Mary Berry, I think I might love you.
Me, the Pog who mostly eats toast, actually cooked last night. I mean, with all different ingredients that I had to buy separately and use more than one pot to combine. I was given one of your cookbooks for Christmas (a subtle hint, perhaps) and I cooked your ‘Swiss Chicken, spinach and mushroom bake’ for me and Himself. Thanks to the step by step ‘keys to perfection’, not only did it taste good but….we’re both still alive!
For that, I might love you.
We do need some words though, because although your book is clearly geared up for idiots, it’s not entirely Pog proof. These are some additional observations you might like to include in future editions:
- Not everyone has a baking dish. Baking dishes only come in ‘huge’ when your only option is Tesco at 8pm.
- You cannot buy spinach in 750g packs or mini chicken fillets in 725g packs. Realising partway through your Tesco shop that to resolve some of the issue you should halve the recipe as you probably don’t need enough for six people anyway would usually be fine, but when it is the first day back at the office and you have been up for 14.5 hours and aren’t good with numbers anyway, it makes life very, very complicated.
- The first line in the recipe: ‘Pick over the spinach leaves and trim off any thick, coarse stalks’ is confusing for a novice at this cooking lark. Compared with what? And do you know how much picking over is required in 500g of spinach? (See? trying to halve numbers as mentioned above clearly didn’t work very well.) I got in such a pickle I started discarding leaves and keeping the stalks. Which I now suspect probably weren’t thick or coarse…
- Not everyone has a lid to ‘cover the pan with its lid and cook the spinach’ (although God knows where it is)… It turns out a frying pan is a good lid substitute here though.
- Now, I realise that this one isn’t your fault, but I really thought I’d get to the ‘pop it in the oven’ stage before He required picking up from the station, thereby becoming some sort of cross between a domestic pogess and 1950’s housewife. Unfortunately, even though I worked from home and should therefore have had quite a bit of spare time, work dragged on and I only got as far as ‘press and pound hard on the spinach using the edge of a wooden spoon spatula’ before I realised I should really be part way through Bumpkinsville in my car. I admit, I had also tried to multitask somewhat and clean the bathroom at the same time as the spinaching, which could have impacted the timing a little.
But do you know Mary? That was kind of as bad as it got. I gave up on the domestic pogess / housewife though and roped Him in to help (he’s a better cook than me anyway) and we didn’t do too badly.
I’ll be having a look at what I can try next week. Although maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here…. :o)