Ready, Steady, Cook

By Leia Fee


“It’s your turn.”

There’s not really any point arguing with Frohike when he uses that particular tone of voice.  But then I’ve never known when to quit.

“N’uh uh.  No way.  It’s definitely Jimmy’s turn,” I said.  Well, it was worth a try.

“Jimmy did it the day before yesterday.”

He did as well, some horrendously hot chilli that even I had trouble with.  Pity he was out at the printers, he’d probably have volunteered for another turn.  Far too noble that boy.


“—Did it yesterday.  It’s your turn today.”

I gave up and sloped off to the kitchen.

After a rummage through the cupboards I was almost ready to take up the argument again.  For some reason my days to cook always seem to fall when we’re on the last of the groceries.  Frohike may be able to whip up wonders with next to no ingredients but my limit is usually Pasta Mush.  Hippie Slop he calls it, and even I’ll admit it doesn’t look the most appetising of dishes.  Mulder was round here once when I made it and called it the Mutant Bolognese.

Frozen minced meat, whatever veg we’ve got left and the first flavourings that come to hand—Fro always keeps plenty of herbs and spices in—all cooked up with sloppy tinned tomatoes and tipped over pasta.  Not pretty, but filling and I’m pretty sure all the main food groups are covered.  Though round here that usually means caffeine, chocolate, chips and beer, so I may have forgotten one or two of them.

So I started chopping up veg and trying not to chop up fingers and hoping the microwave that I was defrosting the meat in really was fixed this time and not going to short out the power again.

I hate cooking.  I think the world is just naturally divided into people who can cook and people who can’t.  I mean Frohike can take almost anything and produce something edible, but he’s the only natural cook among us.  Byers, I think, learned in self-defence and can cook one or two meals really really well and can follow a recipe and make it turn out right.  Jimmy just knows no fear and tries the most outlandish recipes that either turn out wonderful or end with us sending out for pizza.  And then there’s me.  I can burn water.  I tried baking a cake once—you could have stunned a burglar with it at thirty paces.

When we first started this taking turns at cooking Frohike thought it was funny to buy us all printed aprons.  His says, ‘Kiss the Cook’.  Mine says, ‘Dinner will be served at the sound of the smoke alarm.’  Byers ended up with a stripy number that makes him look like an Olde Worlde baker.

To be fair, no one ever actually refuses to eat the variations on Mush that I serve up and it’s only really gone horribly wrong once, and that was the first time the microwave went bang which I think is a more than reasonable excuse.

And it’s Frohike’s turn tomorrow!


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