Life is too short to...*insert personal preference*

>> Friday, 31 May 2013

Not long ago I wrote here of how I had in a moment of madness, briefly considered making chicken stock.  Myself.  From scratch.  (I know.  I'm shuddering just thinking about it).  If you missed the post, don't worry; I came to my senses before stinking out the entire neighbourhood.

Then, this evening, as I was sweating in the kitchen trying to char, peel and de-seed not one, not two, but fifteen peppers, I was forced to accept what I had long suspected to be true.

Life is also too short to char, peel and de-seed peppers.  In fact, it's too short to char, peel and de-seed ONE pepper, let alone 15.

This got me thinking.  There are a number of culinary efforts which, at the ripe old age of 46 I have decided are not good for my mental health.  Life, it seems, it too short...

1. cook shellfish at home.  Not that I've ever tried to cook it myself, you understand, which in itself is crazy as we love the stuff here in Potski Mansions.  It's just that I know I would spend the entire time worrying about under-cooking it, over-cooking it, checking it hadn't gone off, making sure all the shells were open, and no doubt blaming every illness for a subsequent 3 months on 'it must have been that shellfish we ate way back when...'

2. make my own pastry.  Life is definitely too short to make pastry, although for some reason this fact periodically escapes my mind and in a moment of madness I think 'Oh!  I'll make a quiche!  That'll be nice!"  which it never is.  I curse and swear my way through the whole experience and then watch the result of all my efforts disappear in 10 minutes flat.  Invariably I end up telling myself I will never - NEVER - do this again  So I don't.  Until the next time.

3.  ... to make scones.  This one came to mind because for some reason I have promised to make 24 tomorrow, for a stall at a fair.  It's the rubbing in of the butter that is the problem, you see - I hate the texture and the feel of the flour under my finger-tips - and it's bad enough making 6 scones, let alone 4 times that amount.  And the worst thing is that this is a repeat of last year's effort when I also made 24 - and told myself I would never - NEVER - make the offer again.  So I didn't - until they asked me.

4. make French onion soup.  I love it - but am the only person in the family who will eat it and let me tell you, 3 or 4 days on the french onion soup (to eat it all up, waste-not-want-not and all that) is not a good plan, for me or, indeed, for anyone else living in the same house as me.

5. make Crostini and Pea & Parmesan dip.  I tried this once, and I think my subsequent scrawl in the margin of the cookbook by this recipe - 'Don't bother.  Sainsbury's version is far better' tells you just how impressed I was by the result.

6. make Baked Alaska.  Once upon a time a younger and more foolish PM decided baked Alaska would the be the perfect dessert for a dinner party.  All fell silent as she carried it into the dining room, a veritable feast for the eyes.  There was just one problem.  She had not taken it out of the freezer soon enough so was forced to borrow a pneumatic drill from the roadworks outside to serve dessert.  (Oh, alright - there was no pneumatic drill.  But I did crack a plate using a hammer to drive a knife into it.)

So come on, spill.  I've shown you mine. What is your culinary life too short for?


Iota 31 May 2013 at 21:03  

Crostini and pea parmesan dip? Whoooaaa....

My life is too short to make meals for toddlers that look like pictures. You know the kind of thing. A face: eyes are cherry tomato halves, nose is a celery stick, mouth is a carved apple slice, hair is grated carrot. Because guess what? They never ate the stuff unless they liked it, whether it looked like a face of a pile of salad.

Iota 31 May 2013 at 21:04  

... face OR a pile of salad...

Expat mum 31 May 2013 at 22:44  

I am tempted to just say "cook" and leave it at that, such is my distaste for the activity. However, over the years, although I like to serve guests home-made stuff, (including chicken stock, which is ridiculously easy), making home made fiddly bits when you can buy them just as easily, definitely fall into this category.

nappy valley girl 1 June 2013 at 16:05  

...make cookies, cupcakes or anything that involves flour, eggs and and sugar. I am quite happy however to de seed peppers and make chicken stock - maybe I'm weird.

On a separate note, I remember vividly an English seminar at University where one of my fellow students said that he hadn't read Middlemarch because "life is too short". The roasting he got from the tutor....

Jay 1 June 2013 at 23:26  

Life is too short to make my own soup, when I've tried it always (regardless of flavour)tastes like dishwater and the alternative is in a nice convenient tin! And although I continue to make my own jam no one else in the family will eat anything but supermarket jam!

Melissa 2 June 2013 at 19:05  

I've never made my own pasta or ice cream. I'd like to do both but I think I will always find other more pressing things to do. Like eat this year

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