This will teach me to cook. Trust me – no good ever comes of cooking anything. It’s just asking for trouble.
I felt so much better yesterday I thought I’d prepare a proper meal. As opposed to just toast and marmalade but without the marmalade because it had gone mouldy. I didn’t think it could do that. Isn’t sugar supposed to preserve things? So just toast then, to see me through my current crisis. Which was fine, but, as I said, I started to feel better and I got cocky. Too cocky.
I thought I’d do chicken stew. Nothing flash. Chicken, potatoes, leeks, carrots and mushrooms. What could possibly go wrong? And the answer – just for once – was nothing. There was a brief session of flashing knives as I diced and sliced – no fingers fell off – you would have been proud.
I set it all to bubble away in my biggest saucepan and retired, full of my own cleverness to the sofa to watch a bit more Green Wing.
An hour and a half later, and crazed by the smell of delicious chicken stew, I limped back into the kitchen to dish up a plateful and that’s when it all started to go wrong.
I set the tray – I don’t dine often enough to have a dining table – and ladled out a goodish portion. So far so good. And then I had a Brilliant Idea. Don’t sit down, take a mouthful, and then decide it needs more seasoning and have to struggle to your feet. Take the salt and pepper in with you, stupid. I opened the overhead cupboard and a bar of chocolate the size of the dining table I don’t have dropped from the shelf and splatted into my bowl of stew.
It went everywhere. All up the wall. All across the worktop. All over me. Everywhere. I mean everywhere.
There was worse to come. My drug-addled mind, slowly comprehending the magnitude of the disaster occurring, sent emergency signals to all limbs, instructing them to avert this catastrophe. NOW.
I grabbed for the chocolate – obviously – and missed. I did, however, manage to knock the ladle, still half full of delicious gravy, which cartwheeled through the air, streaming gravy, diced carrot and God knows what in a beautiful rainbow shaped arc all across my really not very big kitchen.
It went everywhere. All up the so far unsplashed walls. All across the workshop not yet submerged in chicken stew. And all over me. Again. My favourite top – the one I’d put on to cheer myself up because, you know – bad back – was covered in it.
Worse, my lightning slow reflexes set my back off again and I couldn’t bend down to pick up the ladle or mop the floor or do anything, really. The language was appalling. There will be complaints from the neighbours.
I did save the chocolate, burning my fingers fishing it out of my molten chicken stew, and carefully wiping it down with a tea towel that did not survive the experience.
Closing the door on everything, I took the remains of my meal – I don’t think I ever found the salt and pepper – and retreated to another room.
What else could I do?