Last night I made dinner for our Danish hosts, the family who has kindly let us invade their boat. I decided to start cooking the day before because a) I hadn’t cooked for 6 people in a while, and b) I’d certainly never done it in a constricted galley. I wanted to make something tasty and mouth-watering. Aaah, I know, I thought. Soup. D. always makes a delicious soup of various vegetables with ground beef. That’s what I have in mind.
The first alarm bell should have been my incomplete shopping excursion, from which I returned at least four ingredients short. In the spirit of improvisation I pressed on. When D. found me at the stove stirring a thick mass of green and brown blobs, he looked concerned. Did you add water? No. Broth? No. A look of dismay flitted across his face, but he quickly rearranged his features as my hackles visibly rose. Whatever, baby, he acceded, and tossed in some red wine when I turned my back.
The time came for our guests/hosts to arrive, with nine-year-old and seven-year-old in tow. There’s something bizarre about welcoming people to their own property, but it was just a moment of awkwardness. They very sweetly presented me with a birthday gift; they’d heard about the whole forgetting-of-birthday debacle. A DVD (yessssss….highly coveted these days. See David Caruso entry.) In return for their kindness, we all squeezed around the table and I presented them with my soup, which was by now masquerading as a stew. Eyes widened and a flurry of salt-shaking ensued immediately after the first bites. I noticed our lady host and her seven-year-old petered out discreetly after a few mouthfuls, but our gentleman host kindly ate his fill. And miraculously the nine-year-old hoovered up the dish in its entirety, leading to the question in the title.
D. thinks they headed straight for the kebab shop when they left.
Next time I’ll make something with a proven track record. Usually I’m a pretty good cook, I swear.