I blame it all on the rise of the 'celebrity chef'. Once upon a time food was a simple matter. You ate some and then you went off and got on with your life. Some stuff you liked (chocolate, chips and ice cream for example) and some stuff you didn't like (cabbage, rice pudding and liver come to mind). End of story.

When I was a child (which as with most men meant until I turned 30) we had a routine and a fixed menu. On Sunday we had roast dinner; on Monday we had hash made with left over roast; Tuesday was bananas for tea (sounds a bit weird but effectively in the seventies we were only just post-rationing); and so on.

On special occasions we would have a 'salad' for tea. Which was actually lots of cold meats, pork pies, cheese, pickles and a few leafs of lettuce.

It all sounds a bit mad in this modern era of rocket, curries and pasta. Still we knew no better in those days.

Anyway things have changed now and unfortunately we can't go back to those halcyon days. So that left me in a bit of a pickle a few weeks back. Mrs Windbag was at work; it was Sunday; and so it was up to me to come up with something for tea.

Now I have certain signature dishes - my mother-in-law raves about my Veggie Paella I'll have you know - but there are only about three of them.  I decided I had to expand my horizons. So I got out some of Mrs Windbag's recipe books and started to flick through. Soon I identified a likely looking dish - stuffed aubergine.

It involved aubergines and red lentils. Neither of which I've cooked with before. Still what could go wrong? I've seen Mrs Windbag in action with aubergines and it didn't look that hard.

So Sunday evening finds me in the kitchen with my ingredients ready to go. Two problems present themselves. Firstly I'm supposed to stirfry two whole aubergines! Now Mrs Windbag always slices it up before cooking. Still the recipe insists that 10 minutes stir frying whole will be fine. So I get the pan warmed up and chuck in the aubergines.

Then I get my newly purchased packet of red lentils and go to open it. I pull at the ends just like you would a crisp bag. Nothing gives. So I give it a bigger tug - still nothing. Lesser mortals might at this point look for a pair of scissors. Oh no not me! I won't be beaten by a mere packet of legumes. So I give it the biggest most almighty yank and sure enough I show those lentils who's the boss!

 Unfortunately it turns out to be a phyrric victory as red lentils fly from the packet - liberated by my might - and proceed to decorate the entire kitchen! 

At this point I resist my initial instinct to sink to the floor of the kitchen and start crying. Instead I start to sweep up lentils and with the help of the Dyson vacuum cleaner - most of the lentils are removed.

Luckily there are still some lentils in the packet (a surprising amount in fact). So I can continue my recipe.

The aubergines in the mean time never do cook properly despite me giving them about 30 minutes (as opposed to the 10 minutes in the recipe book) and although Mrs Windbag put a brave face on it (bless her after over 12 hours at work as well) a fair portion of the food ended up in the bin.




Music Selection Mar 2012

Oh Where Did You Get That Hat?

Gig Diary - February 2012 part 1

Gig Diary - February 2012 part 2

Back Issues

Send your comments, articles, insults, poetry, pictures, outpourings of love etc

Click above to go and like this on Facebook

The Credits