Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fish Pie, Cookies, Loo Rolls and Modern Art.

Now it’s just possible if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you may have picked up some subtle hints that I don’t like cooking. Although I’ve plenty of interest in eating I’ve as much interest in cooking as Barry White had performing in leotards.

I have been trying lately though. (Well, I’m trying most days) But I meant trying at cooking. On Tuesday I made beef stew. I didn’t quite around to the dumplings but I thought the mothballs made an easy substitute and no one seemed to notice the difference! Yesterday, I was even more daring and made fish pie!

I know you're interested in my culinary genuis so here’s how I did it;

Well, I used fish. (Obviously) Now I had some frozen white fish. It may even have been a brand like Cod or Haddock but I’m not sure. (Btw that IS a joke. Just in case you thought I really was that stupid. Yeah okay…don’t challenge me on that will you?) Anyway, it was white fish selected on the basis that the packaging looked pretty. (Well as much as two dead fish with bulging eyes can look pretty photographed next to some strategically placed plastic parsley.) I also had some fresh salmon because on Sunday I went to Costco which is one of those massive cut price places where you can only buy huge quantities of stuff so I came away with a salmon the size of a whale. I was slightly concerned about the green spots, yellow fins and the two rotating heads but what the hell it was cheap.

Going slightly off track for a moment; I never go over board at such supermarkets because I’m always thinking if I buy 48 rolls of loo paper just where am I going to put them? I couldn’t stack them by the loo because with 4 males in the house my 48 rolls of pristine white loo rolls would soon be a lovely shade of yellow.

I suppose I could put the loo rolls in the loft but that would be a bit impractical because that’s a long way to dash with my knickers round my ankles when I’ve found I’ve forgotten to replace the last roll. Or there’s under Master Benedict’s bed but that’s a dangerous proposition because it wouldn’t be long before he attempted to construct some weird flying machine out of the loo rolls with the aid of his glue stick, cardboard boxes and sellotape and thrown himself out his window on a thermal uplift.

Don’t believe me eh?

This is what Master Ben made last night;

Can you see the intricate sellotape work? The unique design? The multi coloured paperwork? Now what exactly is it, I hear you ask?

It’s a Jack in the Box.

Yes, that’s right. A Jack in the Box. I know -where’s the Jack? Well you see the yellow tag? That’s where Master Benedict opens the bottom of the box and inserts his head. No wait a minute, it's the other way round....

Yes, so anyway Master Benedict IS The Jack in the Box. Creative eh?
And this is what he did to his remote controlled car;

Again, some intricate sellotape work…. Btw that’s wooden kindling taped to it (and one odd pen.)

Obviously Master Benedict will be exhibiting at The Tate by the time he’s 12. And I look forward to it cos let’s face it nothing he produces is as riduculous as that Tracey Enema stuff.

Anyway, back to the fish pie.

So, I microwaved the fish and then what I usually do is mix it with some ready-to-make parsley sauce (You know where you add milk and stir.) But horror, horror, there is none left... This means I have to face the prospect of driving to the supermarket, making it myself or using my initiative…….. So luckily I found some savoury white sauce mix! Unfortunately, no fresh parsley… but I did some have some Mediterranean herbs circa 2005. Excellent, excellent…… so I stirred it all together and topped it with mash potato. Now my mash was much, much better than last week's disastrous attempt at a Shepherd's pie where I couldn’t be bothered to mash the potatoes immediately so they congealed into one massive globule that even I couldn’t salvage. Anyway, the mash this week was good. So feeling slightly pleased I’d rescued the situation I spooned it over the fish…

Unfortunately, I quickly realised the benefits of measuring jugs as it might have been a good idea if I’d used one to measure the milk…because now I had too much sauce and not enough mash…. Ah well, I thought, perhaps it would “dry out” a little when I baked it.
Regrettably it didn’t. It turned into a sort of thick fish soup……with some burnt bits round the edges…..

But full credit to Master Jacob who had seconds. Master Sam and Master Ben had what I call “strategic” amounts but Master Jacob said it was “Yummy!” Blimey, I love that boy; he may even get some birthday prezzies this year.

Anyway, I must also recount Master Jacob’s latest cooking experience…

Unlike Master Sam who only told me about school cookery lessons approximately 10 mins before the bus came Master Jacob told me the night before that he needed plain flour, sugar, an egg and chocolate chips for his chocolate chip cookies. My immediate thought was;

Do I have some plain flour?

This was quickly followed by the thought;

Do I have ANY flour?

Well yes, I did. It was that extra strong stuff especially for breadmakers. (Another one of Mr T’s thrilling gifts.) And I had sugar and an egg! Whoppee! No chocolate chips though…. How bizarre! But I did have some dark cooking chocolate, you know the type you have to take a chisel to… So all was well and Master Jacob came home the next day with his plain biscuits.... (No chisel available at school.)

“Would you like one of my biscuits Mummy?”

Master Jacob lays out his biscuits on the kitchen counter

“Of course Master Jacob.”

“Which one would you like?”

Mrs T surveys the scene…..

And turns them over…..

“Um… Master Jacob? They look a bit…. brown.”
Master Jacob smiles at Mrs T in a knowing fashion....

“I made them crispy just the way you like them Mummy.”

Mrs T stifles gagging sounds, puts her arm round Master Jacob…

“What a clever boy! Now let’s not forget to save one for Daddy…..” what shall I cook tonight? Any suggestions?

Copyright Jane Turley 2009

Ps You can find my latest short story here at The View From Here. It's a war story, so if you're squeamish stay tuned to the silly stuff here at The Witty Ways of a Wayward Wife.


  1. I am thinking you should make a ham sarnie....made by taking a trip to tesco's to buy one ready made.

    I think you should make me dinner Mrs T. I would choose the ingredients and you make it.

    The Ingredients:
    2 x slices of Bread
    1 x tin of Heinz beans (microwave pots)

    Utensils required:
    1 x toaster
    1 x microwave
    1 x plate
    1 times knife and fork

    What will you make!! I cant wait to see what you do with it all!

  2. Is she allowed to add store cupboard ingredients? You know, cat food, bleach...?

  3. You mean her usual ingredients? Nope...not this time.

  4. Beans a la carte?! Hmm..let me think...I'm not sure if Mrs T could manage such a delicacy - particularly with the toasting bit!

  5. Yuck... I still have the mothball taste in my mouth! :) Funny post. I didn't know you had Costco in the U.K. ? Silly me!

  6. That last sentence in your opening paragraph caught my attention to the rest of your story.


    As for what to make, don't try anything complicated.

    How 'bout grinders? Simple, minimal effort beyond going to a deli, and sometimes they're even nutrious.

  7. 'Course we have Costco Mr I! We Brits and you Yankies have a "special realtionship" didn't you know....we also have IKEA remember?! Which I regret to inform I was treated to a "lovely" visit there yesterday. Master Jacob now has a trendy desk and I have a new lamp for my mine. (Had to get something out of it to make it worth my while.)

    I wonder if it IKEA does the same products worldwide? I expect so.

    Anyway, I didn't stop for meatballs...

  8. Hi Georgie,

    Believe me, I won't try anything complicated! Simple is goooood!!

    Now what are these grinders? Never heard of them! But they don't sound good for your teeth...and somewhat dubious nutrionally...

    Sounds like something I could make!

  9. Let me get this right: if I can find evidence that Barry white was interested in performing in a leotard, then you might take more of an interest in cooking?

    I hope this is what you meant because I've employed a team of research assistants to prove exactly this. Photos are hard to come by, but we did discover this video of Barry in his post-leotard era, when he'd graduated to performing whilst dressed as an alien. Obviously, tight leotards had made some impact on his ability to sustain that wonderful baritone.

  10. Hmmm... Barry was looking kinda sexy there eh PB? Those cute link pinkies....Now how do you know about Barry in that video? Have you been drooling over his porky appearance and imagining him roasting over your barbie?!

    Yes, I'm up the night, woken by my cats (again) and at the moment I'm writing a post of vitrolic, anti cat hate with a proliferation of "colourful" superlatives....

    But actually now that I've shut them in the kitchen and they've finally given up scratching the door - I'm off to bed! Hoorah!

  11. I think it is better for mankind if Mrs T doesnt take too much more interest in cooking. You know that you would get invited and she would go "oriental" on you and serve up ox testicles with a side of squid poo.

  12. Not sure what you would call them here, but if you have any "Subway" stores, that's what they make.

    It's cheap, filling, and they can be as nutritional as you wish them to be.

  13. I remember the IKEA. I just didn't know about the Costco edge. Maybe I should buy more stock.... Do you have a Walmart as well? How about Trader Joes! Maybe we could go on a shopping binge together. Have a Super Day!

  14. Master Sy,

    Ox testicles? Now you're talkin - Ready made meatballs!


    I googled Subways - apparently we do have them although I've never actually seen one. So a grinder is well.... a filled roll? Revolutionary! I think even I could manage to make one of them... Blimey, I love those prepackaged salads!

    Mr I,

    Costco is very popular over here; although I only go once in a blue moon. We don't have Walmart although they own ASDA which is one of the largest grocery chains. (They do some other items like clothing and electricals too.)

    Nope we don't have Trader Joes
    (as far as I know).

    I'm a bit of a floating shopper myself as I just get bored shoppping in the same place cos shopping is pretty boring really....hmm...I feel this is a subject I should elaborate on at some time in the future....

    A shopping binge sound good! Let's make it a little more upmarket though! Also If I ever come to the USA I want to go a M&M shop - that is sheer decadence! If you come to the UK I guess it'll have to be Harrods...

  15. Brilliant! 'Let's not forget to save one for daddy ...' - that's my line.

    Also, it seems to me there is no toy that a seven or eight-year-old boy thinks cannot be improved with masses of sellotape and other rubbish stuck to it. You tell it like it is.

    Don't cook tonight. Just leave the clever kid in the kitchen with the ingredients for fish pie and see what happens. Take the sellotape away first, though.

  16. Not only might it better for mankind, Master Sy, but it would definitely be better for oxkind.

  17. Mrs B,

    You are so right! I will not leave Master Ben alone in the kitchen with sellotape! I have been treated to several cups of tea/chocolate in bed lately (Amazing - believe me)

    Master Ben - brings cup of hot chocolate,

    Master Jacob - A teapot, cup and saucer,and whole carton of Splenda... 2 slices of cold, damp barely cooked bread with lashings of butter

    Second journey...milk in jug...

    Third journey...spoon.....

    No further comment necessary I think!!

    PB.... guess what? It's snowing!(And the whole of the South East is grinding to a halt as usual!)I'll post some piccys later just so you can remember what Old Blighty is like in winter!

  18. Well I have used Subway in London quite a lot (although not all that recently) and have yet to see any grinders? What can they be?

  19. I think they are just a fresh filled rolled Cheque Book Jerry! But they just don't sound that tasty do they?!

  20. Thanks, Mrs T. As you know, I have a thing about snow.


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