Undomestic goddess

We are coming up to a part of our parenting journey (could that phrase be any more wanky?!) that I am really nervous about. Weaning. The main source of my nervousness? I can’t cook!! I am entirely useless in the kitchen.


It wasn’t always this way, I actually did quite well in Food Tech at school and used to occasionally bake a cake. I think it was the fact that I used very detailed recipes and that my mum helped me as once I was let loose alone I usually failed miserably. I managed to feed myself for three years at uni without dying or getting scurvy but there was a lot of frozen pizza, fish fingers and my personal favourite; plain pasta and cheese. Plus I had some very good friends who cooked for me.

I was reminded of my ineptitude today as my niece had made cupcakes for a family barbecue over the weekend. They were delicious and there’s a few left over sitting prettily in my kitchen. There were also tons of bread rolls left and she had suggested I make iced buns with them. Now, putting icing onto a roll can’t be hard, surely? I made the icing but unfortunately we didn’t have much icing sugar. I added too much water to it and the icing was then a bit too runny to sit properly on the bun. The result is below…

IMG_6175
On the left: beautiful cupcakes made by my niece. On the right: my sad little ‘iced bun’.

This got me thinking about other times I’ve created kitchen nightmares. Here’s a couple of domestic disasters I’ve had:

  • Putting a plastic pot from the microwave onto the electric hob. Which had just been on. This had the unhappy result of melted plastic everywhere, a stench we couldn’t get rid of and marks on the hob forever more. What’s worse is that I did this again a few weeks later although I reacted a lot quicker second time around so the damage was limited.
  • When I was at uni I put a frozen crumpet in the toaster. It got stuck. So I put a knife in to get it out. LUCKILY I did not die from an electric shock, but the electricity did short circuit. It was about 4am and I was far from sober, so I slunk into a housemate’s room sobbing about ‘breaking the house’. I was told to shut up and go to bed, and by the time I surfaced one of my more capable housemates had flicked the fuse and all was well.
  • This one isn’t exactly a cooking fail but it does involve food; I poured orange juice onto my cereal. So tragic when you’re in a rush.
  • I tried to stir fry some noodles that were meant to be boiled. Yeah, they were dry ones. To this day I don’t know why I thought that would work or how I didn’t realise.

I think there are many, many more but I can’t face dredging my memory for all the things I’ve repressed.

And now I have to try and feed my child. We are going to give baby led weaning a whirl so I’ve bought the Baby Led Weaning cookbook as well as the River Cottage one. Any tips for SERIOUSLY EASY recipes that a baby may enjoy would be much appreciated. If it involves precise timings then it’s probably a no-go zone. My husband will still do some of the cooking but I can’t really expect him to do it all, especially when he then has to go to work. I figure it’s about time I got more confident (not to mention capable) in the kitchen, especially as I love my food so much. It would be amazing to be able to make my own cakes and actually enjoy the process. I may have to keep a record of my attempts of cooking for my poor little boy on this blog as I’m fairly sure it will make amusing reading!

So there it is, my uselessness laid out for you all to see. Anybody else got cooking failures to share?!

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74 thoughts on “Undomestic goddess

  1. Hahaha oh bless you. Stir fried noodles. Okay, do not panic. To start with you only need one flavour per meal.
    Steam or maybe safer to boil carrots or broccoli or cauliflower or potato… anything then blitz and serve. If too thick… add a little of the drained boiling water. You can buy cheap baby blenders on amazon.
    For fruit/pudding… peel if needed and chop into chunks. Pop in a saucepan with 2 tbsp water and cook until mush then blitz. Apples, pears, blueberries strawberries all great. Feel free to just blitz banana or mango without cooking once ripe.
    All these can be portioned and frozen. Good luck xx
    All can b

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  2. Whoa, whoa, whoa…your baby is not even weaned yet? How are you stringing words together in your HEAD let alone online? Clearly, I’ve been focusing more on the ‘biscuit’ part of your blog than the ‘baby’ bit. I saw the photos of the caravan holiday and didn’t even click then how new your baby is. I’m impressed lady.

    And as for weaning…the first thing I gave to my daughter was (meant to be) stewed pear. I pealed it, chopped it and put it in the pan as per Annabel Karmichael’s instructions. Then went off to do something important and then heard the smoke alarms, Yep, totally dried up, burned out pan. Bit of a fail but I got myself sorted and she’s had lots of food since so it’s all good. I found the Ella’s Kitchen purple book to be really useful. Healthy and easy recipes and it goes all the way up to ‘the big table’.

    Good luck! But if you’ve mastered blogging AND newborn rearing then I’m sure you will manage the weaning just fine.

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    1. Ahaha that’s so funny!! Bless you he’s quite big for his age (nearly too big for 6-9 month clothes the little monkey) so I can see why you’d think he was older. He is just over 5 months! Oh I will check out the Ella’s kitchen one 😊 I’m hoping that as I’ve built it up in my head so much it will be much easier once we start. Thanks for reading! Ellen

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  3. Hahah! RJ loved scrambled egg and beans, Spag Bol (I’d make it for us and take some out before seasoning)
    Soldiers with butter on always a winner and surely you can cook toast….? ;D

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  4. Hahah oh dear!! I love that you broke your house! I’d like to say that none these things have ever happened to me and i waltz about my kitchen in a negligee licking home cooked wonders from wooden spoons at 10pm a la Nigella…but I’d be lying. Totally lying. Um and yes I’m with Sarah…toast, surely you can do toast…as long as you are over the toaster incident! #chucklemums

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  5. Scrambled eggs are always a winner. And toast. Lots of cheese. Actually babies will usually eat almost anything so you don’t have to be Annabel Karmel – any mixture will usually do! Enjoyed these, I have made many cooking faux pas myself but melting cooking utensils on the side of pots rendering the contents inedible is always a good one.

    Thanks for linking to #chucklemums 😀

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  6. Sorry we don’t have baby-friendly recipes in our blog yet but we’ll surely let you know once we have something. Anyway, I’m sure you won’t fail and will learn your way through the kitchen. Just keep believing on yourself! 🙂

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  7. I’ve had many accidents in the kitchen but the silliest I think is when I was roasting a squash in a glass dish and decided it needed more water in the bottom, so I poured cold water into a burning hot dish. Glass. Everywhere.
    Babies are actually really easy to please because you don’t have to worry about seasoning or anything. Avocado chunks, baked sweet potato cubes, smoothies, steamed veg, small pieces of meat….

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  8. I once grilled a cake for about 3 hours. Couldn’t work out why it was black on top and oozed out the middle when I tried to cut it… grim! We use the River Cottage cook book a lot. I love it. I’m a big fan of baby led weaning. It’s super easy. You just give them bits of your own food in chunks. The first few weeks they gag a lot and that’s TERRIFYING but once that phase is over you’re plain sailing. I wasn’t a BLW purist though, we all eat porridge for breakfast and I could not face the mess of our youngest “feeding” himself (i.e. the floor) with gloopy porridge. So he would have his bits of fruit separately while I spoon fed him some porridge. He’s 14 months now and sort of doing it himself! Good luck. It is daunting and sometimes really scary but it is one of life’s great pleasures to prepare a meal for your children that they eat (on the other side it’s mega disheartening to spend ages cooking something that gets thrown on the floor!). Don’t expect too much too soon! Also there’s some great weaning ideas on instagram. I especially like @thishackneymum and @sproutingyumminess xx

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    1. Ahaha grilling a cake is hilarious!! Just remembered another fail, think it was my friend who had an electric oven that you had to set the temp on one dial and turn it on on a different one. We’d gaily set the temp but not actually turned it on!!! Oh thank you, will check them out. Yeah I don’t have an issue with spoon feeding if we decide it’s best or if we want to do it occasionally to give him yogurt or porridge or something! Thanks for reading, Ellen X

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      1. Yeah I think the pressure on feeding a certain way & what to introduce & when etc is nuts. I made so much home cooked food from scratch for my eldest, total waste of time, he’s just a fussy eater. My youngest who got home-cooked stuff when I had time but also lots of fish fingers & cheese & pickle sandwiches (his brothers fave!) will eat anything & eats way more than his big bro. As with everything they’re all different! Xx

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  9. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, I LOVE this. I have so many cooking fails. For New Years eve last year I decied that a healthy dinner party was what I was going to go for. I was going through my deliciously ella stage and making everyone eat raw veg all of the time. I made what looked like the most amazing key lime pie so everyone dived in, what I had failed to tell them was that it was made with avocados. Cue lots of retching. #bloggerclubuk

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    1. Ahaha that’s hilarious! Although my sister made a chocolate courgette cake which was AMAZING! And I quite like raw veg, actually. I got teased a lot when I was still working at the pub as I would whip out some carrot and celery to go with our peanuts as a snack! Thanks for reading, Ellen xx

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  10. I wish I could help, but finger foods in our consist of bread sticks, cheese and maybe some kind of salad ingredient. But do not fear! O is almost four now and he eats quite well… Although not all the time… #BloggerClubUK

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  11. Don’t worry, I have had a lot of cooking fails over the years (and still regularly do). As someone eminent in their field once probably said, you have to fail to succeed. Or something like that. Anyway, I think your iced bun looks OK, and I am sure weaning will be fine. And anyway, I tried to make perfect baby led weaning delicacies for my son and he wouldn’t eat any of them. Even now, at 21 months, he lives on bananas, blueberries and bread, with the occasional enormous portion of ice cream thrown in. Basically, they do as they please. Best of luck, and let us know how it goes. I have a lot of posts in my back catalogue about weaning, none of which you will want to read unless you want to hear about how my son ate nothing for months. As I said, don’t worry! #puddinglove

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  12. Oh man, I am the WORST baker. Everything I bake is hideous. I have no idea why. It tastes ok usually, but it never looks like the picture in the cookbook.

    As.for weaning, the porridge fingers in the baby led weaning cookbook are great – 3-4tbsp of oats and 3-4tbsp of milk, pop it in the microwave, and there’s breakfast! I usually add some frozen blueberries or raisins and cinnamon too. #PuddingLove

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    1. Ahaha that’s hilarious!! My housemate at uni tried to defrost some chicken but he hadn’t put it on defrost, it was disgusting there was black gunk oozing out of it and the smell lingered for months!! Thanks for reading and for having me, Ellen X

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  13. I set fire to a cordless kettle by leaving it on the hob. Then I decided that the best thing to do was to throw it on the floor, setting fire to the lino. Husband calmly picked it up and put it under the tap and then put a wet tea towel on the burning floor. I’m not allowed a gas hob anymore.

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  14. Looks like we are at the same stage with our babies! From what i understand with BLW its its mainly finger food so no fancy cooking needed I’m planning on food like cauliflower cheese, pasta with tomato sauce (i just use passata) and a mini roast which will have chicken, carrots, broccoli and reduced salt gravy. Let me know how you get on! #puddinglove

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  15. Oh Ellen you made me cry – I am nearly as bad as you – as for the cheesy pasta – that’s a staple on our menu! You are far better than me I wouldn’t even know where to start making icing. I once made flapjacks without oats – I mean seriously how did I do that. Please please do more follow ups and i will try and learn from your adventures! X

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    1. Ahaha flapjacks without oats! Love cheesy pasta. Icing was literally icing sugar and water but I put too much water in and we’d run out of icing sugar so couldn’t thicken it back up!! I think I will keep track of my efforts, wish me luck. Thanks for reading lovely! Ellen xx

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  16. Wonderful post, just what I need as E has definitely not had any culinary delights since she started eating! Breadsticks and rice cakes are pretty high on the list in our house haha. Cheesy pasta, in fact cheesy anything works well in this house, to the point where E won’t eat it unless it’s laden with cheese. I kind of agree with her though, I have to say. #bloggerclubuk

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  17. Some great disasters! Baby led weaning is much less paff than purees. Just go for it. In the early days my little one loved to suck on a sausage! He’s also a huge fan of scrambled eggs and spag bol. Om my god, the mess! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

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  18. You’re not alone, Ellen 🙂 I’ll never get over the day my food tech teacher proudly displayed some kind of jam-filled creations I’d made to the entire class, calling them all over to gawk at how lovely they looked. And they did look lovely. Really lovely. But then she bit into one and her facial expression changed from one of pure pleasure to utter disgust. Turns out I’d used salt instead of sugar :-/ To this day I’m crap at baking! Weaning-wise, a sweet potato microwaved or oven-baked until it’s soft, with a bit of butter and cheese. It was my fallback meal for both kids. Good luck. x #Fridayfrolics

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  19. All hail the Ella’s Kitchen pouch I say! I tell ya what I couldn’t make an organic 7 veg Moroccan couscous taginevperfectky blended in the same way!! Ok I do actually feed my kids homemade food, sometimes. I learnt a very good baby friendly fish pie that makes loads for freezer and another day. Iv been debating to write a blog post about it (yawn???) but maybe it’ll be of use. Good luck lovey xx #stayclassy

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  20. I am a pretty terrible cook – I always have been. My husband thinks it’s hilarious, nothing comes out of the oven unscathed it’s either blackened or under cooked. I managed to some how undercook scampi last week and give him food poisoning… It’s a talent! The sign in our kitchen says I kiss better than I cook – and that’s a good thing or I would be single and living on beans! My little ones lived on Ella’s Pouches I could not subject those new taste buds to my uselessness. Thanks for sharing and linking with #PuddingLove

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  21. Haha wow I can relate to every thing on this list. Although I haven’t put orange juice in my cereal haha was it good?! The plastic pot in the microwave has happened to me more than I’d like to admit. : / Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

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  22. Ahah I’m glad I am not the only person who does things like that! I didn’t actually eat the cereal with OJ, it looked grim so I threw it away. Sad times! Thanks for having me again and for reading! Ellen x

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  23. I was sure I had already commented on this fabulous post but could;t find one so sorry! Hilarious lovely. I am an undomesticated goddess too. Your little cherub with still survive and I really look forward to reading about all the fun you have along the way! ⭐️

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  24. If you can’t cook then baby led weaning is for you! Forget spending hours over the stove creating something they’re not going to eat anyway just to puree the life out of it, just put things together that already exist. Like apple and rice cakes and cheese and avocado #fartglitter

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  25. So funny! I once worked with a brilliant colleague who lived with her parents and did not tend to do so much in the way of cooking. I found her in the staff room making cheese on toast. In a toaster. By laying the toaster on it’s side and posting the cheese and bread in…. #carnage.
    As for baby led weaning – I loved it! Very messy but so easy and I now have one very picky (puree weaned) child and a younger baby led weaned child that eats like a baby dinosaur. One tip that I read and loved… tinned whole carrots! Open tin and voila! Cooked, room temperature and perfect paw size! Great for a quick snack or meal when you haven’t got time to get the steamer out! Good luck.
    Thanks for linking up with #FartGlitter hun x

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    1. Oh my goodness that cheese on toast!!! Amazing. That’s interesting that you notice so much difference in their fussiness – that’s the theory I just didn’t know if it worked in practice! I’m not too worried about mess. Tinned carrots sound great! Thank you so much. Thanks for having me! Ellen x

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  26. I baby led weaned both my kids. Its much much easier than fannying about pureeing, but it is very messy so might not be for everyone. I loved it though, my youngest’s first ever meal was potato wedges and chicken strips with pieces of pepper and cucumber. thats not tricky!!! you can do it! #fridayfrolics(but on monday cos I’m useless)

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  27. I love your iced buns! That really isn’t a euthinism, I just couldn’t help but laugh at them against your nieces iced cupcakes! Don’t worry, I would say I can cook and I still struggle at 10 months with what to feed my child! The babyled weaning cookbook is my bible for most of my evening meals. try the tomato based meals, the Robot loves these and they are not too hard to throw together, and timings are pretty simple. Lunch is often the hardest, we have cheese on toast. Don’t underestimate the power of the picky plate – I cut up bits of tomato, cucumber, cheese, crackers, bits of fruit followed up a yoghurt – he eats what he wants off it. I can change it up each day. Porridge or fruit for breakfast. You will be fine, I’ll look forward to reading how you get on. I am sure you’ll be fine… K #triballove

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    1. Ahaha euphemism of iced buns – I hasn’t thought of that! I know, her cupcakes look so wonderful. Thank you, that all sounds pretty manageable, I’m hoping the BLW cookbook will be my bible too!!! May be asking you for help! Thanks for reading, Ellen xxx

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      1. Ask away, going baby led is definitely the way if you can get your head round the fact they probably won’t eat much to start with. It’s just messy play! Oh and btw, we have given him pizza, so there is hope!

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  28. I think your iced bun looks yummy! It’s not a pretentious bun trying to show off with sprinkles & colourful things but that doesn’t mean it’s not nice to eat! Do keep your knife out of the toaster, though – that’s so dangerous! lol Thanks so much for joining us at #bloggerclubuk x

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  29. I did not enjoy weaning, and don’t enjoy the general family food preparation now, for the same reason. Never liked or did much cooking. In fairness, I make okay meals and plan okay meals for us and the kids now. The main problem is just that I really hate it – I find it so boring, and I dislike having my food planned out! Oh well! Love your cooking disasters! I more avoided it than had any disasters. However, one of my friends who lived in my flat block in halls during the first year of uni really did break our house! She was a kitchen disaster (more than the rest of us). Would hide all her dirty plates in her food cupboard before the cleaner came, rather than wash them. Gave herself food poisoning multiple times. We banned her from making toast when drunk. But her best one was attempting to make pasta. Put it on to cook. A friend of hers came by and called up to her through kitchen window. She went downstairs and outside to chat to her. When the friend suggested going somewhere, my friend merrily wandered off with her, forgetting she had been cooking. The rest of us were all out. When we returned hours later, we were really confused by the entire lack of power, then by the strange smell. Then we worked out what had happened. The water had of course eventually entirely boiled away, then the pan had started to melt and burn (smell), and finally the safety features had kicked in and blown the electrics for the entire building. #fartglitter

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