The The Great British Bake Off And Junior MasterChef In My Kitchen!

Never chop your vegetables beforehand.

Never chop your vegetables beforehand.

C – I was so pleased for Phoebe when she came home from her Domestic Science – sorry Food Technology Class, (showing my age again), she was announcing joyfully that she had been chosen to represent her school in a cookery competition. Ok, this is similar to Junior MasterChef. Little did I know it was going to cost me a lot of time and money? First we had the rehearsal, all ingredients had to be purchased for the practice. Then we had the practice, day after day dashing to large supermarket chain for this ingredient or that ingredient; only the best quality you understand would do. The kitchen has been stacked sky high for days with dishes and bowls. It has become clear to me that TV shows such, as The Great British Bake Off, and MasterChef must have an army of pot washers hiding behind the scenes to deal with the aftermath of their culinary roadshow. In this house there is only one pot washer – ME.

The day before the event, we needed yet another trip to the supermarket. The whole evening was then spent, chopping, weighing, hyperventilating and stressing, with notes scattered liberally around the kitchen to remind us not to forget food in the fridge tomorrow and not to forget extra this and extra that. Phoebe was unable to face the rigors of the school bus the morning of the competition, as she was loaded to the gunnels with ingredients and utensils. Super Mum to the rescue, I swung into action once again, by rearranging my day to drive her to school, dropping her at the gate and calling out with a positive smile “good luck, don’t panic, love you”. My spirits were high and I felt sure, as I drove away from school, that I had done everything possible to deposit her there, in the best possible state to bake. I felt happy that I could continue my day, safe in the knowledge that she had everything she needed (breath, relax), and that I would not be receiving that emergency phone call to say, “disaster had struck” and that she was lacking some vital ingredient.

No such luck. Phoebe had arrived at the Food Tech Classroom laden like a pack horse, only to be told that she should not have chopped her vegetables for her soup, as the Judges like to see them chop the ingredients themselves. What is their problem, why do they feel the need to do this to me? The phone rang and the news was delivered; “I need you to purchase all the vegetables again and deliver them to the school reception before midday or I can’t take part and my life will be over”.

Off I trot like a good mother, source the ingredients and deliver them to the school reception. I skidded into the reception area, looking like something the cat has dragged in, elbowing my way past that woman in her Shearling Coat (what was she doing there?). Approaching the receptionist I gave the name of my child, her class and the reason for my visit. I concluded by joking that I was the Supermarket delivery lady, to which I received a very curt remark. Clearly she was not appointed as school receptionist for her sense of humour. It’s a thankless task this parenting lark 🙂


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