Culinary Aftermath


When you plan a new kitchen there are so many things to stress over. Apart from where to find the right kind of cabinetry, colour and style, there’s a myriad of important decisions to be made about surfaces, worktops and white goods. Then there is the most important thing of all – the layout – that golden triangle of prep, cook and wash.

Fortunately, at Chez Pagan space is at a premium and I can rustle up a roux while turning on the hot tap. My working triangle is about as isosceles as you can get. If only I was Vishnu I could stand in the centre and reach everything all at once, such is the compactness of my bijou kitchen.

Yet despite being limited to two arms and one pair of hands, I seem to be the only Pagan able work the logistics of the kitchen.
I mustn’t be harsh though, (no I really mustn’t), The Husband has become somewhat of a dab hand in the culinary department. Paella is his signature dish along with the aptly named Jerk Chicken- only kidding – and last weekend he produced a lamb tagine for ten! Yes, I am truly blessed as the menopause has left me in fear of
large-scale catering, something I used to take in my stride.

Stars I and II have also become creative in the kitchen. Star II is famed for profiteroles and his ability to gut fish and (rather
worryingly) gain enjoyment from it. His artistry in
cake making is renowned despite the practice of
eating half the mixture prior to baking.
“Didn’t rise very well Mum.”
Well, not surprised as he only had half the quantity of mixture.
Star I has taken gastronomy by storm,
cooking up all manner of exotica for
Lovely Girlfriend to dine on. Steaks
sizzle away while salads are lovingly
prepared with stones popped from avocados with a flourish.
So what’s the problem, I hear
you ask? Easy, it’s called Culinary Aftermath!
Yes, I am genuinely delighted that The Husband and Stars are mastering all things culinary, but the dark side of their new-found expertise eludes them, that of cleaning down the kitchen. Now to be fair, The Husband has improved no end and is now constantly berating the kids for the monumental mess they leave in their wake.

Stars I and II seem to have adopted the Disney approach to clean-down: the kitchen utensils, (and they do seem to use every one I possess) will levitate across the kitchen and into the dishwasher, probably accompanied by classical music much like Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Mind you, that scene didn’t turn out too well, so they probably feel their decision to “just leave it” is the right one.
As I said, there are many decisions to be made in kitchen design, so why then when I had a myriad of choices did I go for shiny? Trust me, it is not the sensible option when living with three male chefs and one Pagan Pup- not that he cooks but he shakes. But all is not lost; who is there to ensure the culinary aftermath is sorted? Why it’s dear old (very old) Cinders aka Sandra.

Yes, rest assured I’ll be there wiping various splats off the doors and mirror tiles. Whose idea was that?! Re-polishing and liberally spraying the disinfectant cleaning product, reloading the dishwasher as it didn’t clean the first time round, taking the
precariously balanced china from the cupboards and stacking it
in a way so as not to injure anyone. Then finally throwing
out all the bits and bobs left on the floor.

Voila! The Pagan cooking hub back to its gleaming
best! “Mum, is it ok if I cook for the guys on
Saturday night?”

Note to self: get the jet washer out of
the shed.
Sandra Pagan