If you can possibly avoid cooking, take my advice and do so. Actually, I love cooking but I hate the washing up. I have a tiny kitchen, which used to be a stable for donkeys, mules, goats and pigs. There’s only one of them left, me, the pig. However there are several iron rings on the walls and I can’t vouch for the previous owner’s sex life. Getting involved with iron rings is one thing but foolishly purchasing a German-made pressure cooker is quite another.
Why do I mention its nationality? Because it very nearly stood up correctly when I came in yesterday to check my scrumptious lentils and chorizo stew. The thing was hissing worse than any snake I’ve ever met (and I’ve met plenty). Logic told me that it might be better to stop the horrid noise and I turned off the gas. It took about half an hour before it would let me open it: I had to wait for a little red ball in the handle to descend into the depths of it. I bought the thing because it cooks faster than a normal pot! It opened at last.
Burned. Burned to powder. Large lumps of unidentifiable chorizo. Brand new black pot needing elbow grease after soaking. Very large burned pot in very small kitchen, taking over. Cat does not like lentils and chorizo, however mashed up. (See ‘Conversations with Piss-Piss’)
(Am I being anti-German at all? Well, my real surname comes from Hamburg, so maybe not. O drat, I feel another article coming on…)
So why am I advising GOFs not to cook? Because things explode, for example.
Here’s the example: I used to buy cans of sweetened condensed milk and put them unopened in boiling water for hours on end, as instructed by amateur experts, just to get the Argentine version of dulce de leche (‘milk jam’, kinda toffee. The Spanish version is completely different; go figure) that would transport me back to my childhood when spread on bread.
One time I forgot about it — must have been writing — until I heard a loud bangcrash in the tiny kitchen downstairs. The water had dried out and the can exploded, sending the pot lid flying across in an attempt at killing the cat. It also covered walls and surfaces in a sticky brown substance that resembled … you know, it’s better left in the bathroom.
The cleaning up was no fun at all. The stuff had even managed to find its way onto the little gas spout on the water heater. It took me hours to find out why I couldn’t get any hot water, which I needed to clean up in the first place. It’s just occurred to me that I should have painted the walls brown, not white. Silly me.
No, there’s nothing German here, just plain stupidity. But it does serve to advise all GOFs not to cook. Eat sandwiches, go out; if in Spain, do as the Spaniards and have a tapa or six; if in Greece, bad luck; and if in the UK, OK.
There’s more to my cooking than might be suspected by reading this. More another time…