Sunday, 28 November 2010

An Atrocity of Soup

You are looking at me quizzically, I can tell. 'An atrocity of soup?', you ask. 'Surely this can't be correct? Surely it should be 'an atrocity of a soup, perhaps, if you are referring to soup in the singular?' Well, my imaginary and largely-rhetorical friend, to this I would reply that in my mind anyway, soup seems to be inescapably plural, thus 'an atrocity' is its collective term, like you have a herd of cattle. So there.

Semantics aside, it's time to discuss this week's culinary disaster. I really tried with this one. I mean, I actually followed a recipe. To be frank, I think that's where I fell down. Of all the hideous things I have cooked, and to be fair, I've cooked a few, this was one of the worst. The idea was to create a sort of semi-chicken noodle soup by adding stock cubes to boiling water and then cooking a nest of egg noodles (am I the only one who finds the term 'a nest' in reference to 'egg' noodles a bit disquieting? I mean, you don't measure bacon in half-pigs or whatever.) in said stock-cube water to create a kind of light soup. The book suggested that I fry an egg and add it to the bowl for a more nutritious meal, but the idea of that made me be a little bit sick in my mouth. So, in all honesty, I think that this was one of the worst things that I have ever created. It was like chewing straw through a pair of elderly lady's tights. No, it was like licking a single chicken nugget a thousand times and then rolling around in some grass. The 'soup' part made a kind of tepid chickeny bain-marie for the malevolent lump of semi-cooked noodles in the middle. Plus, in an exciting continuation of the kitchen thief saga (see previous posts), I now seem to possess only one spoon, and that is reserved solely for the eating of custard (I have a problem. Acceptance is the first step towards recovery), so I had to eat the noodles with a fork whilst attempting to drink the watery effluent from the bowl. I looked like Jar-Jar Binks or Zoidberg. It was a low, low moment in the annals of Reinbold.

Tastiness -1/10  - I give it a generous 1, in that I wasn't actually sick.
Likeliness to set off a fire alarm - 2/10  - Some use of the hob required. 
Likeliness to cause a fatal coronary, 20 years down the line - 2/10 - Not that unhealthy, apart from generating feelings of general self-loathing and despair.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Questionable Pitta

We were in the UL all morning yesterday, and decided to retire back to college for some lunch, the tearoom in the UL being a) extortionate and b) unable to accept cards. 'I'll cook lunch!', I declared brightly. Grimacing, gnashing their teeth and wailing like condemned men, my friends followed me back to the G-Staircase kitchen, also known as the Place Where The Magic Happens. We have reached an interesting stage in our friendship in which we all know that I am an atrocious cook, and that actually they'd rather not eat my hideous offerings, but they don't quite know me well enough to know whether I'd react very badly to the news and throw myself from my balcony. From my perspective, it's a win-win situation.

 We fried halloumi, microwaved hot-dogs and put them in slightly stale pitta bread with some other random cheese that happened to be in my fridge. I consider it a culinary success, in that nobody has yet been hospitalised. Katherine, as you can see in the first image, is less convinced. Ah well. 

Tastiness - 6/10 - It was OK. I don't think the hot-dogs were quite cooked. Ah well.
Likeliness to set off a fire alarm - 6/10 - We got The Fear a bit frying the halloumi, but all was well, and all manner of things were well.
Likeliness to cause a fatal coronary, 20 years down the line - 8/10 - It's fried cheese and questionable meat, topped in weirdly runny ketchup. Not what you'd call gourmet.

Incidentally, I note from the stats that people actually appear to be reading this. Thank you, people, you poor, deluded souls. If you have any questions, just want to berate me, or if you have any simple recipes you think I could try (I mean, really simple. Like,  no more than four steps), please let me know. I'm thinking of making Sunday a Special Cookery night. Even more special than usual that is. So, comment!!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sticky Not Stirred

I think I must be sadistic. Every Sunday, despite the fact that I know that I can't cook, I invite people over to come and eat some food with me. Every week, I serve up some hideous dish and watch people grimace their way through it. Perhaps I just know particularly masochistic people. Today it was Sticky Quorn and Noodles. This was initially going to be a stir-fry, but since the fire alarm fiasco, Emma and I have been cautious about using the frying pan (the frying pan you can see behind her in the first picture sat on the worktop for a bit then got shoved back into the cupboard). So, I used  Quorn and put a sauce on and microwaved it. I'm not a vegetarian, but I like Quorn. There's less chance of contracting some hideous disease from eating undercooked food, for one thing. Also, I like pretending to be a vegetarian. I feel somehow that I can get all the health benefits, and yet still eat meat. Verily, I have, as Hannah Montana so poignantly observed, the best of both worlds.

I should mention that I didn't make the sauce. My friend James, who can actually cook and stuff, made it for me on Friday, and I jammed it in the fridge (we had pizza last night, which I didn't think was worth documenting). Yet, when I opened the fridge this evening, I only had a tiny bit left. MOST EGREGIOUS. Either I have magical evaporating stir-fry sauce, or some BEAST has whipped it. Stir-fry stealer, I hope you're feeling guilty. I like to think that the awful concept of theft is what has upset Emma so greatly in the first picture, but I think it's just the prospect of eating some more of my cooking, poor wretch. Anyway, so I put sauce on the Quorn, microwaved it, and overcooked some noodles. The result was actually surprisingly tasty. A definite improvement.

Tastiness - 8/10
Likeliness to set off a fire alarm - 4/10 (there was an alarming moment with the steam on the noodles, and their nearly boiling over, but an otherwise impressive effort, I feel).
Likeliness to cause a fatal coronary, 20 years down the line - 5/10 (It's Quorn, innit. I'm sure that's healthy. The half-bottle of soy sauce and the prawn crackers I added...maybe not so much).

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Quesadillas a la Conflagration

I should mention first of all that I didn't actually cook these. If I go too near a hot pan, people start twitching nervously and my mother starts sending me texts telling me that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should I be left  in the kitchen unattended. My friend Emma handled all the hot hot burny part, I bought the tortillas and grated the cheese. I like to imagine it as a beautiful triumvirate, in which the quesadillas were the other ruling party, but if I'm honest, I just stood around and ate things. Our quesadilla-making was slightly hampered by the fact that neither of us really knew how to cook the things, but we didn't let that hamper us! In the end, we made a sort of hot tortilla-cheese-pancake thing, and it was pretty good. Buoyed by our culinary success, we then tried to fry some halloumi in the pan, which wasn't quite as successful because it went a bit mental and started spitting everywhere. This downturn was continued by an unfortunate slip of the hand when taking the pan off the ring, which caused olive oil to go on the hot ring, a quantity of smoke, a fire alarm, the evacuation of staircases G & H and an investigation by two porters. Er, yes. Sorry about that.

Tastiness - 7/10
Likeliness to set off a fire alarm - 10/10 (oops)
Likeliness to cause a fatal coronary, 20 years down the line - 8/10 (We were essentially FRYING CHEESE. My arteries weep!)

Saucepan Salad

I am a student. I don't have things like salad servers. Nor, it would appear, do I have a bowl large enough to  make a salad in. I had people coming round for dinner (poor, mad fools). I had a crisis. I had a brainwave. And, lo, the saucepan salad was born! Maybe it was because it was a pretty wilty Caesar salad from Sainsburys (nobody likes an emperor amid the greenery) or maybe the saucepan made people think that I'd somehow cooked the salad, but nobody ate any. I think it might still be in the fridge. I think about it sometimes, late at night, and resolve to get rid of it, but I'm afraid it might be sentient.

Tastiness - 2/10
Likeliness to set off a fire alarm - 0/10
Likeliness to cause a fatal coronary, 20 years down the line - 2/10 (It was caesar salad, the only type of salad I like because in a caesar salad, the whole salad part comes second.)

Pasta Surprise

'What's the surprise?' I hear you ask. Well, it's simple. The surprise is that this is fuckloads of pasta in a bowl. Actually, I'm being a bit unfair in putting this first, because this is basically the extent of my culinary prowess. I put some tortellini in a pan for a bit, poked it with a fork, then put loads of cheese on top. For those of you who are interested, it's pesto and goats cheese tortellini, topped with Red Leicester cheese, mozzarella and parmesan. That makes it sound a lot more appetising than it actually was, if I'm honest. 

Tastiness - 7/10
Likeliness to set off a fire alarm - 3/10 (even I can boil water)
Likeliness to cause a fatal coronary, 20 years down the line - 6/10 

Cooking With Reinbold

The first thing you should understand is that this is not a cookery blog. Oh it may look like one, it may have the word 'cooking' in the title, but it's most definitely not. And why not? Well, it's simple really. I can't cook at all. I mean, I literally cannot boil an egg. If you came up to me and told me to make you an omelette or suffer a long and protracted death, I'd be skipping off to be hanged, drawn and quartered before you'd even had time to finish speaking. However, I'm at university now and I thought it might be interesting to record some of my culinary (mis)adventures. Hence this blog. I thought I'd introduce a simple ratings system, as you'll see in the next post, but I'm not including the recipes, mostly because if you want to reproduce anything I've cooked, you're probably very ill and should seek help.