Cooking for Casualty

4 Apr

I’m often asked if my cooking has ever made anyone ill?

Thankfully the answer to that is: Only Myself!

I’ll admit I’ve had a few scares… such as the time a pregnant friend came to visit. I attempted to cook a Queen of Puddings. Those familiar with this most magnificent of desserts will know you need to whip up a competent meringue to crown it.

Of course the chances of me creating a lightly crusted whippy egg topping are slight.

But for some reason I was determined to be impressive.

Of course it went wrong. I pulled a fruity, bready mess out of the oven with a blackened top, while the insides were like raw runny scrambled eggs flavoured with jam and cream.

I picked off the burnt crust – my crested tops had collapsed anyway – and mixed everything up to make a ‘Queen Mess’ and served that.

It didn’t occur to me until half way through eating that I had just served my pregnant friend raw eggs. Which is something we are warned in leaflets from the hospital not to do.

Happily, I have just been to that baby’s first birthday and he seems to have suffered no ill effects. Sorry George.

I’ve definitely made the dog ill, on numerous occasions. You’ll probably remember my Toad In The Hole and what happened to that?

And here he is bringing back up a smoked chicken soup I made. It made me feel a bit poorly too I have to say:
But no, the only person I have ever really made ill was myself…

I wanted to make a dish using fresh pastry. I was amazed that you could buy this block of something and make it into pastry. I’ll never be able to make my own so was keen to give it a try.
What do I make straight off? Something simple? No, Lamb en Croute.

Well I thought to myself ‘just how hard can it be?’ as I happily seared bits of lamb.

I didn’t have a rolling pin so I couldn’t roll the pastry properly. I just sort of beat it into submission with a dog bowl and then ‘rolled’ it out with a pint glass.

I wrapped my lamb up in it to make what looked like two absolutely huge parcels, which I then artfully scored little lines into.

They seemed to grow in the oven. They looked like massive, crusty pillows. My husband took one look at these flabby, overblown meat mailbags and decided he was going to get an early night.
But I had spent so long making them (and the lamb wasn’t cheap) so I thought I’d eat them myself. Both of them.

The next day I opened my eyes, I knew something was wrong immediately. I couldn’t really see properly, everything in my normally still bedroom was moving, swimming. As I tried to get up my stomach rolled, my head capsized and my legs gave way beneath me.

Waves of nausea washed over me as I tried to continue with my daily routine, part of which involved me collapsing underneath my baby son’s changing table with him still on it. As I clutched my tummy with one hand on the floor I held my other up in the air, in a pathetic attempt to stop him rolling off, shouting for my husband.
Thank goodness he hadn’t sampled my dinner too.

The whole day was spent lurching from the toilet, to my bed, to the shower, to lie down on the floor. Pressing my hot face against every cool surface I could find and wrapping my arms around myself to stop my body shaking and shivering. I only had to think of the words ‘lamb’ or ‘pastry’ to start convulsing again.

I’ve never tried to make anything using fresh pastry since.
But I have bought myself a rolling pin.


2 Responses to “Cooking for Casualty”


  1. One Year On… A Poem! | - 21/08/2012

    […] I’ve served raw eggs to an unborn baby Made a risotto so solid it could have plastered a wall, maybe My roasted […]

  2. » Crispy Plastic Duck - 16/05/2013

    […] For more dangerous cooking courtesy of me, please see here. […]

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