Which knotty question is traditionally answered with the pithy response of: ” Who called the cunt a cook?”. The first time that I encountered that profane but apposite riddle was whilst making a television commercial for Nescafe in Athens in 1971APC (Ante Political Correctness) when smoking was de rigueur and obscenities were the jewels that studded a well formed sentence. It was uttered in priestly tones by the lighting camera man, the response being taken up like Gregorian chant by the rest of the film crew sitting around the table in a mistakenly chosen restaurant in Athens. At that time I found it a very clear criticism of the plates of dreadfulness that had been placed before us and I still find it so in similar situations. Yesterday was such an occasion. I have opened this post with a gentle image of a sculptural, but unusual for our house, bunch of gladioli which our neighbour passed over the wall as a present for Jenny yesterday evening. Gladioli are forever Dame Edna Everage in my mind, but this morning they looked wonderful and not at all reminiscent of Moonee Ponds. But I digress. Back to the nub of the matter which is an encounter of the bad kind with Martha Stewart. Martha and I don’t go back a long way and I think that it’s going to stay that way. I first met her yesterday in the guise of her recipe for Nectarine Upside Down cake. Aside from deciphering the colonial measures of sticks and stones and cups and spoons, the recipe itself had all the twists and turns of Chinese political reform or implementing Obamacare. This might be a harsh judgement, but harshness is my middle name when I look upon the mistake that is this cake. I’m in the mood for blaming my tools which is a sure sign of having crap tools. In the words of Steve Martin before he stopped being funny : “Curse these cake tins….I curse thee cake tin”. The essence of the recipe is a crisp butter and sugar coating on top of the pieces of nectarine that will be on top of the cake later on but are at the bottom of the cake while it is cooking which meant that all the molten butter and sugar leaked out of my accursedly ill fitting cake tin resulting in there being no crisp candy coating on the cake but a perfect glassy layer of superheated sugar on the oven tray thus fucking it up for ever. Even if she had paid her taxes I feel she deserved some time in the pen for thinking of such a cu..silly idea.