Has anyone found my cooking gene?
You know, it's the one that enables any domestic goddess worth her salt to nourish her family with delicious meals, any day of the week.
Well, mine went missing a while back. It jumped over the fence and legged it and it ain't come back. You see, it's not that I can't cook, I just can't be bothered.
Does anyone else get this? You know the thing, where food loses its inspiration and you can't think beyond the anti-climax of the next ham sandwich?
Recipes don't help either. Too many fiddly bits, and I'm not good at detail. If someone dares offer me a recipe, even in kindness, it's enough to send me running to the hills, (a challenge when you live in Suffolk). It's not that I'm ungrateful, it's that I have some kind of phobia of measuring spoons, jugs and weighing scales.
The real problem is that even my favoured Ready, Steady, Cook bung it all in approach has gone and done a bunk.
Personally, I blame it on changes in routine. It coincided with end-of-term and the beginning of the holiday. Then Mr A went back to work with the odd day spent in the office, the next banqueting at a conference, or the following coming back on a late-evening train from London with a sandwich. And now the kids are back at school. One part-time, the other full-time, while I'm always at home.
There are so many mixed-up appetites, I feel like I'm catering for an army of schoolgirls instead of a family of four.
Anyway, I think I've devised a cunning plan, or rather tripped over one when I wasn't quite looking.
It all started last Wednesday.
The kids came home from school and I cooked up some pasta. It needed to be quick because they were hungry. So I added some sweetcorn and then grated some cheese on top.
My eldest came rushing into the kitchen pleading starvation. Pasta isn't always his favourite dish, so when he begged to find out what was for dinner, I knew I needed to sell the idea to him.
I looked blankly, paused for inspiration and blurted.......
He looked at me and said "err yellow?"
To which I replied.
"Yes, tonight's dinner is yellow".
Suddenly he called to his brother "Tonight's dinner is YELLOW".
And they both did an excited jig, finished their yellow dinner and asked if the next day's dinner could be ORANGE.
So ORANGE THURSDAY came and went with breaded fish, chopped carrots and an orange and rice salad.
Then there was RED FRIDAY with spaghetti bolognese, some chopped red peppers and reddish-brown pasta, followed by some delicious strawberries and raspberries.
So it looks like we've finally found the answer. The kids plan the menu with whatever colour they decide and all I need to do is come up with the goods.
I've got a feeling they might not pick GREEN again though.
I don't think that Spaghetti with runner beans and broccoli was quite what they were expecting!