"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Men in the kitchen

The average male, I'm sure most of you will agree, don't do kitchens.  Yeah, RMan is very good - we take turns (more or less) at washing up the day's dishes after our evening meal.

But cooking?

Nope.  RMan will make a scrambled egg, or boiled egg, or allow spitting grease from the frying pan when he cooks his weekly chunk of red flesh (steak normally) to fly everywhere.

Make a salad.  Not bloody likely!  He's more into getting his greens from the green coloured bottle that houses his liquid refreshment (which made from hops which he thus considers to be a vegetable).  The only time he'll eat a salad is if it is diced into small pieces a lá an Israeli salad (why is it called an Israeli salad?)

Alternatively, winter cooked greens will be wolfed down providing he can't actually make out what it is - like a broccoli, pumpkin or pea soup.  Again, there is a caveat - the soup must be accompanied by some sliced wurstchen which is scattered into his soup.

Or, unless the veggies are smothered in a cheese sauce - as in broccoli or cauliflower cheese.

The only veg he will eat happily is carrots which have an added a pat of butter and honey. 

Be that as it may.

Our grandson, Mike, came to stay with us for the Easter school holidays.

Months ago - I kid you not - RMan was with me in the supermarket when we made our weekly shop.  He went wandering off (which is a relief) and eventually arrived back with a box in his hands.  When I enquired what it was he showed me - a box of chocolate cake mix.  Yuck!  There is no accounting for males taste, is there?!?

It turns out he bought it so that the next time Mike came to stay the two of them could make a cake together.

Serendipitously, Mikes visit coincided with our totally out of season March snowfall on the higher peaks of the mountains, which, just because it sounded like cold weather, meant that we lit the Rosie that night.

After dinner I heard rumblings in the ranks.  The men wanted pudding.

Nope - I wasn't in the mood, and couldn't be bothered to start going through recipes looking for something to fulfill their sweet tooth requirements.

Until I remembered the chocolate cake mix that RMan had purchased all those months ago.

Digging it out of my under-the-stairs pantry, I handed it over to both of them.  And left them to it.  Literally.
Cake icing can hide a multitude of sins, can't it :)
This is the result.

Thank goodness icing hides imperfections lol
Don't look to closely - you'll see the raw dough
 at the bottom of the cake
Naturally, because they made it, it tasted outstanding.  Even if it was a tad doughy inside.  It made no difference.  The cake was wiped in it's entirety!!

And, they cleaned the kitchen afterwards!!  (it's surprising how much mess a box of cake mix can make, isn't it?  Thank goodness they didn't get into my containers of flour, sugar, etc...)

Actually, it wasn't bad.  And considering it was their first joint baking session I think they did themselves proud.

They had fun too :)

But, that still doesn't solve the veggie consumption issue...


  1. beetroot can be hidden in chocolate cakes I am sure other veggies could be too, give them 10 out of 10 for effort and at least they cleaned up after not all will do that, Martin likes to cook and used to cook a couple of nights a week when he is here full time he will gt back into cooking, he does cook for himself during week

    1. Dawn - That's a good idea :) Thanks.

      Yup - they get 10/10 for effort (and patience waiting for it to more or less cook) - but I think, most importantly, the two of them had fun :D

  2. No matter the doughy inside, the cake looks delicious! Glad they took it upon themselves to clean up afterward!

    1. DFW - They enjoyed making and eating it, and I guess that is the main thing :)

  3. I think the reason it is called isreali salad, as there is a type of cucumber called isreali cucumber. THey are smaller and do not have spines on them.

    I hide veg in everything. Blitz carrot into crumb, anything with mince in it I add the same weight of carrot.

    1. Sol - Ah, that explains it :) Thanks.

      Good idea - adding carrot to mince. I'll have to try and see if RMan notices...

  4. Well not ALL men, ha. But I hear ya. One of my male coworkers is just clueless about all things kitchen related.

    Hey, the cake looks great and if they ate it and were happy, that's the stuff of lovely memories!

    1. 1st Man - Obviously there are exceptions ;) But my man - he's one of a kind - my kind lol

      I know both of them will remember their cake making - as you say - happy memories :D

  5. Good on you for remembering that cake mix! Also, for going along with the purchase, you never know, it might lure Rman into the kitchen a bit more often and who knows what he might learn to do!
    I'm actually quite lucky on the man front, Pete's mum taught him some things over the years (including a love of veggies!). He'll even make a salad occasionally!

    1. Erin - You are a lucky so-and-so. Nah, RMan enjoyed his brief foray, but hasn't offered anything further...

      Oh, send me your man - if he's willing to make salads, I'm all for him...

  6. I've got a recipe for chocolate brownies that starts with "soak and cook the black beans until soft". Yep, chocolate covers a multitude of sins.

    1. pqsa - Black beans? Do we get them here? All I see in the shops is dried kidney beans, white canneli and broad beans?

    2. Pinto beans can be used in cakes and brownies too.

    3. Judy - I never knew that :}

  7. I'll always treasure that day, even in my partner in crimes absense.

  8. It was a funny day - and, kid you not - the box was replaced, and is awaiting it's turn...


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