Sunday, 26 February 2012

Kitchen Memoir. Part 1.

Our Bodrum kitchen is tantalizingly close to being finished.  Until two days ago, we didn't have a sink, so I was doing the washing up in a bowl on the back step.  As long as it's not raining, I can put up with any manner of unsophisticated kitchen scenarios, having had plenty of practice. My first paid cooking job was 32 years ago in Shropshire, cooking for Birmingham University undergraduates on their annual compulsory dig. Most of the students lived in caravans on site but all the food was cooked in the old farmhouse kitchen. Vast amounts of mud are inescapable on British archaeological sites (a good reason to bolt to the Mediterranean and exchange mud for dust), and the kitchen floor was always muddy, so I wore my wellies continuously, even when cooking. The ancient electric cooker had two or three large pans of soup, curry or stew constantly on the bubble as we turned out over 30 meals, three time a day.  I was kept busy chopping, then stirring and frying, often leaning against the cooker as I was on my feet all day. I was under the instruction of Diana, my favourite lecturer's lovely wife, who worked out the menus and bought all the supplies. Coming in after a Cash and Carry run, Diana grabbed a metal ladle and dipped it into the curry to check the taste.  Suddenly she was turned into a screaming banshee, throwing the ladle of food violently over her shoulder so it splattered on the wall behind.  I was quite new to cooking and Gordon Ramsey style kitchen rants had not yet been televised, so I was a bit put out at her adverse reaction to my recipe. It was only after she had regained the power of speech and had been helped  to her feet, that we realised that I had been cooking on a live appliance. Only my wellies had grounded me and prevented my first cookery job from being my last.

Jenny and Annette in a trench with Malcolm looking on.
My first diners. 

Information on Castle Farm

About Martin Carver who directed the excavation


  1. well smack me up side the head, until your post I'd never given a lot of thought about how the guys and gals of dirt, sifters and paint brush fame were fed. or who fed them! thank goodness there are folks, like you, who cook them up delicious meals...hold the electrocution please!

  2. OMG! Thank goodness for those wellies!

    We women are so adaptable aren't we?

  3. Wow, wellies to the rescue. Glad you had them on and lived to tell us all the tale! :)

  4. Bleedin 'ell! This prepares you for a life no less electrifying in your foster home where fuse boxes are open to the elements and nothing is earthed!

    1. Jack- After your electric blanket post, I had our fuse box completely rewired. As I don't wear my wellies in bed (yet), I wanted to make sure the fuse would trip before my bed fried.