How to cook like Bridget Jones

Do you remember in Bridget Jones’ Diary how her attempt to impress a boy with leek and potato soup failed when the string she’d used to tie the leeks dyed the whole soup a lurid blue? This is how Bridget would make a nice rice custard.

She’d follow the directions for Jill Dupleix’ excellent version down to the letter.* Just a minute or two before it was ready she’d have to rush out to pick up her son from kindy, so she’d put a piece of plastic film over the surface so it didn’t form a nasty skin. Being somewhat of an environmentalist, she’d spurn purchased plastic film and re-use a plastic bag. Because she is an utter nong she’d reuse a bag with lovely pink writing on it.

Bridget Jones' rice custard

I have made this a hundred times and I can still stuff it up. Never mind, scrape the pink shit off and top with lots of ground cinnamon.

So what’s the most stupid thing you’ve done in the kitchen lately?

* I have the hardback Old Food, since reprinted as a softcover called “Favourite Food: New Ways with the World’s Best Recipes“. I liked the old title better myself.


16 thoughts on “How to cook like Bridget Jones

  1. Well. I happen to LIKE skin on my rice pudding. Especially when it’s all chewy and cinnamony.

    Stupid things? Nah, it’d take too long, and I KNOW you’d rather I guested a post on soup.

  2. I am still breaking the number one cooking rule which is not to walk away from the stove top or griller when there’s something time sensitive going on. Without fail I walk away, always ‘just for a second’ only to become distracted for minutes before having to lumber back through the house–not unlike a charging elephant since the floor is made of wooden boards–to rescue some poor charred-beyond-recognition morsel, hopefully before the smoke alarm goes off. Stoopid.

  3. I have been trying to think of a good one all day, but all of my (many) stupid kitchen things are of the boring nature – under/overcooking things, etc.

    Paul has done some great ones though – he added a CUP of apple cider vinegar to some muffins once (the recipe called for apple cider and he misread it). They were certainly vinegary…

  4. I tried to make persimmon cookies recently (too many persimmons) and couldn’t be bothered waiting for them to soften – the recipe calls for pulp- so I just chopped them up. I knew when i was mixing the stuff that it was too dry, but whatever, stuck them in the oven anyway. Persimmon Rock Cakes.

  5. &Duck – ew

    aof – at least it was salvageable 😉

    Kirsty – I burn things ALL THE TIME. Comes from leaving the stove to chase kids.

    Cristy – you didn’t eat them, did you?

    Laura – perhaps you had the wrong kind of persimmon? Then it could be the persimmon’s fault instead of yours. Cook’s Thesaurus has a good description but doesn’t seem to have permalinks, so click to embiggen:

  6. Skin on rice custard…probably not, unless we’re talking baked (which I guess we aren’t). Definitely not on hot chocolate, or normal custard…

  7. Most stupid recent event was deciding that the bakings in the sizzling hot pyrex dish would make a very nice sauce, and adding cold water. It occurred in September 2007 but I am still finding chunks of glass under the fridge and the stove.

  8. Heh heh – oh noes!

    When I was younger I did one of those ‘Friendship cake’ swaps where a good friend gives you batter and you build it up over 30 days then split it between friends and can make a cake.

    The handwritten recipe called for 1ts baking soda – I refused to believe mum that it meant 1 teaspoon and stubbornly added a tablespoon. I wasn’t even allowed to put it in the compost for fear the chooks would get to it, it went straight in the bin.

  9. How not to light an unfamiliar 1970s gas oven: turn on the gas, grab lighter, kneel down in front of the open door, fumble around the inside clicking the lighter repeatedly for about fifteen seconds, keep your face right in the path of the massive sheet of orange flame sure to erupt.

  10. Oh Liam. Ouch!

    Enny – I did much the same thing when I was around 7 or 8, but it was for a chocolate cake that I took to holiday program to share. I was quite embarrassed by the distinct baking soda taste, but refused to admit that I had done anything wrong.

    Zoe – No! The smell of them was bad enough.

  11. Naomi, I feel your pain — absent-mindedly adding hot things to cold things and vice versa has had some truly horrid results chez moi. Cold water to hot oil (blistering burns all over right hand when the spitting made me jump and slosh). Cream straight out of the fridge to warm already-melted chocolate (for a quick and dirty ad hocky chocky sauce) — ‘seize’ is the only adequate word here.

    There was also the unfortunate incident of distractedly adding the lemon juice to the cream while making Jane Grigson’s divine cantaloupe ice cream, which I have avoided ever since.

  12. I killed a really nice salmon linguine with a tub of artichoke hearts (oops, should have drained them) and a tin of carnation milk. It curdled, then burned my nostril hairs. I wouldn’t have been so upset except that I’d already added all the salmon.

    I’ve got a book called ‘Don’t Try This At Home’ and it features interviews with all the famous chefs, telling stories of kitchen disasters. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I just know it’s going to be therapeutic.

  13. My (annoying) ex-husband was making a bread and butter pudding one time and instead of jam, which we’d run out of, he added plum sauce. It was foul. I can’t think of any of my own culinary disasters, other than the usual burning things, or things just not turning out exactly as I’d planned…

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