs. Trapski. “I’ve had some unusual requests today but nothing like this! Only this morning the Girl Guides phoned to say a window latch in their château that I donated needed fixing. Of course I’ll pay for it, I said. And then – you won’t believe this – at the supermarket I placed a small jar of what the British call gherkins but I really think the French word for them, cornichons, had a bit more class. But when I placed the jar in the poor bin the shop assistant exclaimed, the poor don’t eat that stuff. Goodness me! So I brought the jar home. I can’t stand the things myself so I threw them away. It was terribly wasteful of the shop assistant to force me into doing that. Waste not, want not has always been my motto. And in answer to your request for a lemon, the answer is no. Grow your own.”

Aubrey returned home with his tail between his legs, or he would’ve if he’d had a tail. Mrs Geraldine Trapski left home half an hour latter to attend her Bridge Evening, the snob, just as Aubrey’s wife Shona arrived home.

“Dinner will be a little late tonight,” said Aubrey. “I haven’t started it yet. We’re having salmon steaks poached on a bed of lemon slices from two large lemons.”

1738. Calamitous culinary concoction

Candy was both an enthusiastic gardener and an enthusiastic cook. She would usually manage to squeeze both hobbies in, at least for a short time, after a long day’s work at the Department of Scientific Research. Years ago she had graduated as an industrial chemist specializing in developing antidotes to ricin. Ricin is a deadly powder that is processed from castor oil plant seeds. The smallest few grains can be fatal. These days Candy had a more mundane task; she works on developing greater flexibility in plastics.

Thirty-seven years ago Candy had married her school sweetheart. The marriage was ongoing. Candy and Herbie had five children and eight grandchildren. They attributed their healthy family to a healthy lifestyle. For example, they never used salt when cooking, although sometimes Candy added a little salt from the salt shaker to her meal once dished up.

(If Candy is the only one using salt, how the heck is the story-teller going to get her to poison her husband with homemade ricin manufactured from her home-grown castor oil plants? She’ll end up poisoning herself.)

Anyway, an opportunity came for Candy to attend a Science Convention in a distant city. She prepared an evening meal for the five days she was away and stored it, each labelled with the day of the week, in the freezer. That way Herbie could come home and simply microwave his dinner. Of course, she prepared far, far too much food. And Candy sprinkled each meal with a liberal dose of homemade ricin processed from her home-grown castor oil plants. Sadly, he should be dead by the time she came back home. After all, she had proof that he had had a torrid affair with Annie, the woman who came once a week to do the washing and ironing. Not to mention Dolores the accountant, and Pam the dentist. Oh, and Sybil the barmaid at the local pub.

And Mitzie…

The affairs aside, Herbie was a great family man, and on the first evening, relieved that his wife wasn’t home to hound him, took all five meals out of the freezer and invited his five children and eight grandchildren to a hearty feast.

1727. Pamela makes a cake

It would be wrong to suggest that Pamela’s mother-in-law was horrible. In fact she was satisfactory – as are most mothers-in-law. It was her father-in-law who was the snarky one. His favourite party story was how he’d taken some leftovers home after dinner at his daughter-in-law’s house and not even his cat would eat it. Haw! Haw! Haw! He would repeat the punchline: not even the cat would eat it!

Pamela had a cat and it would eat anything – in fact she had three cats. And besides, Pamela wasn’t too bad a cook either. She wasn’t the greatest, most fabulous chef in the country, but she could cook a nice meal. When her father-in-law’s birthday was about to come up, Pamela invited her husband’s parents to dinner. Pamela was determined to show that she wasn’t as stupid a cook as the father-in-law made out. She would cook a really nice birthday cake dessert.

She spent ages combing through recipe books and online to discover something lovely that would require a bit of work. She found one and settled on it. It was a Raspberry Tuxedo Cheesecake. The recipe described it as a vanilla cheesecake that sits on a chocolate cookie crumb base, topped with raspberry compote and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. Pure decadence!

The rest of the meal would be simple and elegant, but the birthday cake would put her father-in-law’s cruel joke to shame. Pamela made little bits of the recipe over several days, but on the day before the birthday she spent hours! The “drizzle of chocolate ganache” was the most difficult. It had to be delicate, like a fine lace cloth. And the raspberry had to run evenly down the sides. Finish she did! Pamela put the masterpiece in the fridge.

The guests arrived! Pamela took her creation out of the fridge and placed it on the bench. The meal began! The birthday cake moment arrived! Pamela went out to the kitchen to make a grand entrance! The cats had jumped up onto the bench and eaten most of it.

1637. Rabbit stew

Cecylia had a most unusual hobby. Naturally she couldn’t pursue it all the time, like once a day. Once a week was plenty, although in fact once a month was more the usual practice. Cecylia collected (and used) rabbit recipes.

It all began one day when a friend called in for a cup of coffee and they got talking.

“I don’t know how anyone could cook a rabbit any other way than in a rabbit stew. Rabbit is surely the most uninteresting edible mammal on the planet.”

This set Cecylia on a mission. For the last seven months she had found eleven creative ways to cook rabbit. One of the recipes, rabbit cooked in prunes, wasn’t as successful as the others, but all in all (as Cecylia’s friend said) “When it comes to rabbit there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

Since Cecylia’s hobby almost bordered on an obsession, her friend arranged for them to visit a rabbit farm for Cecylia’s birthday.

“It’ll be such fun, and maybe the farmer’s wife (how very sexist of me) will have a few rabbit recipes she can share.”

Off they went!

“Oh look at the beautiful bunny-rabbits! Oh aren’t they lovely? Oh this one has baby bunnies – all five of them! Oh look at all the colours! How cute! I see you have angora rabbits as well. They are so soft! Oh how gorgeous! I simply must knit an angora rabbit hat! What a lovely birthday gift! Not only a visit to the bunny farm but an oh-so-soft angora rabbit muff and scarf as well! How marvellous!”

Cecylia (as the reader will have already deduced) never cooked another bunny-rabbit.

1630. Rum balls

Dear Innovative Housewife

Thank you so much for the wonderful Rum Balls recipe on your blog. I used it for the first time the other week and it was a hit. The family loved it. In fact I jokingly said that I wasn’t going to bake these Rum Balls ever again because they disappeared too fast!

The only change I made was that the recipe called for rum essence. I didn’t have any on hand so I used real rum. It worked a treat. So today I’m going to do it all again, except this time I’m going to double the rum and make it twice as good.

I wasn’t sure if rum went off, like wine, once the bottle was opened so I tried a wee sip and it seems to be alright. I careflea measured out the rum and it was the first thing I used because I dodn’t want hubby coming home and quaffing it down before I even added the flower. Yu can imadgine how I felled when I discovered there was only one teaspoon left in the bottle and you’re resipe cauled for too, so fourtunately we had some whiskey in the howse so I used that as well.

Then when it come to the frosting there was no whiskey so I used a bit of gin with a sprinkling of… of whatever that other stuff you said is called and it semed orright. Wee shell no wen hubby comes home and tacks a bight. Anyway I just wanded two tank you and say it is purfet. Its very layber intents so I’m thingking of havking it for the mane corse as well. The only thing is that to do that I will have to get to the shops to buy lots moore rum.

1578. Heather’s blueberry muffins

Heather Green wasn’t exactly disliked at school. She wasn’t much liked either. In fact, she was a bit of a nobody. If a teacher said to a student “Take Heather Green and go get the bag of basketballs” most students would say “Who’s Heather Green?”

She wasn’t horrible. Nor was she Ms Personality. It’s just that she wasn’t very self-confident. When the class messed around a bit she would sit there and smile but wouldn’t take part. It wasn’t that she was prudish or anything; she was just a bit scared to let herself go.

Anyway, everyone in the class, boys and girls, had one hour a week when they attended a cooking class. It was very exciting because the cooking teacher announced towards the end of the year that they were going to have a party. They could make whatever they wanted (at home) and bring it to school for the celebration. Well! If there was one thing Heather Green knew she could do was make blueberry muffins. She had made them dozens of times at home. They were moist! They were tasty! They were perfect! Heather went home and baked the most delightful batch of blueberry muffins the world had ever seen! She arranged them in a basket with a red and white chequered cloth. In fact she could have been mistaken for Little Red Riding Hood if she had been seen skipping through a forest; and if they were, in fact, the best blueberry muffins in the world that Little Red Riding Hood had in her basket.

Heather quietly left her basket of muffins on the common table. When it came time to eat, Heather’s muffins were horrible. They tasted yuck. It was the only time her blueberry muffins hadn’t turned out right.

Yuck Heather. What a loser. Who’s Heather?

1521: Stuck at the kitchen sink

Grabbing the electric cable of the hot iron, Deidre swung the iron around and around her head like she was swinging a dead cat by the tail, and killed her husband with a slap-bang on the side of the head. There was blood everywhere and a slight whiff of scorched hair.

Miscreant, she screamed, damned useless effeminate wombat. You are the antithesis of toxic masculinity.

And then Deidre chortled; it was a merciless, cold giggle. She took on the visage of a drooling hyena. This, she sniggered, is what is meant by striking while the iron’s hot.

Today I can get on with my life, mused Deidre. I’m sick of the way people think this planet is made for ironing, and vacuuming, and standing at the kitchen sink. At last I’m liberated from such enslavement. No more base behaviour. No more subservience. No more humiliation and slavery. No more pretending to appreciate a husband who couldn’t stop doing the laundry and ironing and cooking and house cleaning and dishes and getting the kids ready for school. This is the end of the liberated woofter. Now to go online and find me a real man.