Who called the cook a cunt?

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.



About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, Baking, cake, Cooking, desserts, Digital photography, Emotion, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Fruit, Humour, Martha Stewart, nectarines, Photography, photography course, Sugar, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Who called the cook a cunt?

  1. Chuckle my way through my morning coffee with this post! Is there anything worse than lousy, sloppy recipes? but somehow aren’t we all guilty at times….

  2. ugomuin says:

    I read your articles with the same expectation of Raymond Chandler’s Marlow thriller. The combination of the first party narrative, supplemented with photographs that brings to story line to life, it is a real pleasure, a feast of the mind and the eye. After all, you were the one that relighted the kindle of looking at life through photographs.
    After reading the narrative I try to deconstruct your photographs: composition, exposure, depth of field. Always thinking how did he do that, and every now and again cracking the – who done it, Marlow might say – “keep going kid it’s all in the eye”.
    Deconstructing the photograph of the Gladioli, the back ground light and play on depth of field was lovely to see, sharing this with Ros, she say’s hi, and asked me to read out the article. “Are you certain you are reading it correctly Ugo”, was the retort to the tile. Ros, being kind as ever, and never wanting to upset, “ perhaps you should find your reading glasses”? It was a lovely moment, and a great start to the day.
    When I saw the title of the article, the little Phillip Marlow in me thought, what sort of rabbit will Roger pull out of the photographic bag today?

    • How excellent to hear from you and Ros and thanks so much for the glowing crit. I get great pleasure from taking pictures of things I love and writing to release the bile and uncover the joy. It’s a lovely morning and all the better for hearing from you two 🙂

  3. EllaDee says:

    Lovely gladdies, which remind me of my Nanna who pre-dates Dame Edna and has no other commonalities with her whatsoever.
    Excellent post title and elaborating anecdote, one which I could easily relate to my G.O. is forthright in his opinions and colourful in language, and indeed he is has heard that riddle and is laughing, with you of course, while I recount your experiences.
    Which leaves me only to wonder did you have company to whom you could impart this new creativity in language as the G.O. often does, in the form of our 75 year old neighbour, when embarking on his own projects, and said neighbour learns a whole new way of using common swear words 🙂

    • My French neighbours are busy teaching me how to be profane in French. It’s interesting to note that the French eschew the use of body parts as profanity preferring to mention what they and a donkey would do to your mother in law, if they liked you, or someone nearer and dearer if they didn’t 🙂

  4. I don’t care how it turned out, that is a fucking brilliant read. Nice work my friend. Smiley face

  5. Oh Roger – you never fail to shock, amuse and entertain…brilliant! Reading comments above it’s interesting that in Spain too the “c” word is pretty much as common as “Bloody hell” in English but the really profane usually refers to the trade of your mother 😉 (Not yours specifically of course!)

  6. Mad Dog says:

    ROFL – you neglected to mention the technical name for a shot with two people in a kitchen…
    I try to stick to Clarissa, who was made of sterner stuff than Martha – I believe she used to terrify the crew 🙂

  7. Eha says:

    Thanks to Higher Powers I barely know what ‘allergy’ means except when I encounter gladioli which I despise . . . . and I do think it is the fault of Dame Edna and/or her connection with one Les Patterson, whose huge portrait has just become the Unpackers’ favourite at our forthcoming annual Archibald Prize . . . . that blessedly never wins! Meanwhile I do hope you have overcome that unfortunate meeting with Martha Stewart . . . methinks I would stick with Clarissa also 😀 !!

    • I think it was Gough Whitlam who said that Barry Humphries was singlehandedly undermining the reputation of Australia..I spent a day with Dame Edna photographing her for a London magazine. One of the maddest days I’ve spent. At one point we photographed her outside the then new mosque in Regents Park…can you imagine doing that now. We ended up at the Dorchester where she called the manager up to the room and demanded that he kneel with her next to the lavatory bowl to explain away the apparent skid marks and to ask if he would have tried harder if it was Elizabeth Taylor kneeling next to him…..insane:)

      • Eha says:

        Roger: not surprised!! My only ‘personal contact’ with the ‘person’ was at the Regent Hotel in Fiji during my second honeymoon [bit of a stupid statement after co-habitation of a year or more!] when he was ‘resident’ with wife/lady of the moment and managed to make himself very well known indeed [in a most negative way] throughout the premises!! Oh, he IS a bright Melbourne boy who made good!!! Which takes me rather far afield from an upside-down cake which to my mind is an upside-down Down Under invention anyways 😀 !!

      • You’re right…I think he worked a bit too hard at being noticed.

  8. I sometimes wonder what kind of cooking lands on Martha’s table. She seems to be way too anal about what she does to have any of it really good. Though I do a fabulous white hot chocolate milk that came from a friend who claims to have gotten it from one of her books. So who knows.

  9. Amanda says:

    Wow. Awesome post.

  10. your post for my breakfast, had great laughters.

  11. suej says:

    Well, you certainly never fail to amuse, Roger…

  12. Martha’s recipes are ridiculous. The only one worth doing is her macaroni and cheese…….her mother’s recipe, really.

  13. Your posts are so entertaining. I have never used one of Martha’s recipes and don’t think I ever will after reading this. I did however make the mistake of watching one of her sewing videos on YouTube the other day but quickly pressed the ‘fuck off’ button. I am bad enough with a sewing machine without her making it worse. Emma.

  14. Flora says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂 you write brilliantly Roger!

  15. Nita says:

    Reading this gave me quite a giggle-I always enjoy your posts!

  16. I feel your pain. Nothing like the stench of burnt sugar to make you hate Martha. Ha ha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.