I MADE A culinary promise to myself last year not to buy any more cook books. I had loads. And loads. I never used them yet the pressure to cook something from those books was immense. Something that
couldn’t wouldn’t be eaten. So I got rid of them
and a part of me felt better immediately.
I also swore that under absolutely no circumstances, would I attempt to make something that requires unpronounceable ingredients which are then placed in the cupboard and left to gather dust. Never to be used again. Pink Himalayan salt, anyone?
Then I totally went and broke my promise.
I knew just by looking at the picture, my kids would run screaming from something that looked like that when it was plonked down in front of them.
I just knew it.
Yes I plonk.
Not a pea or a carrot in sight. It appealed to me immensely. It was a one pot wonder and looked mighty damn tasty to boot.
What did I do? I caved and bought the ingredients that would never be used again, is what I did. Why don’t they sell cardamom pods by the dozen instead of in a large jar?
Coriander? A herb that will wither and die as I look at it.
Anyway, I began to make the dish. Herbs, seeds and spices began to pop and the kitchen was filled with a gorgeous aroma.
Smallest Boy wandered in. “What’s that smell?” His nose was scrunched up.
“That, my boy, is your dinner.”
“Yok. Don’t like it.”
And that was just from the smell. Which was lovely I might add.
But then I added the natural yogurt and watched as the whole thing split into a vomity looking mess.
I refused to give up hope. It still smelled good. I told myself it might, by some miracle, glue itself back together again during the oven-ing process and resemble something like the picture in the book.
I gave it precisely forty minutes in the oven. I peeled back the tin foil with my head cocked to one side, eyeing it hopefully.
Please. Please. Please.
If it is possible for a vomity looking curry to split even further, it happened in my le creuset. Do not be fooled. Those fancy ovenware dishes do nothing to enhance the cooking process.
It was vile looking.
Maybe it will taste better than it looked I thought as I plucked a piece of withered looking beef out of the bile.
Nope, tough and leathery. Tasted exactly as it looked.
I briefly toyed with eating the juices and pretending it was soup.
I wasn’t able to.
I shoved it away. I should have just gone with roast chicken the way I always do. But I wanted a break. I wanted something that didn’t involve peeling carrots and turnips and spuds and cooking them and making gravy.
I learned my lesson.
And then the phone rang and it looked suspiciously like the school number.
Great joy. Forget about the reason for the phone call; one of the boys had come a cropper in the school yard and fell onto his head. He’ll be grand, I told myself. Go on in there and collect him.
No-one need ever know about the vomity mess I was going to serve up for dinner.
I got away with it.
Toasted sandwiches it is so.
And roast chicken will do quite nicely tomorrow.