Friday, 22 June 2007

Pasta, pasta or pasta?

Ermintrude might have only been here a week but I've exhuasted my cooking repertoire. This is bad news.

In a sad effort to impress our new house visitor I've been working hard and cooking everything but pasta. I've done the baked potato and garlic beans. I did the tortilla and fruity cous cous. Then I did the stew, and the cheesy rice, which is basically rice with cheese in it. The kids have been half starved, waiting for the pasta and tomato sauce to appear, so I've had to keep them quiet with a choice of breakfast cereals and frequent hand outs of buns. But now I'm exhausted with cooking and thinking, and unless I embark on a tour of the cookery book shelves, my repertoire's run out and the kids are at death's door. So today, it's pasta.

The sad thing is, that once we get onto the pasta highway, there's no turning back. Ermintrude will soon realise this. On day one, she'll think it's novel. Pasta and tomato sauce! C'est superb! How she'll come to realise, then, that pasta is a state of mind. On day two of next week, we'll tumble into the house, late from somewhere and, I'll think, we're all starving, what can I cook in 20 minutes? Pasta, that'll do. Then on day three I can't be bothered, so pasta will be easy. The fact that we had pasta two days running won't make any difference by day four, when we're in a hurry, so I'll suggest to Dig that he surprises us with one of his two recipes. It'll be spaghetti, of course, with a tomato sauce. 'Aha!' I'll say to Ermintrude. 'This is different from my pasta! This meal has a name! We call it Daddy Spaghetti!' Then Ermintrude won't think it's all quite so superb. Quietly, she'll be off down to Tesco, sneaking in the back way with some little food parcel for herself that she can keep under the bed for the thin weeks ahead.

Of course I could always start on a tour of the cookery book shelves. In the kitchen there are three shelves full and a folder crammed full of Mark Hix. But I know what will happen if I do delve into this lot. For a start I might choose mozzarella and aubergine on a bed of saffron rice. But then saffron's too expensive of course, and we don't have much rice, so let's substitute the pasta for that, then I could put something on the table that the kids like. Oh dear, we don't have any aubergines, and I can't be bothered to go out and get some. There isn't time, anyway. Let's substitute a couple of tins of tomatoes for the aubergine, shall we? Now for the mozzarella. Shark says she prefers grated cheddar cheese over her pasta and tomato sauce.

'Eat up!' I'll say as I put my new recipe down on the kitchen table. The kids will be delighted and Ermintrude will look glum and contemplate her food parcel. And I'll think it's a cooking triumph to have any food there at all.


HelenHaricot said...

OK, on my blog I have a aboslutely easy veggie curry, that takes limited time, and you can even throw the rice in with it [with extra water] and make it a one pot - ideal on minimising washing up]will tyry and find the link!
and this moroccan one

grit said...

throw the rice in with it? excellent. sounds like the sort of thing needed here. i will check it out.

HelenHaricot said...

i couldn't find it, so have an abridged version in the pages on the sidebar as camp recipes