Monday, January 30, 2012


A while back Hannah's boyfriend Raymond bought a raffle ticket for a children's charity and won a chef! Well what he actually won was a three course meal for two prepared by a chef in the winner's own home. They are a cunning pair young Raymondo and the Banana and I guess they knew they'd have to give their kitchen a serious cleaning so they wangled it that Willy (the chef) would prepare a three course meal for four in Nellybert's kitchen. So on Saturday past Bert gave the kitchen a wide berth while I cleaned and decluttered. I reckoned chefs need plenty of room and if they don't get it they'd be all shouty.

Anyway the time came, the kitchen was fairly presentable and the chef rocked up with a box of ingredients and knives and things. The knives looked pretty sharp and I was glad I'd made the surfaces shiny and empty for him. I don't know why I worried myself. He was pretty easy-going and not a bit shouty. After a wee test run of the cooker he got started on the meal and didn't even seem to mind that the cats kept going to sleep in his box of knives and things.

Bert naps between courses.

What can I say? The meal was delicious and enjoyable. Maybe the best bit, apart from the monkfish in orange sauce, was watching how he worked. The more he cooked the cleaner the kitchen got. And he only used a tiny part of the kitchen surfaces. If I'd been preparing a three course meal the kitchen would be like a battlefield. I decided that I'd have to make more of an effort in future to clean as I go.

Fred eats monkfish tail

Afterwards I told Bert this and he said,

Haven't I been saying that to you for years?


Haven't you ever watched me cook? I clean as I go. I don't use every saucepan in the house. I don't leave a big mess behind me.

Bert you can't even make a cup of coffee without spilling milk and/or water on the surfaces and the floor and you always leave the cupboard doors open. When you baked that cake the other evening the minute you had it in the oven you walked off for a smoke telling me to keep an eye on it and leaving me to put away the mixer and wash all the dishes.

Not true!


I cooked a two course meal for Zoe and the family this evening. I attempted to recreate Willy's bed of curly kale cooked with smoked bacon and was determined to better his apple crumble. The curly kale recipe still needs work but I succeeded with a pear crumble made with fresh ginger. Bert made yummy gravy (we had a pork shank) to which he added Willy's secret ingredient and then he made yummy custard.

And what of the clean as you go? I didn't do too badly at all and the clearing up after we'd eaten was minimal. It included wiping up the cornflour Bert spilled down the front of the cooker while the dogs cleaned up the custard he spilled on the floor.

To be fair though he's the boy who cleans out the chicken house, the pig sty and the cattle shed. What's a bit of cornflour compared to that?

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