Sunday, 25 September 2011


You may or may not know that I am a confirmed bachelor, this is not by choice mind, its just the reality of the situation. It came to me in the gym today in between the second and third bouts of heart palpitations (why did they put the gym on the first floor, those stairs are hard work) that I have wisdom to impart in relation to living on my own, it would be churlish of me to withhold that info from the millions of people who don't read this blog.

For example, did you know you can cook pasta in the kettle? With one small modification, a bit of sellotape to keep the power button from disengaging and you can have pasta (and rice) fresh from the kettle. I wouldn't use the water for tea or coffee though; it tastes a bit off. You can use if for cuppa soups though because when you add a cuppa soup to anything it only ever tastes of cuppa soup, all other flavours are neutralised.

An important thing to know about cooking is the difference between savoury and sweet, its not complicated so don't fret. Crisps are savoury and Nutella is sweet. A handy way to judge if something is savoury is to ask yourself if its a crisp flavour, all crisp flavours are savoury, if you doubt that inviolable fact why don't you get Nutella flavoured crisps? My logic is irresistible.

But listen, I'm getting ahead of myself. It doesn't matter what you're going to cook (I say cook but I don't really mean it) when we haven't explored what we're going to cook with. The confirmed bachelor needs a toaster, a microwave and a hob. In fact, you don't really need a hob as such, why people spend hundreds of pounds on complicated cookers when you can go to an outdoor shop and buy a gas stove for twenty quid is something I have yet to work out. The added advantage of a camping stove is it can be moved about easily, you can cook on the coffee table, the bath or even in bed.

Also, a common mistake people make is to use the hob (the bit on the top of the cooker with four rings on it) and a pot when the kettle will do the job just as well. For example, you can make soup in the kettle, you might have to discard it afterwards but kettles are ten-a-penny these days. Beans can also be warmed in a kettle as can sweet corn (if you like that sort of thing) and pop tarts if you broke the toaster trying to grill some bacon.

Pop tarts in a kettle I hear you say? A complicated system of platforms must be manufactured from tin foil, admittedly it is much easier if you're drunk and its 2:30 in the morning, some might say, drunken necessity is the mother of pointless invention and I'd have to agree, the following morning anyway because it seems perfectly reasonable if not essential at the time.

But listen, I digress. You're hungry and I'm waffling, when I say waffling I don't mean in the food sense, I've never eaten a waffle in my life, why would I? Did you know you can heat soup up in a toaster? You can and I'm going to tell you how. Buy some wholemeal pitta breads, cut them open and fill carefully with cream of tomato or chicken soup, carefully place in the toaster. Obviously cooking times will vary depending on the power of your toaster. I suggest you keep an eye on it, eventually the pitta bread will lose structural integrity and the soup will begin to weep out, the trick is to catch it just before it happens. Many people like to dip bread in soup; why not just serve the soup in the bread! (I know some posh restaurants do this but I promise you, they don't heat it up in a toaster. Middle class friends will mock until you point that very important fact out.)

We've talked about toasters and kettles, lets now talk about cookers and microwaves. Ok, I'm trying hard to think of something, hold on... Oh yes! Frying stuff! Of course, nothing can't be fried, except pot noodles, you can't fry a pot noodle, well I say that, obviously you can fry a pot noodle but you'd be as well doing it while its still in its plastic pot because it won't affect the taste of the end result. Sausages and bacon can be fried as can eggs, when you're done with those you can then fry bread in the fat and it is yummy! Not very good for you mind but yummy never-the-less. Try doing a fried egg in the microwave, my dad went through a phase of doing this, it's actually quite hypnotic. You crack an egg on to a small plate with raised edges, stick it in the microwave and watch as it turns slowly into a fried egg. The egg white slowly turns white and the yolk begins to solidify, its quite miraculous really. He began to experiment with different shaped receptacles but had to stop when he used an antique tea cup with a gold rim. I dare say the egg would have been an attractive shape but gold doesn't agree with microwaves; the tea cup exploded and the microwave never worked again.

Listen, I apologise, if I post a blog that's too long, my very great many readers will tire and get bored so I'm going to stop. If you're hungry, make some toast but remember; you can put anything on toast except crisps and spreading Nutella on crisps doesn't make a savoury snack sweet. What, you didn''t expect any serious commentary on how to cook did you? You're an optimist, I'll give you that.

Also, after having done some reading, you can't fry an egg in a microwave, technically its being poached. You live and learn.

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Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?