How to scare the family shitless by getting out the Crock Pot or The Day I Started Actually Cooking

I was an annoying child, an over-achiever and all-round teacher’s pet who spent all my high school lunchtimes doing extra-curricular activities and begging staff to let me take my O levels early. That I had any friends whatsoever was a miracle, and that I am earning such a pittance in my 30s considering the vast stash of qualifications I amassed in a few short years of being a total lick-arse is a continuing tragedy.

Although I was very academic, some would say pathologically academic, my Achille’s heel was mathematics. Numbers are, and have always been, a foreign concept to me. I understand that people are able to solve quadratic equations, my problem is coming to terms with why they might want to. Being single-minded and desperate to go and greet the golden intelligentsia I assumed would be waiting for me at university (a misconception which was swept away during fresher’s week), I persevered until I finally passed the GCSE maths qualification I needed to do my degree. I was lucky – the year I re-sat my maths exam was the advent of GCSEs and I swear they lowered the bar to massage pass rate statistics for the Government. I say this without political agenda – it’s just that I was really, really shit at maths.

A lasting legacy of my number blindness is that figures bore me so much that I have never really paid any attention to my pay packet. As long as I’ve got enough to make it through a month (a theory I test by going to the cash machine until it won’t give me any more money) it doesn’t bother me how much I earn or how it leaks from my account.

All that has to change. As my company prepares to shed staff to become even more productive (no comment), I need to start thinking more about what I earn, what I spend and how I spend it. Goodbye daily Innocent smoothie. Goodbye sandwich bar. Goodbye lunchtime trips to H&M. Goodbye ready meals.

At least I’ve got the last category licked – I’ve got a new slow cooker.

One of my friends, who generally buys me something decadent and useless for Christmas (which is what I genuinely want, rather than something bloody dull and USEFUL), asked if there was anything I’d like and, knowing that financial destitution could be round the corner, I asked for a slow cooker. After fending off several incredulous text messages along the ‘are you joking?’ lines, she finally accepted that I really did want a slow cooker and went off to buy one.

It now sits in my front room, oppressively reminding me of a future of stews, casseroles and, er, slow cooked things which my family will undoubtedly learn to dread the second they arrive home at night to see the red ‘on’ button glowing on the crock pot.

To this end, today I bought lots of cheap vegetables and meat cuts, some pearl barley and some stock. The experimentation starts tomorrow, the pleas for decent, recognisable food to be put back on the agenda probably starts tomorrow night.


2 Responses to “How to scare the family shitless by getting out the Crock Pot or The Day I Started Actually Cooking”

  1. 1 tykke
    January 31, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Have you ever heard of dyscalculia? It’s “MATH DYSLEXIA”. Check out http://www.dyscalculiaforum.com 🙂

    • January 31, 2009 at 10:51 am

      I have indeed. After spending years trying to persuade my teachers I had it, they pointed out the fact that I’d passed a maths O level and therefore TECHNICALLY was in the top 20 per cent of the population, maths-wise. This fact is so frightening that I took to my bed for six years until the impact had worn off (well, I went to university. Same thing).

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