Thumbs down from gourmet gladiators
MASTERCHEF has a lot to answer for. It has given the kids ideas above my station.
We’re a week into the traditional MasterChef Mourning Period, when everyone looks aimless and bereft around 7.30pm and the children try to dish up reasons for staying up past bedtime.
But I’m secretly happy that TV show’s over because it turned my youngsters into the sort of people I don’t need around at dinnertime: harsh culinary critics.
It started with the opening credits. As each contestant was shown cheerily in the kitchen, the kids would shout “GONE!” or “IN!” at them, depending on whether they’d been booted out yet.
The overall effect was of three small Romans barracking at a chefs versus lions Gourmet Gladiator matchup at the Colosseum.
In the cooking bits they suddenly became Michelinstandard judges, serving up fact that if I invite someone over and I’m “cooking”, the guest brings the meal.)
Our kids know this about their parents and sometimes when a dish is slid under their noses they’ll ask slightly warily: “Who made this … Daddy or Mummy?” They have the good grace to silently adjust their expectations and tuck in regardless.
So it’s worrying that, thanks to MasterChef, they’re authorities on truffles, edible soil and quenelles (look ’ em up). But I’m relieved to report there are still some foods our kids are yet to understand.
Recently, their dad was shelling peanuts for a satay sauce (I say there’s a jar for that) and gave a bowl of them unshelled to the kids.
They returned 10 minutes later with an empty dish, having gobbled them up. “Where are the shells?” he asked, envisaging a carpet of them across the living room.
Came back the puzzled reply: “What shells?”