The title is pure sarcasm.
I don't whip things up.
I follow tried and true recipes clumsily step-by-step and make a god-awful mess in the process.
I stuff up the simplest of tasks and don't intuitively know when a dish needs 'a pinch more of this' or 'a little something to balance that'.
I have a saying here.
I you eat at my table, it must be take away or Donna Hay.
Ok, I just made that up then.
But it's the truth so I'm going to use it henceforth!
Donna just gets me.
She gets that I don't have the time or (more accurately) the inclination to 'source ingredients'.
I buy stuff from my local Woolworths, continental deli or wholefoods.
She gets that long ingredient lists, ridiculous preparation times or names I can't pronounce will ensure that a page/recipe does not get the privilege of one of my many sticky labels.
She titles her books things like 'The Instant Cook' and 'Simple Dinners' - with me in mind.
Sure, she's getting a little full of it on the tell-ee-vision these days, but that's okay too.
I'm one of those with a staple rotation of dishes I'm confident with.
If you come for a meal here you'll more than likely get a roast chicken and vegetable stack, a Massaman curry, a roast, home made pizzas or Simmering Italian Chicken.
And plenty of it.
With many, many beverages.
(Possibly to numb the 'diner's disappointment' or in the hope of putting any food-poisoning-like symptoms down to a hangover.)
If you have a baby, you're a sure bet to get Donna's 'Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup' or her 'Easy Tomato and Zucchini Lasagna' from this here kitchen.
(I love a recipe with the word 'easy' in it. As misleading as it can be.)
If you bring your kids over, they'll get pinwheels or mini quiches with vegetable sticks and sandwiches.
If you invite me for morning tea you'll get mixed berry muffins, a fruit platter or date slice.
The girls were coming for lunch.
I was pretty sure their eyeballs would begin twitching at the sight of more Roast Pumpkin & Chickpea soup (as diiiivine as it is).
I approached Donna and told her I was up for something different
- something as yet un-post-it-noted.
She opened up and suggested her 'Spinach Pie'.
I dry retched and thought of Popeye.
Then I looked at the pic and salivated.
The recipe reads :
Grab this -
500g frozen spinach
500g ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped dill
salt & cracked pepper
250g cherry tomatoes - halved
150g feta cheese
Do this -
Thaw the spinach and remove all the moisture.
Place in a large bowl with the ricotta cheese, the eggs, the dill, salt & pepper.
Once mixed, place in a baking dish (min 12 cup) and top with the cherry tomatoes - cut side up. Crumble feta over the top.
Bake for approximately an hour until baked through and golden on top.
Serve with a simple salad.
(Donna Hay - The Instant Cook)
I got all hardcore and up in Donna's face - by deciding to roast some pumpkin and throw it in - even though Donna Hay didn't say.
All casual like.
Crapping it that I'd stuffed up the molecular constitution of the dish or something and it was going to taste foul.
I was also a tad heavy on the tomatoes (mini romas even) and went for light versions of the cheeses.
I don't know what got into me. It must've been my rebellious phase.
I'm sorry, Donna.
But it was okay, folks.
And okay is very acceptable in culinary speak around here.
Thanks again, Donna.
Another post-it note in your cap.