December 13, 2009

Chicken goujons are The Mushroom’s Everest.

It seems such a simple meal. Get some chicken. Cut said chicken into finger size strips. Coat them in breadcrumbs, cook at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, and job done. And I’m sure that had The Mushroom done this, they would have turned out fine. Instead, she:

1. Coated them in a strange cheesy breadcrumb mixture to which she added cinnamon. She did not mean to add cinnamon, she meant to add cumin, but they, and I quote, ‘look the same’. They don’t smell the same, though, do they? Or have the same name on the jar? No. No matter, she still tried to make them again, this time:

2. She mixed apple and pear in with the chicken, which this time was minced, then coated them in a non-cheesy breadcrumb mixture with about 250g of cumin. She didn’t mean to add cumin. She meant to add cinnamon. See above.

3. This didn’t stop her trying to make them again. This time she didn’t add any cumin or cinnamon. She did, however, just like the first two times, cook them for fifty minutes instead of twenty because ‘chicken makes her nervous’. So there were not so much chicken goujons, as chicken rocks.

On all three occasions my Dad ate them. By the third, though, the writing was on the wall.

“Why have you got so much salsa on your plate?” The Mushroom asked my Dad, who had coated the chickeny-spears with a mixture of HP sauce and salsa dip.

He swallowed. ” I really like salsa.”

“Do you not like your dinner?”, The Mushroom stared, wide-eyed, unable to believe that she might have cocked up chicken frigging goujons. Again.

My Dad quickly ate a couple more goujons. Well, quickly-ish. They really did seem to be very hard.

“It’s lovely.”

The Mushroom bit into one. She put it down.

“They’re shit again.”

My Dad put down his knife and fork.

“Yes, love. Yes, they are shit. But it’s the effort that counts and I think that’s lovely. Here, do you want some salsa?”

The Mushroom looked close to tears. This had been a record for attempting something new, apart from the knitting adventure she went on, which is, strictly speaking, still in progress as she has to finish the scarf for her friend that she promised her 18 months ago. It’s not so much an adventure, then, as she can only knit in lines, hence can only make scarves. However, she has never cried about the knitting, she just got a bit bored of knitting lines.

“I can’t cook. I hate cooking. It’s shit.  I hate doing housework and I hate doing laundry and I hate cooking and it’s shit.”

“But you said you liked making dinner!”

“When did I say that?”

My Dad paused to think.

“Maybe last March.”

“Well, maybe I liked it then. I don’t like it now.”

“Can I cook, then? I like cooking.”

The Mushroom looked at him with a kind of raw adoration.

“I love you. You make really nice food. Can I throw this shite away now, and can you make us fajitas?”

My Dad smiled the smile of a man who is appreciated. The Baby continued to drum what sounded very much like the beat of ‘I feel love’ by Bronski Beat with her chicken goujon. The natural order of things began to be resumed.

“I still have to do the housework and the laundry though?”, asked The Mushroom.

“Erm, well, that would be nice, as I’m at work.”

The Mushroom looked downcast.

“Hey, that sounds like ‘I feel love’ by Bronski Beat! Wow!”, said my Dad, in a bid to distract The Mushroom.

Yes, my Dad has joined The Mushroom in her ‘My Baby is the Messiah!’ approach to parenthood. I can’t put my paw on when this happened, but one day, he was saying no, The Baby had not said ‘Bath’, she had said ‘Baa!’ and was clearly impersonating a sheep, to saying yes, yes indeedy, The Baby had said ‘Bath’ and this was clearly a sign that she was Christ. How this ties in with my Dad’s atheism I don’t know. Does this make him God? I don’t think he’d be very good at being God. I think he drinks too much beer. I simply can’t imagine that God is a big drinker, or all Friday and Saturday night prayers would be redundant and, traditionally, weekends are big prayer days.

I’m amazed they haven’t yet seen the down side of the talking business. You can bet any money you like that in any social situation like, for example, the school Christmas carol concert, it won’t be ‘Bath’, or ‘Book’  The Baby will be shouting out in the pause between verses of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. Nope. It will be ‘Boobie!’, said whilst trying to hoist one out of The Mushroom’s jumper.

No good comes from being a hippy.


2 Responses to “Milestones”

  1. Anne-Marie said

    Mate…throw away any books written by people called ‘Nigella’, ‘Jamie’ and ‘Gordon’ and go buy a microwave. Le Voila, cooking becomes do-able. x

  2. Mrs Emo said

    Or, do as I did (and clearly as the Mushroom herself has done) and just marry a man who cooks. I cannot recommend this highly enough. Occasionally I get brave and can make meatballs (keep the Jamie book for this alone) but otherwise I am happy to wash every pot and pan in the house because that is what men use when they cook.

    Technically, I should be the size of a house. Don’t even get me started on how amazingly good his roast chicken dinner is. Oh lordy.

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