Actually, in all honesty, when I got married, I couldn't boil an egg! For the first 3 months, we ate risotto just about every night. It was all Jurgis knew how to cook. Heck, we even entertained... with risotto! Our guests swore it was delicious. Uh... yes.
After 3 months of risotto, I bought a recipe book - one day I'll get it again. I miss that book. It was my intro into some truly delicious culinary delights (thanks Katey for sneaking my favourite recipes to me!) It was definitely the start of my baking (Viennese butter biscuits... deeevine! And cheese scones!).
I took to baking in a big way. Jurgis knew that, when he came home, there would always be full cake and biscuit tins. He'd walk in and shake each tin looking for something to nibble on until supper was ready.
I had begged my gran for Sophie's samp and beans recipe. That became our staple for shopping day because I could set it on a low simmer, go shopping, and come home to a delicious meal.
Shopping was usually done on a Friday evening. Jurgis would arrive home to fetch me and we'd go to the massive Hyperama. Before we left, I'd have supper in our super-duper AMC classic cookware pot, turned down really low. I had inherited my mother-in-law's virtually unused set when we got married. She'd gone back to Brazil and left her pots behind. I was not complaining. They were wonderful!
This one shopping day, we were in a rush for some reason. Shopping went well, nonetheless. When we returned home, we were just rounding the corner when Jurgis said, "Oooh! Someone's burnt their supper!" We laughed, thinking of the poor people and their burnt food. It was only as we rounded the last corner (yes, we'd smelt it miles off) that we saw the pall of smoke pouring out of our house.... the kitchen window, to be precise.
Dismayed, we rushed inside and opened all the windows and doors. The pot with its thick base had melted onto the stove plate. The food was a 1 inch layer of charcoal in the pot. The pot's handles melted. The house stank! We cleaned up as best we could. I think we had sandwiches that night. That wasn't the end of the story though.
We had no idea what to do with the expensive, ruined pot, so we hid it in the maid's toilet. All houses had maid's quarters. We used ours for storage at the time. I hid it behind the toilet and behind a mess of brooms, mops and sundry other items.
The pot was forgotten in my subsequent pregnancy and Ceinwen's birth.
Then Jurgis' dad came.
Having his daughter-in-law to wait on him and having his son working during the day left him bored. What happens to bored kids? They get up to mischief. Wouldn't you know it? He went scratching through our storage and he found The Pot. All hell broke loose. His worse suspicions were confirmed. I was the worst possible wife and housewife and he had the evidence! Ha!
Poor Jurgis was trapped between us. The old man stuck around for over two months. I eventually declared that either he moved out or I would move out. My gran arrived when Ceinwen was just under a month old and bullied him into something bordering submission or at least a grudging sulk. She busied herself making baby clothes, cleaning house and cooking.... the good housewife I most definitely wasn't.
Those first months of Ceinwen's life weren't memories of babyhood, but of The Pot. Months later, we eventually got it cleaned up. AMC is great with that. They renewed the base, replaced the handles and polished the entire pot. It went on to serve many more years. I went on to bake commercially with that set and to serve 3 course dinners to guests. I'm a good cook, really.... sometimes... when I'm not serving up burnt offerings ; )