Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Surviving cooking 101

My cooking skills are legendary. I have had moments of sheer brilliance that have gone down in history.

There was the time I set fire to a frying pan. I don't know what I was cooking but it wasn't being deep fried, that's for sure. But somehow I started a grease fire. I screamed, Dad came running into the kitchen and I think threw the flaming oil into the sink or something.

One time with my mum, I was making popcorn. I wasn't used to her gas stove because Dad has... the other type... and I somehow set fire to a tea towel. Mum was on the phone as I ran screaming into the loungeroom waving a flaming tea towel.

The other running joke at my mum's place is blue food. "Mum, I'll cook dinner, don't worry." A few hours later, after using every dish in the kitchen I proudly presented a meat pie with peas, potatoes and carrots followed by Mum and my stepdad looking warily at each other. "Sam... why are the potatoes blue?" Because mashed potatoes are boring and I thought it would be fun to dye them blue, that's why! Apparently nobody else agrees with me. I have gone through so much blue dye at my mum's place because now anything that can be can be dyed blue, is dyed blue.

If nothing else, at least my meals are adventurous. When Dad told me I could add anything I wanted to a stew, I chose grapes and pineapple. Again, not my finest moment.

My brother is born on St Patrick's Day. He loves rum. So one year I baked a cake from a box that I promptly dyed green and added copious amounts of rum to. I mean, I made the icing with the packet mix and rum - no butter, no water, no milk. Just rum. It was foul.

I've made lamingtons that looked like brownies and tasted like raw pancake mix. I've made biscuits that could break teeth, cupcakes that were inedible, a damper that could be fired from a cannon and through walls and undercooked meals that if consumed would have been deadly.

Then of course we have my legendary attempt at burritos that resulted in a night spent in hospital, much intravenous morphine, second degree burns and three months as an outpatient.

But all that aside, sometimes I get something right! So without further ado, I'd like to present you with my patented recipe for
'Leftover Nachos'.

Step 1
Sit on the couch and watch Family Guy reruns and play around on Twitter while your Dad cooks a stew. This is actually really hard because the stew takes about four hours to prepare and cook but will start smelling awesome almost immediately. Try to avoid whining and demanding to know when dinner will be ready because you're hungry nooooooooow...

Step 2
Dad is one of those people who refuses to waste food so the giant pot of stew will actually last about a week. By the seventh night, you are really bored of stew with rice and stew with mashed potato. You will be so desperate for something other than stew but because you're saving money for England and swore you'd only eat out once a week with your best guy friend Simon, you have to finish the stew.

Step 3
Look in the cupboard wistfully. It is at this point you will find Doritos and develop a sudden and insatiable craving for nachos. Fear not because you are now poised to soon be devouring 'Leftover Nachos'.

Step 4
Preheat the oven. This step is optional right now. I sometimes do it somewhere between step 5 and putting the food into a cold oven.

Step 5
Spread a bed of nachos over a baking tray covered in al foil. Don't eat the al foil. It hurts. Just trust me on this one. On top of the nachos, drop dollops of leftover stew. Try not to make the blobs of stew too big or they might end up cold and uncooked. But I haven't killed myself yet, so you should be right.

Step 6
Spread some grated cheese over the top. If you don't have any, grate some block cheese instead. I'm too lazy to wash another plate later so I grate the cheese right over the baking tray. So I always end up missing and clumsily smashing my grater into my nachos. My food ends up delicious, so this probably adds to the flavour. Do this.

Step 7
Put the baking tray into the oven. Discover the oven is cold and realise you've forgotten to preheat the oven. Again. Do this now. Wait about two minutes. This isn't long enough to preheat an oven, but damn it, I'm hungry now.

Step 8
After... some amount of time... take the food out of the oven. It could be anywhere between slightly melted cheese and cold bits of carrot to black doritos and burnt cheese. Be sure to use the super, heavy duty, industrial strength cooking glove your family got you for Christmas after the last cooking incident.

'Leftover Nachos'

Step 9
Put the weekend's newspaper on the coffee table in front of the TV so you don't burn the wood and eat straight from the tray with your fingers. Burn your fingers on the hot tray at least once. Ta-daaahh! Leftover Nachos!

Step 10 Gentleman, I am single so if you could all form an orderly queue this would save some time.

Miss SAMawdsley xx

  • What's your go to meal at home?
  • What's the most creative thing you've done with leftovers?


  1. Fixed. :P It was a test. Congratulations, you passed.

  2. Me and dad just just had a good laugh at your blog. Especially the part about the rum cake.

  3. Fantastic! Hilarious! And I'm pleased to know I'm not the only kitchen disaster.

  4. Jacob "@JGrams23" Grams24 April 2012 at 20:49

    Oh man there's a queue? I mean... of course there's a queue. Stupid queues. Where's the line start? And is anyone dealing out cuts?

  5. It's late, I'm tired, I'm doubled-up with period pain, but you've managed to give me a good old chuckle. :) You're writing is great! I shall go forth and read about the night of the burritoes and the resulting hospital trip.

  6. As you know, I once had an internet relationship with an irish girl I shall refer to as potato princess (because we established the only thing that the only good thing that ever came out of Ireland was potato's).

    During the period of time I was obsessed... err, dating, potato princess, I would often neglect minor things, like eating, and bathing, and similar things.

    I remember one night she forced me to stop talking to go and cook food. Not wanting to be away from her for long, I decided to heat up some chicken tenders. You know, the ones that come ina cheap plastic container and you throw them in the oven for 20 minutes and bam, dinner is served? Hard to fail on that, right?

    So 20 minutes goes by, and the time goes off and I excuse myself to go get my dinner. I get to the oven and notice it feels a little cold. Upon inspection, I realise that I turned the timer on, but not the oven itself. At best, my dinner was defrosted, but even then id argue that wasnt completely true. I made the mistake of telling Potato Princess this, and thus my legendary culinary skills were forever mocked.

    Although the fact that I could "Time chicken" was my masterpiece, there have been occasions where I did cereal in the wrong order (Remember, cereal first, THEN milk), and due to my personal preference, I dont eat toast as much as I enjoy "heated bread".

    However, i'd like to assure you that you are, and likely always will be better in the kitchen than I am. Blue potatos and flaming tea towels aside... At least you create something edible that doesnt provide salmonella.

  7. Bravo, sir. I did that with a pie & peas once.
    I also did something similar the first time I washed clothes. I turned the washing machine on, I added the washy stuff and ta-da! Came back later to find a perfectly clean washing machine beside a pile of unwashed clothes.
    Again, gentleman - applications to let me be your wife are to be submitted in writing. xx