Cape Argus



I SUSPECT the weekend saw the worst-cooked family meals served with most love of any time of the year. Mother’s Day.

I know of several families where the husband and children volunteere­d to “give mom a break from cooking and make the Sunday lunch for her for a Mother’s Day treat”.

Mom probably rolled her eyes in despair, but agreed gratefully to be spoilt for the day, then worked harder to prepare the meal than she’d worked for any other meal of the year.

“How much salt should we put in? Where do you keep the butter? Do we boil the water before putting the potatoes in?”

Mothers calmly advise and guide and supervise and end up doing twice as much washing up as they would normally do on any other day, but that’s not the point.

Once you’ve realised what a lot of skilled work goes into cooking a meal you’re probably a little more appreciati­ve when your tomato bredie arrives on the table in front of you.

That’s what Mother’s Day is all about. Fathers are probably more involved than usual in the preparatio­n of the meal, but my experience is that men cook best when there are no pots involved.

Give a South African man a pile of charcoal and a wire grid and he becomes an cordon bleu braaier.

I know few men who do not fancy themselves as kings of the barbecue grid. “I get my braai wood from a guy who imports it directly from Namibia,” one friend declares.

“I make my own braai sauce from a recipe I learnt from a profession­al hunter in Malawi,” says another and each of them knows about a “little butcher’s shop in Stompiesba­ai where he makes the best wors in the country”.

But give a man a pot and a potato and you’ll probably end up throwing the pot away after the potato has fused itself permanentl­y into the metal. I say this from bitter experience. My culinary history can be traced by a trail of trashed pots.

I hope all our Tavern readers who have families enjoyed a happy and loving Mother’s Day, whatever the meal turned out to be. May all the meals for the rest of the year be enjoyed with greater love and appreciati­on. I know some families escape the Mother’s Day chaos by settling for a vastly overpriced bunch of flowers, but that’s the coward’s way.

Just as Easter traditiona­lly comes with chocolate bunnies and Halloween comes with spooky pumpkins, Mother’s Day comes with a messy kitchen.

Last Laugh

An actor was down on his luck and had not landed a part for some months so he took on a job as a waiter in a rather low-class restaurant.

One evening an old acquaintan­ce who was dining there saw him and said, “I’m surprised to see you working in a place like this.

“Yes” said the actor, “but at least I don’t eat here.”

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