On Living with Celebrity Chef

Hattie has decided that when she grows up she wants to be a Celebrity Chef. I think this is the result of being born to a mother who is superbely bad cook: I think it’s the result of being quite hungry, quite often. She salivates as she watches Nigella prepare breakfasts she only dreams of.

Being a Celebrity Chef, she tells me, requires practice. Oddly her path to culinary fame includes alot of chocolate but not much in the way of vegetables. Yesterday she opted to make Chocolate Pudding, a mouthwatering looking desert which was described as ‘light and fluffy chocolate cake rising out of a pool of deliciously syrupy hot chocolate sauce’. Hat followed the instructions with anal precision and proudly put the pudding dish into the oven and we all waited impatiently anticipating the teeth-achingly sweetness of a rare dessert.

The prescribed fifty minutes later, pudding was taken out of the oven looking absolutely nothing like illustration in cookery book. Yuk said Hat’s siblings rudely.

The pudding looked like rock in a puddle.

A tearful Hat and and I analysed where she might have gone wrong. No baking powder apparently: Hat had overlooked the self-raising flour and bunged in unadulterated common-or-garden ‘unga ngano’, local baking flour, which constituted to brick like quality of cake.

Never mind, I tried to console her, when I was learning how to cook I made heaps of similar mistakes.
Hat didn’t, frankly, look very surpised. Nor encouraged.

6 Responses to “On Living with Celebrity Chef”

  1. Gillian Says:

    Ah, yes, all too familiar. In my experience, teen girls love to make cakes, sweets, biscuits, puddings, etc, etc. As there were few sweet teeth in our household, many a sweet treat was diplomatically made to disappear slice by slice over a few days.

    Our investment in all that encouragement is two young adults who enjoy cooking and have a competent repertoire of recipes. As soon as they became tertiary students, they were added to the household dinner roster and relieved me of the daily production.

    Suffering takes various forms – in recent years they have instituted a 2 fruits and 5 serves of vegetables a day regime. So, I guess all that patience paid off! As always, I bow to their initiative!

  2. Maarten Says:

    Hi Anthea,

    heard about your blog, and have read with interest and amusement about the goings on at Gomba and the Rowan household ! very happy to hear that you are soon to be leaving that cursed/hexed farm, I am sure that good things are in store for you all, I am still in Amsterdam and exceedingly happy being here, I do miss Africa sometimes, but then again we are all excellent at filtering out the bad and remembering the good, typical love and hate abusive realtionship that she offers in spades.

    Do keep the blog going it’s a great read and I’ll now start my day with your latest anecdote from the Reluctant Memsahib !

    All the best,


  3. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Cool Maarten, thank you; high praise indeed. Yes, the blog has been a fabulous distraction from all the farm angst. Stay well, and thank you for reading me x

  4. Tash Says:

    Hiya Anthea… Tell Hattie I made a cheese sauce for lasagne yesterday but as I was mixing the roux, found it growing steadily more gummy – to the extent that when I lifted the wooden spoon out of the saucepan 2 feet of chewing gum like substance followed but refused to disengage itself from either said spoon or pan…. Struggled gamely on and spread, with palette knife the cheese sauce through layers of lasagne, then placed in hot oven for 25 minutes. When I opened the door I beheld the most amazing spectacle – each layer of lasagne slightly raised – it suddenly dawned on me I’d used self raising flour instead of plain… so I sympathise! Talk soon

  5. Celebrity Chef goes shopping « Reluctant Memsahib Says:

    […] Celebrity Chef goes shopping Hat and I go shoppping. Hat, bless her, has written a list (she hasn’t lived here long enough to know that you get to the  store, look at shelves, buy whatever is there, which isn’t much, in case its not there the next time, and then cater around your purchases). Anyway, she came armed with a list drawn up after consulting 100 Delicious Cakes and Biscuits to Bake. Hat is an aspirant celeb chef. […]

  6. Hanging around the School Gate « Reluctant Memsahib Says:

    […] said, a son who wants to be a science teacher is one thing. A daughter who aspires to be a celebrity chef is quite another […]

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