I’ve never been very good in the kitchen. When I was little, my over-protective parents refused to let me near the stove in case I hurt myself. After high-school, I lived in a catering residence for three years so there was no need to master this skill. Since then, I’ve learnt how to make quick meals and they are usually from Woolworths’ easy-to-cook range where all I needed to do was unwrap the packaging the chuck in the the oven for an hour. It was great.
Lately though, I’ve been slacking big time. Supper would often consist of two fried eggs, and some raw vegetables with hummus. Or I’d just eat rice cakes and peanut butter. So today, I decided I wasn’t going to be lazy any more. I found an easy lamb cutlets recipe and got some baby potatoes to go with it.
Now, I’ve never baked potatoes before. Ever. I knew it was simple, but I Googled it anyway. What the instructions neglected to mention was parboiling the potatoes first. Instead of roasting them for 20 minutes (which I timed to coincide with when my lamb chops would be ready), I now had to wait 60 minutes. Not ideal, but I could live with it.
The lamb chops actually went relatively okay. I was a bit paranoid about undercooking them so I left them for far too long. The cheese sauce was where it all fell apart. Woolworths didn’t have any flour, and I didn’t feel like driving all the way to the V&A so I figured I could probably do without a teaspoon of flour. While I was waiting for my sauce to thicken, I realised… without the flour, the mixture would never thicken. Oh dear… Luckily I rememberd I had some maizena in the cupboard and that pretty much did the same thing. Except I forgot I had to mix it in first… By this point, my sauce smelled pretty good but it had big lumps of maizena all over. Clearly my coagulation skill wasn’t up to scratch.
I spent the next 10 minutes just whisking the solution and when it looked semi-decent, started seasoning it. When I tasted the sauce, it was like I had emptied the Dead Sea into the pot. It was that salty. I was stupefied for a moment and then I remembered the lamb stock I used already had seasoning so I shouldn’t have added more salt to it. Stupid me then decided to add a litre of water to the sauce. It was still as salty as my tears and now it’s not even a creamy texture. At this point I figured I may as well just scratch the sauce completely. It clearly was beyond salvage.