I do not understand how being able to cook will help me find a job. ("Do you know much about qualitative analysis, Ms White?" "Ummm... hey, let me show you this souffle I whipped up earlier!" "Brilliant. Welcome aboard.")
Anise says that successful cooking means being able to multitask, remain calm under pressure, think on your feet, and stay focused. I said that, technically, successful cooking means you can actually eat the end product. Anise said I was missing the point.
Me: "You know cleavage is more of an advantage in a job interview than knowing how to make a risotto, right?"
Anise: "When you can actually make a risotto, we'll have this conversation again."
So she showed me the easiest recipe she knew: penne alla vodka. And then she poured out exactly the amount of alcohol the recipe needed (arrrrgh! Jesus. No-one told me I had to do this sober.), and then took the bottle into the lounge room.
Challenge Report: Things I Have Learnt About Cooking
* Read the whole recipe before starting to cook, or, more specifically, before you turn the gas on.
* Onion, once burnt, stays burnt. And tastes burnt.
* Use a sieve or something when draining pasta.
* Stirring is useful. Vaguely shaking the pan is not.
* Cream and butter make most things better.
* Except burnt onion.
Was it edible? Well, Anise ate it. Granted, she really needed some starch because she'd worked her way through about half the bottle just listening to me use her knife and saucepan. (Don't tell her I dropped the knife about nine times, pointy bit down.)
The good news: stuff was cooked. Stuff was eaten. Challenge One = dusted. Take that, Mum and Dad!
The bad news: on to Challenge Two. I think it involves fitness. I'm going to die.