About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Housework's a funny thing.

Everyone who knows me, is well aware that I like to cook...okay, love to cook. There is something about shopping, chopping and cooking that really gets my juices flowing. I don't necessarily need the best to be available to me, truffles, lobster, waygu et al, though I certainly appreciate them when they come my way, but having a simple, well prepared dish, of potatoes for instance, can give me the exact same pleasure as any of those top shelf ingredients, it's all down to the preparation.

In fact, cooking a great potato dish probably gives me more of a thrill than simply inserting a piece of truffle into something, whereby the truffle is just doing its thing, no real work required; the only thing as a cook you have to make sure of, is that you don't muck it up, but making a potato sublime, well, that's a whole other story, that's cooking.

It's my thing.

The other day, I was mucking about with racks of pork ribs for dinner and was up to my armpits in salt, pepper and spices when D came to the kitchen and peremptorily said,

"You can do the vacuuming now."

As in right now, right this second, with no regard for what I was currently doing. As if my chore didn't actually count as housework or even existed. It was right at that moment that it hit me with crystal clear clarity. My wife doesn't count my cooking as housework in the same way that she would assess her own cooking contribution, solely because she knows I love doing it. When D cooks, it's housework, when I cook, it's something else. It's not like work for me in her mind, because I'm getting pleasure from it. Hence she is able to command me to do real housework at the drop of a hat.

Stuff that matters.

It's almost as if vacuuming is the penance required in order for me to cook, sort of like a rosary full of Our Fathers. I'm sure the Pope has something to answer for here. But just to show there are no hard feelings, I would invite him over and cook for him, perhaps a nice Devil's food cake. So long as he vacuums.
  posted at 7:38 am

At 10:06 am, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Don't you just love logic!
I got an A+ in logic in graduate school!
I'll be happy to vacuum with the pope if you'll cook for us. Well, on second thought really I'd rather cook with you but maybe we could still get the pope to do the vacuuming! Forget it I'll pay somebody to do the vacuum and we'll just cook!

At 12:54 pm, Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Well, if the Pope's vacuuming for you, I'll have to get someone else to do it for me. Penance, indeed...!

At 1:20 pm, Blogger KellytheCulinarian said...

I love your blog layout. Any tips? I'd love to hear how you did this.

At 1:59 pm, Blogger paul kennedy said...

I hope you didn't comply. I hope you told her you were too busy right now.

At 2:15 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, hey, that would be so cool and the added benefit is that the pope could pray for our success, not that we really need that sort of help, but it can't hurt. Perhaps we should keep away from loaves and fishes though...my kitchen wouldn't be big enough!

Hi lydia, when he's done I'll send him right over to you.

Hi kelly, if you look in my right hand sidebar, you will see credits with links, these two girls did the whole thing between them, but the ideas were mine.

Hi kitchen hand, I did make that suggestion and everything worked out fine, we had tasty ribs and a clean floor.

At 8:31 am, Blogger Vida said...

Hi Neil, I hate vacuuming but I love cooking... I am with you... Vida x

At 12:21 pm, Blogger grocer said...

I sometimes think my hubby has a case of the same illogic.

At 5:10 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi vida, the only good that comes from vacuuming is a clean floor, though Heston Blumenthal has come up with a cooking use for a vacuum.

Hi grocer, it's sad isn't it, no one else really understands...

At 6:31 pm, Blogger grocer said...

sob sob.
no they don't. and as much as i love food and love to cook, there is a dearth of recognition for the amount of thought time, thought, effort and emotion that goes into it.
and then s/he says, "well if you feel like that, I'll cook and you can xyz!" and you think... hmmmmmmm! that would be untenable for everyone.


At 12:41 pm, Blogger Vida said...

Do tell... how does one cook with a vacuum???? My mind is on overdrive but NOTHING... cannot work it out... was this on that quiz we had at the get together??? It sounds as though it was... Vida x x x

At 12:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, I see exactly what you mean, and you know I do! C routinely scrapes my bones raw at home to make up for the fun I'm having at work. Seems unfair, well, I guess she can't be having too much fun at home herself, that's the point, but someone's gotta do it. I have suggested we swap and she goes to the shop for a month or two, which might have two results, either she'll be much happier and want to contribute to the houswork as well as work, or she'll leave me to do everything (as long as she cant trust that I'll do it) and have as much fun as possible. Either way I'm going to continue enjoying my work, cooking, cleaning, what ever. (looking after the two little devils 24/7). I think C does recognise that I work, just its never going to mean as much to her as hers.

By the way C wants to go to the Faerie Park in Anarkie on Sunday week if your interested in a picnic. Cheers, Gregory

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