Your Mishaps, My Happiness

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

I hope I’m not the only one who thinks this, but I’ve often dreamed about a being a TV chef. Before you post messages of encouragement about how I should “follow my dreams” I’ll let you in on a secret – it’s not so much about a passion for cooking as it is an opportunity to eat a lot and not work behind a desk.

I wonder about what kind of TV chef I would be if I knew how to cook properly. I swear like Gordon Ramsay, though only at myself when I, for the umpteenth time, forget to use mitts when taking a hot tray out of the oven. I enjoy a slurp of wine like Keith Floyd, although his wine-drinking persona was a bit of a myth – in his autobiography he admitted to preferring a good whisky. I do have something in common with Heston Blumenthal – I’ve have caused the odd fire in the kitchen but it’s more due to negligent micro waving than a failed attempt at molecular gastronomy.

Every once in a while I like to improve my sense of self worth. There are two ways one can do this. The first, is to engage in activities that boost confidence or cause a kind of warm, fuzzy, internet-meme-involving-cute-kittens type of feeling. The second method of improving one's sense of self worth is to find people far worse at a particular activity than you.

I won’t lie. I feel a sense of joy when I hear stories about people who are so gastronomically challenged that they can’t boil water or make a slice of toast. I take great pity on the people they live with, of course, but it certainly makes me feel more adequate in the culinary department.

In the interests of fairness I shall disclose my worst kitchen moments for readers. Feel free to point and laugh at me while I scour the net looking for poor sods who’ve done worse.

  1. I had ordered a takeaway pizza and left a few slices in the box for lunch the following day. I didn’t want the cat to jump on the counter so left the box in the oven, which I forgot. Later, when it was time to make dinner, I pre-heated the oven (with the pizza box still inside). I opened the oven, flames poured out and burned all the knobs and selection buttons, a mark the oven bears to this day. I think the cat should at least take 50% of the blame for this one.

  2. I had brewed a particularly bad batch of beer and decided that I couldn’t bare to drink another drop. For me to pour a beer out, it has to be retched. I emptied the beer into the sink not realising that I was emptying it into the pasta filled colander that my girlfriend had left to drain. To my credit, I owned up and admitted that the odd tasting Italian dish was my fault.

  3. Many years ago, in school, the pupils had to assist with fundraising. A few of my friends were sent to the Home Economics class to make pancakes for an event. We did a brilliant job of making pancakes, they really were scrumptious – until we accidentally dropped them off the balcony and they fell three floors to the ground. Those that didn’t break were dusted off and sold. None of our teachers knew though I am certain that event goers who suffered mild food poisoning the next day might have had an idea.

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