Cooking shows have set the bar too high in the kitchen

IT'S official. I'm a rubbish cook. I don't know why, but I was not blessed with culinary capabilities.

Sure I can hold my own, can knock out a half-decent stir-fry and sometimes even a decent little bolognaise, but I've got about as much variety as any commercial radio station... not much.

I realised this the other night when my idea of livening up dinner was to do a tomato and onion fry to go on top of some lamb and vegies.

I know right. One crazy hombre.

It's not helped when I live with a Kiwi who is a bit of a genius in the kitchen. He can whip up something out of nothing and 99% of the time absolutely nails it.

Meanwhile I'm cautiously stirring my beans and broccoli, careful not to overcook the pumpkin, for the third night in a row.

You already know my opinion about shows such as MasterChef, but I'll make another point about them.

Shame on you for giving people an over-inflated sense of what a standard meal should be.

If Mum was feeling crazy enough to bang out some bangers and mash, well, that was good enough for me.

My Nan mastered the art of chops and vegies, well almost mastered - okay she didn't master it at all, but that was her staple meal and she stuck to it like glue.

No matter what time of day, a fresh batch of chops and vegies could be whipped up, and it's a rare chef who can turn that into a three-course meal.

But my Nan, well, she did just that.

Never able to quite time the different segments of the meal to be ready at the same time, it was always a serve of vegies first, followed by the either undercooked or well-burnt chops, followed by either salad or bread.

Brilliant!

But when did that become such a travesty? As a kid I used to be stoked about a cooked meal.

I didn't care that it wasn't slow-roasted quail on a bed of roses.

Jeez, if Mum was feeling crazy enough to bang out some bangers and mash, well, that was good enough for me.

Sadly, that means that cooking is not one talent I have been blessed with or learnt to become better at.

Time will tell if I can ever turn that around, but in the meantime, it's off to see if I can nail these beans and broccoli.

I've been making some critical errors overcooking broccoli of late. Warning, this vegie holds hot water and burns mouths badly!



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