After a an unsuccessful attempt at cooking dinner last night (should have listened to my instincts when they said not to put the whole stock cube in the stir fry), it started me thinking on all the other culinary disasters I have managed to survive in my time as chef. As I've told you before, mum enjoyed giving us independence, pushing us on numerous occasions to take initiative and look after ourselves. When I was around 10 years old, her sights turned to the kitchen. Having always asked for company there, we had on many occasion watched with fascination as she would create dishes from scratch. A fan of simple and tasty meals, they usually consisted of some type of meat and veggies, although occasionally it would branch into something really creative, like her family famous "Stack". That is a whole bunch of different veggies sliced wafer thin and piled high amongst generous dollops of persian feta, olive tapenade, pea sauce and topped with a sprinkling of parsnip chips. mmmmm, Stack…. Ok I'm back (had to go down and get a snack, I think it may be dangerous for me to write about food, may have to lock myself in a room in future). I must also mention our own creative endeavors - times that usually involved forcing each other to eat things we knew the other was allergic to or disliked intensely. Any way the point of that little digression was that it was not our first time in the kitchen, nor was it the first time we had been told to help prepare things for the table.
So when the time came for my duties as "big sister" to extend to putting dinner on the table, I was happy to oblige. Cut to the night in question. All I had to do was take the crumbed chicken fillets out of the freezer, follow the instructions and make a salad… seemed simple enough. So carefully removing the chicken from its brightly colored box and dropping the fillets into the pan I turned on the oven to 180 and pushed them to the back. Done, now to the salad. Looking back on it, I must admit it wasn't my most impressive assembly of greens as it really only consisted of lettuce with copious amounts of dressing. In fact I think the ratio was something like 3 parts dressing, one part salad. However, although highly vinegary, it didn't taste all bad. By about this time I heard the ding on the oven and seeing heat rising from the now golden crumbs of the chicken, I grabbed our rooster oven mits and carefully slid the chicken from the hot interior. After placing them on a plate along with some tomato sauce I had made into a cute yet slightly wobbly smiley face, with the salad on the side, I headed out with the plates for us to enjoy.
We had decided to eat in front of the tv, where light was scarce but our bean bags provided a sort of chair and table in one. Having never been able to do more then one thing when tv was involved I had a nibble of my chicken and lost interest as the show moved on. My sister however, never letting anything get in the way of a meal, had torn through her salad and half her chicken in about five minutes when a splash of unexpected light came bouncing of the tv and onto her plate. "Um Lesley" she said softly, concealed by her bean bag "Yeah?" I replied absentmindedly
"umm… is the chicken… well is it supposed to be pink in the middle?" My eye's widened as I realised what she had said, not answering I cut my chicken in half to inspect the damage and sure enough not only was it pink but almost completely raw. Struggling to get out of the bag I put down my plate and told her to stop immediately. That the chicken was fine but I should probably put it in for a second go just in case. I left her in the lounge room looking confused and slightly green. I felt terrible, my first time making dinner and I was being faced with the possibility of jail for poisoning and killing my sister with dodgy chicken.
I decided to re-cook the chicken and pretend like nothing had happened… after all, Alex had shown on more than one occasion that she had the stomach to handle such food based afflictions. Amazingly she ate the other half, and after a big glass of milo for dessert felt fine.
So for those kids reading this that are about to approach cooking of chicken for the first time, make sure you cook it all the way through, I mean siblings can be a pain, but poisoning them definitely isn't the solution.
A postcard I sent out recently about the launch of my new website - I promise next week I'll have a picture actually relating to the entry
Have a great week everyone! ^_^