Something all kitchen counters should have
FRIDAY, 6.00PM: The good woman calls from the open road to tell me that she has got me a present. As I wait for the car to pull into the yard, I start thinking about what this present could possibly be. Maybe it's the latest Spurs jersey, or a DVD on the life and times of Roy Orbison. Or perhaps even an Indian meal pack for two from Tesco - which always goes down a treat.
Then the doorbell rings and before me stands the young lad, holding a plastic bag. He hands it over and I unwrap a brand new food processor. Not what I was expecting, but a welcome addition to our arsenal of culinary devices nevertheless.
SATURDAY, 7.30AM: The young lad is in the sitting room, glued to the latest Vodafone commercial where the Blackberry Boys are clicking their fingers, humming that catchy tune. He sways from side to side with them. Then he gobbles down his porridge (we're just waiting for the day he realises porridge is not all that, and the word yuk enters his vocabulary) and requests a smoothie. Like a trophy, our new acquisition takes its position on the kitchen counter.
For its maiden spin summer fruits, bananas, some natural yoghurt and a dollop of ice cream are pumped in. The young lad knocks back two mouthfuls, before he starts to pick the seeds off his tongue. Unimpressed, he points to the Innocent smoothie cartons in the fridge. 'I'll have one of those instead,' he growls, his demeanour changed to that of a seasoned drinker propped up at the local bar. The younger lad is rocking away in the corner, eyeing up what's left in the young lad's glass. It is a steely-eyed look, one that I haven't seen before.
3.00pm: At some stage during last summer, a nut that helps to hold the lawnmower together disappeared over a fence. I fumble about in the shed, trying to measure up diameters so that I can fetch a replacement and through an open window, the good woman summons me into the kitchen. She thinks she has discovered the secret to making heavenly bolognese. I sample a spoonful and my knees go weak. She tells me she has blended the mince in our new food processor.
It is a stroke of genius. The young lad hears what's going on from across the garden and being fond of his grub, volunteers to be a taster. He nods his approval - Bistokid style - and we advise her to get out the large cooking pot. For the next three days we eat little else. Though I tell him he can't have it for breakfast.
8.30pm: Upstairs I can hear snores while downstairs the good woman has had another brainwave. Into the food processor goes crushed ice and some Baileys. She gives it a few seconds to do its thing, before filling us both a glass. As we clink a toast, I can think of worse ways to end the day.
Then she tells me of her plans to make homemade soup tomorrow and delights at how useful the machine will prove during the preparation of baby meals. Its introduction to our home has transformed our domestic menu beyond all expectations.
I look forward to tackling some of the more adventurous curries that are out there over the coming weeks. I would go so far as to say that present-wise, a food processor surpasses a Spurs jersey for usefulness any day. But then maybe that's just my tummy talking.
ANOTHER UNTOUCHABLE PASSES AWAY
Reading about the death of Elizabeth Taylor, it struck me how sometimes we can be presumptuous about certain people's mor- tality. That because some characters are almost larger than life, we get more of a shock when we hear they have passed away.
Taylor was one of these people. She was a high-profile media figure that at one stage during her life, reached the pinnacle of her profession. For a fleeting moment in time, there was no one bigger. Michael Jackson was another. Paul Newman too. Here at home, and on a broadcasting smaller scale, we had Gerry Ryan - right up to before he died, he was the king of the airwaves.
It got me thinking about people who are untouchable at this present moment and how eventually, they will lose the battle with time.
We have R&B sensation Rhianna where Madonna used to be; Barcelona dominating the world of soccer; Natalie Portman the modernday Elizabeth Taylor and Johnny Depp the current Hollywood golden boy - though that particular title changes hands more frequently than most. In the modelling world where once it was Glenda, now we have Georgia; Bertie and Brian have been replaced by Enda and in equine circles Long Run has taken over from Kauto Star. While Hurricane Fly could very well be the new Istabraq. Ben 10 is the new Flash Gordon and Will Ferrell has taken control of the ribs that Chevy Chase used to tickle. Liz McDonald took over from Bet Lynch.
I suppose the moral to be taken from each of these stories is that if you are lucky enough to reach the top then enjoy the view, because nothing, or nobody, is going to last forever. Except maybe Dot Cotton.
She thinks she has discovered the secret to making heavenly bolognese. I sample a spoonful and my knees go weak. The young lad nods his approval
Elizabeth Taylor was a larger-than-life figure, who at one stage during her career, was the most famous actress in the world.