Sunday, 10 March 2013

In praise of the Husband - and James Martin's steamed syrup sponge

Someone once asked me in a comment on a post on his blog if the Husband ever cooked. I think I gave some glib response along the lines of ‘only if he’s allowed to’ - but it’s true: I hog the kitchen, and I like to think that I reign supreme. The truth is that the Husband does cook. Admittedly, he’s usually only permitted to do ‘man’ cooking. He makes sausages. 

He pickles shallots – rather fiercely it must be said (apologies for the rubbish photo, but for H&S reasons, these stay in the back of the cupboard at all times – Blue had 2 of these for lunch yesterday and hiccupped until tea time.)

He is the man you want in charge of a BBQ, and has designs on a wood fired pizza oven in the back garden.

But today is Mothers’ Day, and he was well and truly in charge in the kitchen. I’d already managed to graciously accept presents in bed (an apron and a Bunny Nightlight – yes really – Pink chose it because it was 'so cute', and has already appropriated it for herself, such is life) and avoid breakfast in bed which I really hate (call me ungrateful, but there we go – a cup of tea is fine, but breakfast? No thanks). After a quick turn around a much depleted Winchester Farmers Market, under steely clouds which may or may not be promising snow at some point soon, we got home, and I left him to it.

Well, I didn’t have any major concerns, and I was proved right. When I got home from Church, he and the kids were the picture of domestic harmony, table laid, lamb resting, veg in hand. It was delicious – and he was the picture of cool calm and collected man about the kitchen, although I noticed that the port was out, and not just for the gravy...

But a roast, I hear you say – it’s not that tricky. Well may be not, but even if you remain unimpressed, let me show you the pudding. For with the assistance (virtual, of course) of James Martin, the Husband produced a steamed syrup sponge of such wondrous proportions, and plenty of custard, that I was ready to chuck in my apron and relinquish control of the kitchen for good.

In order to show my gratitude, I forced – FORCED, I tell you - myself to eat 2 helpings.

Then, in true role reversal, I did the washing up while the Husband went out with the dog (and to borrow the DVD of Madagascar 3 from some friends, which Pink had determined would be an appropriate way for us to spend the afternoon on Mothers’ Day - are you getting an idea about who REALLY rules the roost in the RJ household?)

It's really all been most enjoyable - even Madagscar 3. I have a fantastic family, and it's times like these that makes me appreciate them all the more.  And now, after all that enforced idleness, I have the left over lamb to turn into shepherd's pie - or maybe I should ask the Husband to do it...


  1. Steamed syrup sponge is a fave in our household and yours looks lush!
    I only allow Mr CC in the kitchen for washing up or tea making!

    1. :-) I haven't made steamed sponge pudding before, but on the basis of this one, I'll definitely give it a go myself. Thinking chocolate next time

  2. I'm seriously impressed! My husband doesn't cook at all - if I asked him to make lunch he'd go into meltdown. Not a clue. Good job I love cooking, and suppose it means I don't have to share my kitchen space - quite sure I wouldn't be great at that!
    The syrup sponge is a beauty - it's number one pud around here, and rather unappealingly but affectionately called stodge. It disappears in minutes. I'm thinking I need to get a bigger pudding basin!
    Sounds like you had a truly lovely day :)

  3. My husband also makes sausages, and bacon... Something he learned when we left England - funny that!

    1. :-) - mine makes bacon too - he tried air dried ham as well, but we had a nasty incident involving maggots and I think it might have put him off a bit!

  4. Ohh what a mighty fine steamed pud. Glad you had a great day. I have a cooking husband too and I am more than happy to step aside - though I do admit to being one of those really annoying people who can't help fussing a little, adding a bit of this and that. Really annoying x


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