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Friday, February 22, 2013

My Kitchen Fools

Recently my gorgeous sister-in-law Maz, was staying with us on a mini break. We were both in the kitchen making sandwiches when seventeen year old Padraic bellowed from the TV room,“Make us one too please Momma Bear!”

“Make it your bloody self!” muttered Maz under her breath. 

I don’t blame her for thinking that Padraic was a lazy git and I was a sap but she didn’t quite grasp the dynamics of the situation. 

If I had encouraged Padraic to make his own lunch he probably would have put the entire 500grams of ham on his sandwich, bar one slice; which he would have left so that he wouldn’t have to go to the effort of throwing the packet away. 

It’s easier to make it for him. 
My mother is not much of a cook and didn’t bestow any catering skills upon me. 

In turn I have held back on sharing my negligible culinary expertise with the kids. 

When I was about fourteen I participated in the compulsory Domestic Science classes at school (yes… I know I’m dating myself again). My botched scones, gluey Blancmange and the Shepherd’s Pie (which was passable until someone trod on it during the bus trip home) resulted in a fail mark in that subject.

When Hagar was in Year Ten he elected to enrol in the Hospitality subject at his all boys school. 

I cannot imagine why any teacher would opt to teach cooking to a throng of fifteen year old bludgers, but good on them I say. 

I’m sure some of the lads were serious and perhaps wanted to become chefs or banqueting managers, but Hagar was not one of them. He just thought he could slack off and avoid meatier subjects. He probably envisaged an orgy of skylarking and food fights. 

His mid-year assignment was to make something from a recipe found in a book or the internet. Hagar chose to prepare chocolate bagels. 

He’d either been watching too much Seinfeld or researching Polish/Jewish cooking websites to come up with that plan because bagels weren’t one of my fortes.

The finished products bore a strong resemblance to artistic dog turds that had been dried in the sun. The bagels tasted sufficiently acceptable and were lovingly wrapped and offered to the teacher. I’m assuming Hagar lost marks for gastronomic presentation and he was awarded a C minus. 

His final assessment was to be completed at school and I was handed a shopping list that included green prawns, spices and an exotic onion I’d never heard of. 

I wished him luck as he rode off to school that morning with his ingredients safely stored in his backpack. 

I recall it was somewhat of a hot day.

Apparently the cooking experience went well and all was looking good until he bumped into his teacher after recess.

“Do you feel okay?” asked the clammy, green-tinged teacher. “I’ve just been throwing up in the toilet and I think it was those prawns.”

“Yeah Miss, I’m fine,” responded the nonchalant Hagar. 

“I didn’t eat any of them.”

So just like his Mum, Hagar failed cooking class.