Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Christmas

"Dad, the polar bears are going, look," says Elly.

On the telly there are two polar bears. They swim off a block of ice that's about as big as them.

"It's sad isn't it?" I say.

"Yeah." says Elly.

"They're beautiful aren't they?"

"Yeah." says Elly.

The telly is saying "Adopt a polar bear, for only £2.00..."

I think "Elly likes polar bears."

I turn back to my laptop. I am surfing a kitchen website, trying to find edible glitter and chocolate stars and chocolate covered coffee beans in order to prevent my Christmas day from being RUINED.

I see "50 disposable icing bags," and think to myself "Eggy the polar bears, I could get some icing bags that I don't need to wash up, yes, much better than polar bears," and reflect how brilliant my impenetrable wall of resistance is.

I look up and there are three bears all sitting around together, like we are on the sofa. The telly says "Help to save these bears, before it's too late."

I suddenly feel overwhelmed with helplessness and have to really concentrate on not crying.

Happy Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I really hate fish pie.

I think it is anticlimactic, like the emperors new clothes, but everyone goes "mmm, fish pie, deLICIOUS," as if it is the most brilliant thing ever. It is not. It is not a computer. It is some fish in a milky sauce with some mashed potato on the top. Big deal. 

If you said "Hey, come round for some fish in a milky sauce with mashed potato on top," people would say "Really? No thanks I think I'll just eat some noodles or a baked potato" but say "Fish pie?" and people are all supposed to swoon and go into paroxyms of ecstacy "Oh, Fish Pie," they say "Mmmm, fish pie, yummy, delicious, uh uh uh, fish pie, oh, I've just...have you got a tissue?"

Once my friend Jon made a fish pie for us when we went round to his house for dinner. I was so dissapointed that I wanted to cry. Part of me wanted to say "Right, joke's over, where's the real food now Jon? Where's the meat?" but throughout the meal it dawned on me with a horrible realism that I was experiencing the punchline of the evening instead of the setup. 

I was a bit embarrassed and frustrated, I wanted him to have made some meat and roast potatoes. Instead I went "mmm, fish pie, deLICIOUS, yummy, fish pie, so much nicer than meat and roast potatoes, such a nice change, god, I'd NEVER cook this myself, it's so lovely..." and pretended to be interested in how easy it was to make and even rang him up a bit later to ask him for the recipe. (I certainly didn't take the piss out of him every time I went to his house to eat, ringing him up and saying "Hey, Jon, I fancy coming over to have some FISH PIE." like he does every time he comes round to my house to eat because I once made some salads - really well thought out, meticulously sourced and put together salads. Obviously he doesn't say the bit about fish pie, but he always says how much he'd like to come over for a salad.)

Today I made a fish pie.

To make the fish pie, I first had to go out to get a newspaper and some milk.

I got back from that trip, read the newspaper, had my breakfast and realised I'd forgotten the milk.

I went out and got some milk and some onions to make the milk infusion for the sauce.

Then I went to the fridge to get the eggs but there weren't any so I had to go back out to get some eggs.

Then I came home and made the fish pie. I used 5 saucepans. I used a sieve. I used 2 bowls. I used 3 measuring jugs. I used a whisk and an electric whisk. I used the colander. I used some scissors and 2 sharp knives. I used the chopper. I used the lemon juicer. I used an icing bag and a nozzle.

I skinned 2 pieces of white fish and 4 pieces of salmon and put all the skin in a pan with milk over it and onions and carrots and parsley stems, then I strained the infusion and made a white sauce, chopping the parsley heads into it, then I mixed in the fish and some lemon juice.

I pricked three of the eggs and boiled them and then peeled them and added them to the pie.

I also boiled the potatoes and drained them and returned them to the pan and added heated milk and butter and then whipped them until they were pureed. Then I tried to put them in the icing bag to pipe them but the bag was split so instead I spooned them onto the top of the pie with a spatula. Then I made a forky pattern all over the fish pie.

Then I put the pie in the oven, then I took it out of the oven because I hadn't placed it on a baking tray and then I put it back into the oven.

Then I realised that we hadn't put the dishwasher on last night so I had to do all the washing up by hand. 

Then I went to the freezer to get some frozen peas out and discovered that there weren't any frozen peas.

Then the doorbell went and I shouted to Polly (who had gone out with Topsy the kids) "Hey Polly, I tried to ring you, we need some frozen peas," and Topsy said to me "You get them then, we're exhausted."

And I thought to myself

"I really hate fish pie."

A Number