Monday, 10 March 2008

Burnt Offerings

When our dog sitting friend was with us the other weekend, Himself decided to get some lamb cutlets for him and Pam for the Saturday evening. (I don’t eat much meat and had opted to have the previous night’s leftovers.)

Himself was going off to a jazz session and so couldn’t drink, so when Pam expressed interest in having a quick early snifter in the pub, we arranged that Himself should eat first and we’d eat when we got back from the pub.

We returned from the pub having had a good natter with another friend, a good laugh and ready for some grub. Himself was leaving as we returned and looked somewhat pissed off.

“I ended up having to nuke my cutlets (in the microwave) and they still wouldn’t cook,” he said, bottom lip protruding.

“Microwave?” I said uneasily. “How long did you cook them for?”

“Oh, about half an hour,” he said. “They were terribly tough.”

My heart sank.

“Anyway, I’d better go now. I’ve cooked Pam’s cutlets for her – they just need heating up.” And with that he disappeared.

Just as well. With some trepidation I opened the grill and saw two incinerated cutlets. I should mention here that Pam is a very good cook. Not only that but she loves her food, adores eating out and worked in the hotel industry before she became a dog sitter. Incinerating her dinner was not a good idea.

I put the grill on high and hoped that I could just warm them up without inflicting further damage. After all, they didn’t look THAT bad. Perhaps they were only burnt on the outside.

I’ve known Pam for many years, but even so I preferred to err on the side of caution. I poured more wine and cooked vegetables and served up Pam’s cutlets. She blinked slightly, took another draft of red wine and tackled her meat.

We’d had a conversation that afternoon about how, with dodgy teeth like mine, and dentures like hers, it’s difficult chewing things, especially meat. So now I watched, we chatted, and after a few minutes, she said, “do you think I could have a sharp knife?”

I heard a giggle in her voice, and passed over a sharp knife. “It looks rather burnt,” I ventured.

“A bit,” she replied, and took another swig of wine. “Has he ever cooked chops before?”

I shook my head. “Only casseroled,” I said, wishing I’d had the foresight to insist that we cooked the meat.

“Didn’t think so,” she said and tears of laughter poured down her face. “I’m really sorry but I can’t chew this.”

And that set us off. I’ve known Pam for 15 years or so and have never seen her life so much or with such abandonment.

We abandoned the meal (“the vegetables are nice,”) and finished off with cheese and biscuits and ice cream. And more wine.

For the rest of the weekend, cutlets became a byword for gales of laughter. (Thankfully Himself took it all in good heart.) Which just goes to show that ruining a meal isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Just don’t let Himself near the chops again.

20 comments:

Sweet Irene said...

What led you to believe he was capable of it in the first place? Or were you in denial? Or did you have a very hopeful heart?

Rebecca Taunton said...

I've been waiting for this story FP! It's very well told and had me smiling (which, after the morning I've had, is really something!). RT :@)

Flowerpot said...

he's usually a very good cook Irene. It didnt occur to me that he'd massacre them!!

Flowerpot said...

RT - you poor thing. Hope you dry out soon. I've got to venture out now!

KAREN said...

I'm afraid I'm not gifted in the chop department. It's either dry or raw when I'm involved in the cooking - can't seem to pin down the happy medium! Luckily my husband has the knack.

Mopsa said...

Oh my. Heated up chops. For a friend. Oh my. Laughed LOTS!

Miss Understood said...

And they're so small to start with! I'm giggling here!

Wrap up warm today, and watch the sea from the window. x

Flowerpot said...

karen - well as long as someone can cook, does it matter? No!

Mopsa - glad it made you laugh too!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Chops done in the Aga are lovely, tender and succulent! Although I wouldn't trust the farmer to cook them even in there.

Crystal xx

Flowerpot said...

MissU - unfortunately Moll needs walking so I've got wet twice today and just about to again!

Crystal - unfortunately we don't avhe an Aga. himself is good at casseroling things, but not cutlets....

Milla said...

that was very funny, but brave of Pam to try to pretend to eat it. Long live the loin girding properties of wine, eh! And just love teh picture of that iceberg below. Awesome and scary and set off by that brilliant blue.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Ah well, he tried. How are you coping with the weather?

Flowerpot said...

milla - pleased to meet you and please call this way again. Yes I agree with all teh virtues of wine. I try and forget the downside of it all!

Flowerpot said...

wakeup - weather here is dire. Just got back from beign blown to bits on the beach and got caught in a sandstorm - very scary and glad to be home!

Debs said...

It's funny how something that starts off as a bit of a disaster can be so amusing later on, especially when aided by a few glasses of wine.

Akelamalu said...

All's well that ends well at least you had a good laugh out of it! I bet he did it on purpose 'cos you'd gone off to the pub! :)

Philipa said...

A suitor came round to my place some years ago and I did an impromtu meal. I dropped the dried tarragon in the pan and the whole lot spilled out. I managed to spoon out most of it but the dish was pretty much swamped with the flavour of tarragon. I wasn't that hungry anyway and told him of the disaster and invited him to leave it. He ate half with a tight smile and "it's fine". I disliked him for that - he was lying to me; I wish he'd have just told the truth and we could have laughed about it, like you did FP. It was a portent of lies to come. Food is very important in relationships I think, it's no accident that breaking and eating bread together is a religious commitment.

Flowerpot said...

Debs - yes nothing like the curative effects of vino!

Ak - no thankfully he';s not that small. but it's quite possible otherwise!

Lane said...

This made me smile!

Chops are tricky blighters:-)

Flowerpot said...

lane - they certainly are. I'd go for casseroles any day - much easier!