Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The arm chair chef.

According to Bill everyone except himself, Jamie Oliver and Nigela Lawson were lazy.

You’ll miss me when I’m gone, bill said as they sat around the dinner table, the children looked at their mum as if to say here we go again. “Oh yes it’ll soon be my turn,”

His mother said “he doesn’t take after me for that moaning” and the children all pulled another face expressing whatever.  “I’m not moaning merely stating a fact” bill said. “You wanna remember where you come from” replied his mother, “I never brought him up like that”.

48 painful hours to get him out if he had got a move on he wouldn’t of been a Wednesday child (full of woe).

Apparently according to bill Trevor MacDonald was far too old to be gallivanting around the world he’d be on the “tele” long enough. He changed to the cooking channel, on the odd occasion that bill laughed his son would say “feeling better dad” and bill would go back into his “I’ve not got long” speech.    

Bill liked to cook and would be whistling and singing away to his chilli fried chicken done in his very own wok. Oh yes he had learnt a lot sitting in front of the tele watching all those cooking programmes and of course correcting them when obvious mistakes where being made. “I wouldn’t chop my onions like that” he would shout at the hairy bikers. “Why don’t you try some new recipes” asked his wife Clara. “NO I don’t like food” He would reply. NO just shouting at celebrity cooks she thought.  Bill had all the necessary tools in his kitchen, 6 chopping boards, garlic press, boxed knifes, and of course his collection of woks. Bill would spend ages in the supermarket looking at the utensils while his wife waited with anticipation only for bill to walk away empty handed, “nothing there dear” Clara would ask “no ill have a look next time”. His wife sighed and bill thought she was disappointed, but in fact it was desperation.

Bill rushed in from the shops with his fillet of steak in his hand, can’t wait to try out my new griddle pan (a Christmas gift), He was never that excited about the new bed Clara thought.

He sang away while he griddled his steak and chopped his chillies and lettuce and onions and arranged it nicely on the plate, he had often ordered a lettuce and onion salad when in Spain only to have the waiter return with a large mixed salad.  

He sat down to his lovely looking fillet steak that he had given precise instructions to the butcher on how to slice. “That was perfection” he said when he had cleaned his plate. “How about you dear?” “O yes very nice” said Clara looking down at her weight watchers meal wondering what she could eat now. They had invited Clara’s parents Mac and Mable to tea on occasions but Mac had to be careful what he ate and Mable was still full from their last cruise. Mac had drawn the line when she tried to fit her skateboard in the case for buffet nights, and also he had to get his microphone in, so Mable would have to lift the suit cases with the skate board under her arm.  Clara’s sister often popped in for the odd pernod and peanuts but she would never stay for tea. She was on a diet. “oh no” Clara would hear from the kitchen “what” she would call out “that Greg has sent home my favourite and his just stuffed his face with her tiramisu as well”, “o” said Clara who wasn’t a fan of master chef. Clara thought back to when they was younger and bill would walk round his mother’s house singing forsooth forsooth for I have for sinned, it had crossed Clara’s mind then that bill was a crackpot, but June insisted that it was only a bit of banter and the sooner they was married the better. Clara wondered when he would grow out of it but now at 47 and ¼ she realised that bill was as he was.

One night when watching a movie Clara went to fetch some popcorn on her return she said to bill, “I didn’t know Michelle Rouge was a gangster” “O no” laughed bill “I changed the channels just wanted to check out Michelle’s technique” he told her then flicked his blip back to the movie missing the best bit. Clara deplored Nigela nights when bill would go into deep discussion about Nigela’s wrist movements she mixed the best puddings and still managed to have her lipstick on. Clara looked at bill in amazement was he really from this planet.

His friend had opened a restaurant and on busy day’s bill would lend a hand peeling and chopping potatoes making a world of difference to the mash and gave tips on how to make pastry never having made it himself.

Bill was in fact a good cook his chilli chicken had often been praised and cooking a full English on Sunday for 10 was no problem his crusty chicken sandwiches was well known in the royal British legion he would hand them out while arguing with the committee over the rules is rules book. But he couldn't bake a cake like Clara. Bill had given Clara a top of the range mixer for Christmas has her wrist technique was nowhere near Nigela’s. Clara was biding her time before she used her new toy, and new that her brother in law would appreciate her efforts being an avid cake eater not telling her about the lack of sugar or I think you have had it in the oven to long, as bill would have pointed out after having a little nibble. Bill had dreamt of having his own restaurant or BB one day where he could serve up his culinary delights or even bills buffet would be a good start, maybe one day thought bill as he sat watching the grate British bake off, Clara had managed to get the TV bleep first and was watching coronation street, “what’s happened to those two” asked bill. Aldrey and her latest flame was having a conversation in the rovers hardly moving their mouths. I think they’ve had botox said Clara. “Where they had it up their arse” said bill as he took the remote to find something else to watch. He flicked through the channels and settle on the restaurant  inspector Clara didn’t mind she liked this one but before the smartly dress man who helped them had hardly got his foot in the door bill had already pointed out to Clara all the mistakes the restaurant owners had made and what they could do to improve it. Clara carried on watching anyway but low and behold at the end of the program bill reminded her how right he had been and he should have his own restaurant. Yes thought Clara and you could tell all the customers what to eat. Even poor old Roy in corrie could make more money if he put his back into it.

 Clara’s mother Mable asked her how the lovely bill was, and Clara replied “still moaning”. “O well at least his happy he seems to be at his happiest when his moaning” said Mable, who was preparing for her next cruise, can’t wait she said all that lovely food.

Clara and bills son had started cooking now he was at the big school, he had brought home some very nice dishes and Clara had eaten them all, bill had refused politely he would refrain until his son had at least one Michelin star under his belt. Clara was pleased that her son was happy cooking but in the back of her mind was dreading the day when he may come to her not to say that he was gay but wanting to subscribe to the cooking channel.

When June came around for tea on Thursday bill and his mother would discuss this week’s master chef all the coming and goings and the useless contestants. June reminded Clara how patient he had been in his younger days, ironing his jeans with perfect creases when Clara was in labour and then parking 10 minutes away from the hospital entrance so that Clara could take in the fresh air before her ordeal which he hoped was not a waste of time because he had work the next day. Clara assured him that is was real as she walked across the car park in agony. Bill was so pleased it wasn’t a false alarm he took out his neatly exact size sandwiches and flask that he had made after ironing his jeans, “take as long as you like dear I’m set up for the night” “OK” said Clara. Bill had been very good with all the children making perfect bottles feeding them bathing them and looking after Clara, she never dreamt he would turn into an arm chair Gordon Ramsey.

It was a good job bill wasn’t into cooking in the late 60’s and 70’s he would have been enthralled by the comings and goings of fanny and Johnny, she would stand holding her hand out telling Johnny to put his rolling pin in it. Then at the end of the show he would say I bet you wish your doughnuts looked like fanny’s. Even upstairs down stairs, it wasn’t a cooking program but you would often hear Mr. Hudson telling Mrs. Bridges to resume her position over the agar. Practically pornographic.

Bills favourite was Jamie Oliver he could often have something rustled up and on the table in 15 minutes, bill told Clara you would be surprised what Jamie can do with his toasted nuts, Clara now often joins bill in watching Jamie toasting his nuts. Clara offered to do the evening meal one night and bill requested a cheese sandwich crust bread medium cut thick butter cheese thinly sliced and onions chopped and a side dish of 13 chips. Clara presented the meal but had put 14 chips on the plate as she was superstitious but as she expected when bill finished he had left one chip on the plate. O well waste not want not Clara thought and put the chip in her mouth.

1 comment:

  1. Julie,

    I love your posts! They are so funny, and full of what I imagine to be your own character! Keep at it!

    If you want to have a look at my blog, it's Hedgehog Times, and the web address

    Best regards,

    Angela Zemp (from the WWWB facebook page)