Saturday, 29 December 2007

Dinner plans

Whose great idea is this? Dig says it's mine, but I say Grit might have had a bang on the head so it must be Dig's.

This is the idea. For the three days that Aunty Dee is here, Dig's handed over cooking to Tiger, Squirrel and Shark. They're each to take a day, and the challenge is to choose a three-course dinner menu, and cook it. For this they must shop if necessary, prepare food that is delightful in appearance, appetising, nutritious, vegetarian, fits within the organisation and routines of the kitchen, is environmentally friendly and would, of course, win junior Masterchef, if only we had the application forms.

Yesterday Tiger set the pace. Five hours in the kitchen produced a menu that would give Gordon Ramsay pause for thought and in a competition with Nigella Lawson would mean that Team Tiger would WIN and mummy Grit would get to tie Nigella Lawson's thumbs together behind her back with her apron ties and push her smug face into a bucket of cold dough.

Where was I? Oh yes, Tiger chose cream of onion soup and herb croutons to start, then individual macaroni cheese pies for main course. Along with those came courgette salad and potatoes dressed three ways (mayonnaise, vinaigrette, sweet and spicy). For pudding was compote of pears and vanilla with mascarpone and ginger. Mummy Grit helped with timetabling, clearing up, and in-and-out the oven work while Tiger did all chopping, stirring, working at the hob, composing, presenting and serving. Daddy Dig thought it was so good he went about choosing wines and calculating the cost.

And today it's Squirrel's turn. Here's her menu proposal. Fairy muffins followed by butterfly cakes, mini meringues, pretty fairy fudge, marzipan toadstools, peppermint creams, chocolate truffles, and blancmange. At this point, mummy Grit confiscates the Fairy Cooking book and tells Squirrel that her dining partners want some decent nosh when they've had a hard day loafing about on the sofa and staring at computers, so we'll make it a tomato and mozzarella salad, rustic Italian-inspired broth and oh alright then, because now there's tears, we'll make a concession about the chocolate blancmange so long as mummy Grit doesn't have to eat it.

Well now we've done the Squirrel screaming and mummy Grit slamming about the kitchen threatening to cook the ruddy book for dinner instead of cake, cake and more cake, tomorrow we can look forward to Shark's turn. And she's already decided. Shark is using Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes, and has chosen to prepare witch's green soup, mud burgers and edible wallpaper.

At this point Dig reminds me that if it wasn't for this stupid idea, which must of course be his, then we two adults could behave like proper grown ups who could have left Aunty Dee babysitting tonight and snook off for a decent dinner down at the Drummer's. Tomorrow we could all have enjoyed a buffet curry at the local balti house and Dig could have got his chops round a chicken jalfrezi.

Well as it is, Grit gets to spend three days in the kitchen supervising small people and making edible wallpaper. There. Ridiculous idea Dig. I wish you'd think these things through.

And to keep up on the new year resolution, even though it is not yet new year, here's a blurred and strangely elongated picture of Squirrel chopping a parsnip.


Brad said...

They all seem like proper meals too me. Where do I sign up too be a dinner guest ? - Just watching would be fine with me - and by the way, I'm signing you up for sainthood.

grit said...

hello brad, i probably am doing no more nor less than most other home educators, so probably don't deserve sainthood on that score ... and if saints have to be nice people, i'm not sure i qualify there either. i think i should fess up now to a vicious streak.