04 December 2016
Sorting through the recipe box
Tony came to be The Cook because of That Darn Old Cooker. The brown monster had been in the house since the 70s, and not only was it electric, not gas, but it had those old-fashioned spiral rings. Which had among them various sorts of slopes, so that pans heated only where they touched the ring, which was in a small amount of the available area. Sometimes you'd lift the pan and 3/4 of the ring would be glowing red - heat that should have transferred to the metal of the pan.
After a few years of battling with this, and making strong suggestions about New Cookers to no avail, I simply refused to cook any more. And Tony took over, first from the Waitrose recipe cards, then using the pictures (and shortness of list of ingredients) in the 101 Recipes books as a basis for choosing the dish. He often used the BBC Good Food website, printing out the recipes, some of them several times over the years, as I discovered when going through the printouts.
There came a time, was it 2009, when the kitchen needed repainting and it was decided to get a new cooker at last - "just to please you" may have been the words he used. What a treat to have a gas hob, and to have an accurate oven! By then his chefly repertoire was extensive - what pleasure to become aware of good smells wafting up to my weekend studio, followed by the arrival of a glass of wine and an estimate of when the meal would be ready. Ah there are things you miss ... chief among them, the cook ... but I don't miss That Old Cooker, not at all!