“To me, to you!” I cackled giddily, bending over double at my ill-timed attempt at a joke.
My husband merely stared at me, wearing a look that suggested that he cursed the very day he first laid eyes on me.
“Do you get it?! To me, to you! Like the Chuckle Brothers! To me-”
“BABE!!!! Watch what you’re doing! I’m soaked!”
23:08 on Sunday night: my husband and I were sat on the kitchen floor, covered in a foul smelling mixture of dirty washing machine water, baking flour, and sweetcorn.
Madness ‘House of Fun’ played jeeringly out of the television, almost as if to remind us that it was anything but.
Handing me another lunchbox full of water, my husband sighed in agitation.
“This is never ending.”
I’m still not entirely sure if he was referring to our marriage or the fiasco surrounding us.
“It could be worse,” I said brightly, wringing out an old beach towel decorated in green and blue feet.
“How? How could it possibly be worse than this?! It’s nearly midnight and we’re sitting in flour, draining a washing machine into a lunchbox by hand, while listening to Madness.”
“Well, last time this happened, I spent the whole day in A&E with a hamster bite, came home, spilled the food bin all over the drive, then the washing machine exploded.”
“If you mention that day one more time...” My husband snarled through bared teeth. “And babe... Why the hell is this lunchbox decorated in cartoon fruit stickers? And why the hell do the cartoon fruit have eyes?”
“Oh, I got them free with a packet of satsumas. I like the pineapple in sunglasses best. Or the pear with the Cher wig.”
“I’ve got to take this to work!”
Honestly, you try and inject a bit of frivolity into the world, and the misery just hunts you down and blows its nose in your hotdog, doesn’t it? You’d think it was a crime to smile these days.
“WELCOME TO THE HOUSE OF FUN!” Shouted Madness.
“OH MY GOD, IT’S YOUR MONSTER’S INC. SOCK!!!” Shouted my husband. He yanked a very gnarled slither of cotton from the drum of the washing machine. The once turquoise shade was now a very murky grey, but yes – YES – Sully’s manic beam was still just about distinguishable.
“It was wrapped right around the motor,” my husband growled.
Our Sunday hadn’t started off with a yearning for divorce. We’d been out all day, him at the football and me at a boudoir photo shoot. Once home, we had a proper cute, domesticated evening making pizzas FROM SCRATCH. Yep – dough and everything!
It went a lot better than I could have ever imagined, to be honest. The village is still in one piece, no eyebrows were singed, and we managed to refine the flour snowstorm to the kitchen, dining room and living room only.
The pizzas were F-I-T.
If I had more than one pizza tray, I reckon I could put Dominos out of business - not even joking.
My husband (who likes to smugly remind me that he ‘took catering for GCSE’) whipped up his own garlic butter drizzle for the crust, and as much as I hate to raise his preposterous ego, the flavour was comparable to slow dancing on a bed of candyfloss while Greek Gods sang to my taste buds and Richard Madden plaited my hair.
While the pizzas were a giant, circular-shaped success, other areas of adulting were spectacularly failing...
As I wandered into the kitchen with my empty plate, I noticed that the washing machine had suddenly stopped working.
Clearly not deterred by my previous error only a few weeks ago, I flicked off the power, before casually wrenching the door open...
Water – everywhere. Luckily, my reflexes were quicker this time, and I managed to slam the door shut before my five-foot-one frame became immersed in washing machine juice.
... Which is how we came to be sat on the kitchen floor amongst the remnants of our pizza making sesh, while my husband filled lunchbox after lunchbox with water from the drum, and I ‘accidentally’ poured half down his back and half down the sink.
The whole sorry process took 50 minutes and to top it off, one of my cartoon fruit stickers fell off the lunchbox in the process.
On the plus side though, I do think I’ve actually become ‘alright’ at cooking! I realise that’s a bold statement from somebody who is considering campaigning for the invention of Marmite yogurt, but just take a look at some of my cooking coups below...
HOMEMADE PIZZAS –
I mean, apart from nearly sinking the whole of the country with a Monsters Inc sock, I’d hail the pizza making evening a triumph! And my marriage lives to see another day!
Oh, and before you start, mushrooms DO belong on pizzas, and do you know what? So does pineapple, so there. Fight me.
CHICKPEA & SPINACH CURRY –
(Recipe HERE: https://www.asda.com/good-living/recipe/easy-tomato-and-chickpea-curry)
I spotted this recipe in a free Asda magazine below a feature on Eid, and it has since become one of my favourite meals to whisk up mid-week. Quick, easy, light and delectably tasty, this simply vegetarian curry requires very few ingredients, but at the same time certainly packs a punch in terms of flavour.
I top mine with fresh parsley, a sprinkling of desiccated coconut, a drizzle of natural yoghurt and a generous dollop of mango chutney. (Drizzle... Dollop... God, I’m becoming more Nigella every day, aren’t I?!)
BUTTERNUT SQUASH TAGINE –
Yeah, I made a tagine. No biggie or anything... But I made tagine. You literally have no idea how fancy I felt replying to my work colleague’s queries about what I was having for tea with a flick of my hair and a smug, “Homemade tagine.”
This dish was bursting with butternut squash, chickpeas, courgette, onion and apricot, which was a surprisingly intriguing combo.
Again, I drowned my portion in mango chutney, because it would be rude not to. I’m fully aware that as a human being, I am inferior to the almighty God-like condiment that is mango chutney.
VEGGIE HALLOUMI KEBABS –
Okay, so these were technically my husband’s idea, so I can’t take FULL credit, but I did help to thread the pretty little courgette ribbons onto the skewers!
Topped with a light squeeze of honey, these kebabs were INSANEEEE.
INDOOR BBQ –
With such poor weather over the early May Bank Holiday, we had no choice but to move our planned BBQ behind closed doors. Luckily for us, I have an increasingly out of control house plant addiction and was able to create an outdoor mirage in the dining room. My husband labelled my decor as ‘needless’ and ‘a bit creepy,’ but I personally think my display oozed creativity and serenity.
... Perhaps it was a step too far when I started pretending to feed one of my cheese plants a vegan sausage sandwich.
Our spread included vegan sausages (which were alright, but did take about 45 hours to crisp up), fried onions, corn on the cob, salad, crusty bread, and salt and vinegar spirals, because when it comes to crisps, they’re hard to beat. (Salt and vinegar spirals are third in the Crisp Oscars, topped only by the blue Doritos and Discos.)
Cara Jasmine Bradley