Monday, October 17, 2011

What I cooked for Tom Kime

We are lucky to have a visit from Tom Kime this week.  Tom is an internationally renowned chef and cook book author.  He’s passionate about sustainable seafood and loves Asian street food.  He’s doing four days of cooking master classes and demonstrations at Pinetrees.  The smells from the boatshed, where we’ve set up the demonstrations, have been incredible.  

Luke called at about 7:00pm to say that he’d invited Tom for dinner at our house.  I was totally unprepared.  The house was in complete chaos.  Little Pixie has started to roll around, which makes nappy changing a challenge and there was nappy changing stuff and pooey baby clothes everywhere.  Elsie had refused to eat her dinner and thrown most of it on the floor with a cup of water.  She was about to get into the bath.  There were toys on every surface – on the rug, on the couch, on the floor and all over the dining table.  Before her bath, Elsie had dragged out every sheet and blanket with the intention of building a cubby house.  There was damp washing on a clothes horse.  The sink was full of dirty dishes and the dishwasher was full of clean ones.  The bathroom was full of dirty clothes.  The bed wasn’t made (no excuse).  

Worst of all, there was no food in the house.  There was a box of eggs in the fridge, but I wasn’t really sure how old they were.  I wish I was the sort of person who could put together an appetising meal made of nothing but stale crackers, peanut butter and dried pasta, but unfortunately I just don’t have the knack.  In fact, the adjective that would best describe my style of cooking is “survival”.  Think Bridget Jones, not Julie & Julia.  

The only reason I’m still talking to Luke is that he appeared with a basket containing 3 steaks and immediately took Tom out to light the wood barbeque.  I put some potatoes in the oven and scrounged a rocket salad out of the garden - and opened a bottle of good red wine. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A visit from the Cooks

The Cook family are staying at Pinetrees this week.  It’s a long family tradition.  The little kids, Edward, Alexander, Toby, Joel and Lizzie, are 4th generation Pinetrees guests.  Their parents came to Pinetrees as kids and their grandfather, the late John Cook, used to come with his parents for holidays in the 1950s.  John was an adventurous soul and I remember seeing his old leather photo album with photos of him fishing and climbing Mt Lidgbird and goat hunting with his friends on the island.   

John Cook was the central character in one of my mum's favourite stories.  Pixie loved to tell the story of how she and her sister Kerry once decided to short-sheet all of the beds in the guest house.  I suppose they were about 9 and 10 at the time.  It took them most of the morning, because they were laughing so hard and they had to sneak around and hide from the guests.  Unfortunately, they were discovered by John, who was a few years older than they were.  He promptly reported them to their father and Pixie and Kerry were forced to re-make all of the beds.  They vowed to get revenge and every time John came to the island after that he found a different surprise in his bed – dead muttonbirds, smelly seaweed, little white ghost crabs, buckets of sand…