Saturday, 8 September 2012

Sparky is a reasonable cook

I am fairly used to dinner guests. Partly this is due to Beloved’s constant inviting of people (which he SOMETIMES deigns to tell me about in advance) and partly due to several friends who are now accustomed to filling their bellies at my table (especially F. who brings doggy bags and will send her menu order in advance) and, of course, my habit of making enough food to feed not so much regiments as legions (as evidenced this weekend with the paella for 12. Now, to be fair, my paella pan is from Spain and advised by a truly expert paella maker, a Spanish grandmother, who didn’t understand why anyone would want a small paella pan so I’m not actually capable of making less).

And since I like to cook, I’m generally fine with that. But there are rules.

{Lafayette Mode} You come in my house you’re going to eat my food the way I fucking make it!{/Lafayette Mode}

So, if I am serving steak, filet or a beef joint, it will not be served well done, it will be cooked properly. If you want excellent beef “well done” you may feel free to chew on some shoe leather. And I shall mock you for it. Or you could eat the actual beef and have your palate educated.

(Yes this applies to Beloved too and his distressing need to reduce perfectly good beef to charcoal – which means he regularly takes his steak back to the grill and mangles our roast by trying to take the slices of meat around the edge of the joint)

There is no salt or pepper on the table. Ever. This is for a reason. I have seasoned the food. I always season my food. Are you saying my food is underseasoned? Are you suggesting my food is bland? Are you? Because I’m sat here with these nice sharp implements and would very much like to know. Oh and may I compliment you on your incredible sense of smell – because you can somehow tell my food is unseasoned WITHOUT EVEN TASTING IT!

And sauces? I will put out sauces if they go with the meal. Some of these sauces will be home made and awesome. I’m sorry, you want ketchup? Is that for the burger? That home made burger which has been perfectly put together with lean mince, breadcrumbs, egg and a blend of herbs and spices to create a truly sophisticated taste? Is this the burger you wish to overwhelm with generic, salt and sugar filled chemical red goop? No? Jolly good. No, I’m just taking this large butcher knife to clean, don’t worry about it.

It is also unwise to ask where I bought the food. I will tell you where I got the ingredients, however, since it is well known by people putting their feet under my table that I even bake my own bread I may experience an involuntary reflex wherein I beat you repeatedly about the head and shoulders with a serving ladle if you compare my food with the plastic, chemical laden, wood pulp filled, salt saturated, insect laced stuff you buy ready made. You will have to excuse the bruise, I assure you it’s quite quite accidental and in no way linked a burning desire to kill you. No, not at all.

No-one would call me an unreasonable human being (not twice anyway). And by following these simple rules everyone can enjoy their dinner with a minimum of lawsuits, screaming and blood on the table settings.