My Brother… Cooking

My brother takes the flour out. Bits of flour dust sail behind the paper bag as he brings it the counter.

He shakes the saucepan on the hob. It’s filled with caramelised onions. Sliced peppers. Sliced beef. He throws in some stock. It splashes over the edge and creates a symphony in the pot. Swirling, whirling. Drops of sauce on the sleek and shiny stainless steel cooker. A bit of half cooked meat on the counter, where it has lain there after flying out the pot during some aggressive stirring.

He slaps the dough on the counter. Kneads away. Somehow a glob of dough lands on the edge of the sink behind him. On the cupboard handle. On the edge of his shoe.

Wraps the dough in clingfilm. Pushes it into the fridge. The egg tray falls out, and the only egg in it cracks on the floor.

‘ugh’

Old rag, smearing egg yolk on the floor. Kick the mop over. Pour a glass of water over the egg. Mop it up. Leave the mop leaning against the door.

‘You done with the mop?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Ok…’

I know that’ll stay there for a few days. Until some unwitting person wants to mop and will smell the unholy stench of raw egg rotting.

The dough is ready. He slams it on the counter. Takes the rolling pin out.

Rolls. Expertly.

Sheet of dough. In the greased baking dish. Blind baked, fork holes peeping up at the searing heat of the oven curling the air over it.

Pours the filling into the pie shell. Drapes the other dough sheet over the top. Fork pricks.

Milk wash…. he had broken the last egg, remember?

I sit on the sofa in the next room with a good view into the kitchen. The beef pie is in the oven. It smells incredible. He can’t see me. He sees flour all over his hoodie. So he shakes the edge of it, and a cloud of flour dust flies into the air. He claps his hands on his trousers. Rolls down his sleeves.

‘Food’s nearly ready,’ he tells us, gruffly, as he heads upstairs.

‘Thank you darling,’ my mother tells him. She coos at my baby, who is sitting happily on her lap.

And I think, that boy hasn’t changed a single bit since he was a chubby little boy messing up the kitchen in a well-meaning attempt to scramble eggs.

Is it annoying? Yes, so much so. Does his food taste good? Delicious. Do I clean up after him? Yup. Does he think he has cleaned up after himself? Yes. Does my telling him he hasn’t done it well enough work? Nope. Hasn’t worked for over twenty years. What makes you think it will work now?

Also. I am at my mum’s house. Somebody else is holding my baby and somebody else is cooking dinner. Am I about to regurgitate an old sibling fight about messy cooking?

Hell to the no!

Adobe stock image – as you can tell.

Sisters

‘I really like your watch Len can you give it to me?’

‘Um, no, it’s mine.’

‘You’re so selfish! I hate you.’

 

‘Ellie, honestly, you can borrow it sometimes maybe, but you can’t have it.’

‘Borrow it?! Huh. Like you’re ever here for me to borrow it.’

It’s true, I’m not, mostly because I always have to study/work, so I don’t see my real family much, even though they live like five minutes away. Is that horrible? I don’t know. I feel guilty now.

‘Ok’

‘You never let me borrow anything.’

‘Huh?! That’s not true, you wear all my clothes and ruin them with stains. Don’t even go there.’

‘You’re wearing my shoes right now, so you should give me your watch.’

‘YOU’RE WEARING MY SHOES TOO!!?!?!?’

-pause-

‘AND my jeans, Ellie, and that long T-shirt? Mine.’

‘So? I still want your watch.’

Actual real conversation I had with my sister this weekend.

 

Two Packets of Crisps

“Len, why did you have two packets of crisps?” my sister marched into the room. I could hear the kettle boiling gently in the kitchen when she opened the door.

“What? How did you know?” that was me, shocked. How did she know?

“You didn’t even say sorry!” she turned and walked out, determined and cross.

“Why should I say sorry. I’m not sorry.” I was still bemused about how she knew I’d eaten two.

“You should, you’re fat.” she called from the kitchen, the clink of a teaspoon hitting the ceramic of a mug a rattling tune to accompany her voice.

“That’s not true!” I cried, indignant. Secretly, though, I could feel the extra pooch around my middle settle comfortably, and place its hands on its tummy. It wasn’t going to budge for a very long time, and only after much sweating, effort, and wheedling. The backs of my arms jiggled a little as I quickly typed the conclusion to my essay. Gulp. I am fat. I ate two.

In less than two minutes.

I got up to put the heater on.

“Well it is,” my sister, ever the obstinate, stubborn creature, took her tea up the stairs. Her long, cricket legs bending sharply beneath her.

She glanced back at me, an evil glint in her eye.

Do you ever feel guilty after involuntarily shoving down two packets of crisps? Don’t you think some junk is sometimes warranted, especially under duress?

Or are you like my slender, tall sister, who, no matter how many she eats, always maintains her sculpted, streamlined body?

crisp_packet_by_1mad_moo_cow1.jpg

By 1mad-moo-cow1 on Deviant Art (obtained from Google Images)