Is this man oven-ready?
Comedian Mark Maier is no cook — in fact, he is delighted when he makes an omelette which does not fall apart. So the JC challenged him to prepare his wife Jane and twoyear-old son Jake a three-course meal, following the recipes in a new cookbook, “The Man That Can” — a collection written by men for men, and male culinary novices in particular, and published by Norwood Ravenswood. What could possibly go wrong? Mark studies the recipes. He has chosen a menu of sweetcorn latkes as a starter, followed by Thai beef-noodle salad for the main course, and an apple-and-rhubarb crumble for pudding. He sensibly decides to work on the main course first — as the beef needs to be marinated for an hour. Mark has only 750g of apples for the crumble, but the recipe asks for 1kg. He tackles the problem by assuming that no-one will notice, and steams ahead regardless. “It’s supposed to be crumbly, not smooth,” complains Mark, as he glances at the recipe book while sifting the dough between his fingers. But at least he has learned one female skill already — how to multi-task. The stress levels in the Maier family kitchen are rising as Mark realises the enormity of his task. “Jane! What did you do with the tinopener? Everyone keeps getting in the way! The crumble mixture doesn’t fit in the dish. The kitchen is a mess and Jane says I have to clean it up as well.” No one said it was going to be easy, Mark.