Friday, 9 October 2015

Smoked Pork

Excitement tonight! I had my first real fire in the kitchen!

Grilled pork ("grilled" as in heated from above, rather than barbecued). I put 3 pork loin steaks under the grill, then turned the grill on. I didn't pre-heat. I then put some broccoli and cauliflower florets into a microwave steamer and gave the microwave 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes, I turned the pork and tested the veggies - still hard, so I put them on for another 2 minutes.

As the microwave timer went off, I went to check on the pork and veggies. Pork first.

I noticed that there was smoke coming out of the grill, so I turned it off. I opened the grill door and pulled the grill tray. "WHOOOF!" and flames erupted from the tray, up over the controls and half way up the microwave above. I thought to myself "this is interesting. I wonder how I put that out ..." and I shoved the grill tray back into the grill, shutting the door behind it, on the presumption that the oxygen would be used within seconds. It worked, and the fire was extinguished.

Loads of smoke was billowing out of the grill, and the smoke alarms were all complaining at me, but I decided that it was more important to retrieve the pork before the meat took on too much of the taste of smoke, so I got the pork out of the grill before turning off the smoke alarm. I realised that the whole basement was filled with smoke, so I had to open the window and turn on the extractor fan.

Every 5 minutes, for 20 minutes, the smoke alarms blared "SIREN SIREN SIREN - LEAVE THE HOUSE. THERE IS SMOKE IN THE KITCHEN!". The noise came from all three smoke alarms.

The pork tasted ok to me, although my partner commented "the pork is as tough as shoe leather".

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Burger Rolls & Poole Pottery

I had a couple of minor disasters this weekend. Neither of them worthy of posting here, but together, I think they provide a small indication as to my growing over-confidence as I manage to continue to provide food that's both edible and what I intended.

Yesterday (Saturday), it was my turn to cook the evening meal. Doris had cooked burgers for lunch, so she asked me for something different. My daughters are with us this weekend, and Xena suggested Nachos. Now, Doris can't have Nachos due to a capsicum intolerance, so I helped Xena with the Nachos (well, with grating the cheese and over-endowing them with soured cream), and I had a look in the fridge for something for Doris.

Doris suggested that she would be happy finishing-off the burger buns, with some prawn mayo. We had fresh prawns (ready-peeled - I'm not daft!) in the fridge, and some lemon mayo, so I agreed to prepare this.

I found that we didn't have much mayo, so I decided to spread it on the buns like butter, rather than mix the prawns in the mayo in a separate bowl.

After spreading, I layered the prawns in the buns. After a couple of layers, they were looking unstable, so I simply bunged the rest of the prawns onto the plate beside the two buns.

Doris took the plate, and Xena started to laugh. I asked her what was so funny, and she told me that I had managed to mix up the buns, so Doris had bottom-prawns-bottom and top-prawns-top. When I went to apologise to Doris for this, they both laughed at me, saying that it's worse that I hadn't noticed, rather than it being intentional.

Today, again it's my turn to cook dinner (Doris toasted bagels for breakfast, and we skipped lunch). Pasta Bake is something that I believe I cook better than she does, and everyone usually seems to appreciate my pasta bake, so I couldn't go wrong.

Doris has recently inherited a dinner set of Poole pottery, so we've donated our old crockery to a local cafe that's just starting up (and serves great food, cooking everything fresh and baking cakes in full view of the customers), called Tin Kitchen, and we've replaced it with the Poole pottery. It's the Twintone range, Mushroom & Sepia design. The soup bowls are a decent size for a portion of pasta bake, and they fit onto saucers, so the fork can be placed beside the bowl rather than sticking out of it.

I picked four bowls and four saucers (one each) from the cupboard. I picked up the first bowl and filled it with pasta bake. I put it onto the first saucer and moved it across the counter. I picked up the second saucer and served pasta bake onto it. I looked around for a saucer on which to put it, and had an "oh bugger" moment.

Doris is asking me why I have served three bowls-on-saucers and one bowl-on-its-own (I've put the other saucer straight in the dishwasher).

Friday, 30 January 2015

The simplest things ...!

It was my turn to cook this evening. I got home late, after spending the whole day out at work, and Doris asked for Cheese On Toast.

I baked the bread in the breadmaker a couple of days ago, and so it needed slicing. It was the end of the loaf, and I was aware that I would not be able to cut the bread without problems, so Doris came and sliced it for me, using her meat slicer. She tried to convince me to use her slicer, but I am happy to have 5 digits on each hand, so I declined.

I cut the cheese, put it on the bread and put it under the grill.

After a minute, I realised that I hadn't put ketchup on the toast before I had put the cheese on, so I took the bottle of ketchup to Doris with an apology, and returned to the grilling cheese.

As I retrieved the toast from the grill, I noticed that it wasn't as rigid as normal. I examined the underside of the toast, and realised that I had also forgotten to toast the bread before putting the cheese on!

Cheese On Toast is probably the easiest dinner that can be made:

1. Slice the bread
I failed

2. Toast the bread
I failed

3. Cut the cheese
I did this bit

4. Spread ketchup on the toast
I failed

5. Put the cheese on the toast
I did this bit

6. Grill the cheese
I did this bit, and didn't set off the smoke alarm.

Six steps, and I failed at half of them!