Sunday, 3 March 2013

I'm guessing whatever they cooked, it was edible

Just in case the woman from Social Services is reading this (the one who is not my sister-in-law), I will take the advantage to brag a little about how well I am now abandoning my children.

I am abandoning them extremely well. Maybe short of actual neglect, but you never know. It is hard to tell in the home educating household when you are bringing up three young women to be independently minded, not take any shit from anyone, and know how to never buy a ready meal*, unless it is to invite Grandmother Iron Will to turn in her grave, get out her grave, hunt down the foolish ready-meal purchaser - that dancer with the devil - then scare them to insanity and, as a final insult on their gibbering foetal body, shower them with ectoplasm.

Which is to say, I am bringing up my big grits (standing eyeball-to-eyeball with me), to follow in our women family fine tradition, and cook their own dinner from scratch.

Incidentally, not using the dishcloth, which was Grandmother Iron Will's favourite meal-time bon mot (not counting There's grass outside), to wit, her triumphant: What is it? It's a dishcloth dinner.

No. No ready-meals*, no dishcloths. Using real ingredients like a bag of flour, the tap, vegan fatty gunge, a bag of peas, a lump of hard cheese and an onion.

Shark is totally brilliant at this. She can turn her hand to porridge, soup, and the occasional souffle. She does green slime and cheesy peas. Cake, biscuits, and more cake. She does all oven putting-in and oven taking-out without needing adult supervision, which impresses me the most, and she has learned how to kick the oven door shut, with a deft ankle twist at the final moment of slam. (Door fell off in 2004 and has never been the same since.)

Squirrel can superbly handle the rice cooker (brought back in a suitcase from Hong Kong), and she can open a tin of peaches to pour over the top. (The rice; not the cooker, not the suitcase.) To this peach-rice feast, in a final twist of her own brilliance, she can also add more cheese.

Tiger can't be bothered to cook given that she has two sisters who prepare delicious food for her, but she can eat entire loaves of bread in the blink of an eye.

Not just cooking, either! All my impressive big grits can usefully shop for ingredients at the Co-op! This is more than I can do. Send me out for a handy bag of potatoes and I forget those, but may come back with a reduced pineapple and a cut-price spanner.

Thus I have taught cooking, shopping, and how to handle oneself if you happen to go at bread price-reduction time (viciously, with elbows).

Obviously I have some way to go with teaching elegant place setting, washing up, and scraping tomato paste off the wall, but I think, given their impressive skills set, my big grits are well equipped to handle themselves for yet another day while their mother abandons them to hide in her workroom and stitch an angel's wing to a wrapping leather cover.

*Cheese and tomato pizza (three for a fiver at the local hangout of Satan, aka Tesco) is not included in the definition ready meal.

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