“Cos baby you’re a firework…” or a cautionary culinary tale

Dinner for the last couple of nights has been what I’d lovingly term a ‘mess’, that is I’ve sort of chucked everything I’ve got at a pan, crossed everything and hoped for the best. This is how this game works: 

  1. Leave work, wonder idly about what’s in for dinner, walk to station, get on right train this time* and head homewards. Remember existence of Lidl en route, decide solution to all ills is mushrooms. Become irate because there is a dearth of mushrooms in Lidl. Buy aubergine, courgette and cheese instead.
  2. Arrive home, liberally scatter possessions throughout house, head to kitchen to raid fridge for mince and fresh chilli. Retrieve garlic from freezer, pile ingredients up on side. Remember bag of frozen chopped onion in freezer.
  3. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan, add onions and garlic to brown. Chop aubergines, courgettes and the leftover half green chilli from night before’s chilli burger. Decide half green chilli isn’t enough, chop half red chilli too.
  4. Throw aubergine and courgette in pan, add mince and chilli. Rescue tin of tomatoes from back of cupboard. Watch mince brown, throw in tin of tomatoes and move pan to ‘simmer’ hob until it looks ready.
  5. Raid freezer for naan bread. Notice skin between nose and upper lip is a little tingly. Open window. Skin starts to tingle more. Leave room to turn TV on and find Sherlock Holmes DVDs. Return to kitchen, wish to rip entire face off with itching.
  6. Idly wonder if there’s possibly too much chilli in dinner. Decide there is no such thing and are just being wimp. Put naan bread under grill. Add grated cheese to pan to melt (I am a lazy ho and buy my cheese ready grated, don’t judge me). Realise all feeling in top lip has gone.
  7. Remove pan from heat, decide there’s definitely enough for two dinners in there. Rejoice quietly. Realise there is now no feeling at all on lower half of face bar itchy tingling. Put dinner on plate, add liberal dollop of sour cream.
  8. Retreat to living room, press play on DVD, eat dinner, inform Twitter that there is too much chilli in dinner. Wonder if feeling will ever return to face, wallow in own self pity, be attention seeking drama queen. Conclude that dish needs only half the amount of chilli.
  9. Watch Sherlock Holmes and knit for two hours to recover whilst feeling returns to face. Wash up, put leftovers in tuppaware and leave in fridge.
  10. Eat with pasta following night and an even more liberal dose of sour cream. Suffering is vastly more minimal than on first outing. Regret not having foresight to photograph dinner, decide not being hungry is vastly more important. Decide you are a culinary genius and this love-love affair with the kitchen is going jolly well actually. Ha!

 Ingredients for ‘kitchen!fail dinner’, makes two servings:

  • 100g mince
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Relatively liberal amounts of aubergine and courgette
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Handful frozen chopped onion**
  • Fresh chilli – I heartily recommend half a green one 😉
  • Cheese (grated)
  • Sour cream (to serve)

 To cook: follow above instructions but remove stupidity and whining. Then eat.


*I never quite learn my lesson about listening to the announcements at train stations. On the plus side getting on the wrong train this time wasn’t massively disastrous, just an additional couple of miles walk home rather than finding myself stranded out in the middle of nowhere (well, as middle of nowhere as one can get in the metrop).

 **I’m not sure what this equates to in fresh onion terms as I fail somewhat with them (slightly over sensitive eyes, I prefer not to mistake my fingers for onions funnily enough!).


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