Is this man oven-ready?

The Jewish Chronicle - - Features -

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.

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