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Sun at the wheat field

Sloppy Custard and Second Rate Stew

When you become a wife, you expect the odd dispute, lovers tiff or out and out row, but nothing can compare to the pain, hurt and humiliation of being told ‘my mum cooks better than you’.

As a newlywed you take to domesticity with gusto. You clean windows (something that, after the novelty wears off, you then only do when you realise you cannot see at midday unless the lights are on, for day light can no longer penetrate the grime that you call windows). You pair up hubby’s socks (determined to match them all to their rightful partners as like the Krypton Factor of future marital bliss). Plus, most importantly, you slave in the kitchen preparing homemade meals in order to appear the very picture of a Stepford Wife.

You cook meals, prepare desserts and bake treats, all in an effort to impress upon your husband just how fortunate he is to have met such a ‘perfect’ wife. Then your husband turns around and says, “It’s not as good as my mum’s”.

Take for instance my trifle. Now, as a school girl I can recall nothing more disturbing than trifle with a custard set so solid, a ‘skin’ has formed on the top that only Hannibal lector could appreciate. As a result, I only ever make trifle with a ‘runny’ unset custard. It is the talk of my friends, a celebrated culinary triumph. Yet hubby detests it, bemoaning that “mum’s trifle is a proper trifle’ whilst mine is obviously a poor imitation.

Now coming from any of my mates I can take a bit of culinary critique but when your hubby compares you to his mother and you come up lacking, it stings. The sad thing is however, I’m not the only one who feels this way…

Talking to the mother in law on the subject she has been faced with the same problem. Her failing is, apparently stews. In an effort to be economical, as I do myself, she tends to use mice rather than diced meat in her stews, only to suffer this scathing response from her other half of, “If you want to know how to make stew, go and see my mother for tips“. Ouch!

So if my food isn’t as good as hubby’s mums and her food isn’t as good as her mother in laws, then surely this is damning news for the future. Following this pattern, each generation must be getting worse at cooking, with far wearker culinary talents in comparison to that of their elders. What hope for the future then? Our next generation’s housewives must, by this thinking, be the cooking equivalent of Joffrey Baratheon’s skills as a king: dire.

I’d like to present a similar critique to hubby on his cooking efforts, in order to get my revenge, but unfortunately he doesn’t venture beyond toast so there is little to criticise. Oh well, I’ll continue to make my trifle with sloppy custard and look forward to the day when my son tells some poor unsuspecting girlfriend, “Your trifle isn’t as good as my mum’s”.


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