Fuckin’ Perfect

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The lid is barely off my Tupperware (not a euphemism).  He looks over.CC Image courtesy of renielet on Flickr

‘Are those Ottolenghi’s courgette fritters?’

I try not to look surprised.  ‘Err…’

I made them on the weekend for Sunday lunch.  It’s a bit of a ritual we have, Beatrice and I.  She listens to me whine on about how Man of The Moment and I belong together; I feed her Ottolenghi’s Green Pancakes.  But it’s not Beatrice asking the question.

‘… yes,’ I say, ‘well, they’re Ottolenghi, but they’re err spinach.  There are some good courgette ones I’ve made – but they’re not his.  He probably does do courgette ones though.’

‘Yes, I’m sure there are a few variations floating around.’

‘Yes.  They’re good…’

Tristan nods.  ‘I’ve made them.’

‘Oh – right.’

So much for impressing the guy.  I’m obviously going to have to try harder: visions of spun sugar and choux buns fill my head.

CC Image courtesy of Istellainad on Flickr

Back at my desk, I tell Colleague.  She laughs, or rather, we laugh.

‘He’s not a normal guy,’ I say, keeping my voice low.  ‘As in, it’s not normal.  I mean, is there anything the guy doesn’t know?!  Is there anything he can’t do?!’

She smiles.  ‘It’s quite sweet though.’


‘Tristan thought it was probably OK–.’

My manager stops me there.  ‘If Tristan says it’s OK….’ She looks over at him. ‘You see, Tristan’s very careful.’

You’re telling me?!  The guy’s fucking perfect!  The other day I was reading one of those silly articles, ‘7 Habits of Very Happy People’, followed by ‘7 Things Very Giving People Do’.  At the bottom of which I saw a link to – you guessed it – ‘7 Things Very Likeable People Do’, and below that, ‘7 Things Very Successful People Do’.  I don’t bother with either of these.  I know what the answer is: be more like Tristan.  Very occasionally his tongue is too sharp for his own good and I fancy he gives offence, but mostly I just fancy him.

‘Yes,’ I say, following her gaze.

‘So,’ she turns back to me, ‘if he says it’s OK, I’m happy with that.’

I nod.  ‘Yup.’

CC Image courtesy of whitneyinchicago on Flickr

The Food of Love

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Someone once told me that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  Whether or not you are looking at things from a literal perspective, this is wrong.  How do I know?  Three hours of sweating over a hot stove to prepare spinach fritters for the man of my dreams is how I know.  If a guy likes you, lumpy mash won’t deter him.  In fact it might help speed things along; you’ll skip supper and jump straight into the sack.  But if he’s not interested, it doesn’t matter what lengths you go to in the kitchen, nothing will ever happen in the bedroom.  Don’t get me wrong, he loved the fritters, went crazy for them.  But sadly I am not a fritter.

CC Image courtesy of SteveR- on Flickr

The high level of concentration involved in cooking for a romantic prospect can be your undoing.  Often my mind has drifted to thoughts of the flapjack recipient mid-recipe, leaving me wondering whether that was the third or fourth tablespoon of golden syrup that just went into the mixture.  At such moments Lumpy Mash Mentality (see above) saves the day: so blown away will the recipient be by the gesture, that one can get away with a slightly inferior product.

But if, like me, you’re a perfectionist, start again, and give the flawed batch to a flatmate or colleague, or eat it yourself (drag).  (Just promise me one thing: you won’t give it to the bin.)

Please note: it is a bad idea to bestow edible gifts on a man in the very early stages of dating, because a) he may come to expect food parcels on a regular basis, and b) (and this should probably have come first) he will think you bloody weird.  Decide what precedent you want to set, and cook accordingly.  And be prepared for him to run for the hills if you do turn up to the second date, hamper in hand.  A relationship can accommodate only so many basket-cases.

CC Image courtesy of twopolishedpennies on Flickr

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Fuckin’ Perfect