We had a Cookery teacher who was beyond being a mere bitch, she was in fact a card carrying harpy harridan of the first water. She did not like my older sister and she positively could not abide me. However, whereas my sister had been an innocent
victim of the shrew's impotent wrath, I was a more than willing target. You see I had decided that I would avenge my sister by making this teacher's life a total misery at every possible opportunity. This was to prove easier than I thought as not only was she psychologically unfit to be anywhere near children but she was also apparently unable to cook anything other than rock buns(yeuk) and boiled eggs covered in cheese sauce(double yeuk).
Little did she know as she went about her culinary classwork that she was being studied like a bug in a jug by a mind immeasurably more fiendish than hers.The mind of a fourteen year old master criminal. Silently I sat at the back of her class and drew my plans which looked quite like a monkey and a giraffe and were confiscated half way through the lesson by a harpy harridan yelling about protein coagulation in eggs or some such nonsense. I knew not why her eggs had coagulated, she was old and had no suitors, but I had learned that she did not like using broken chalk and she had an obsessive compulsive need to wipe down the counter even if nothing had been near it in the last six hours. From that day on there was always an ample supply of broken chalk and the dishcloth mysteriously became smaller and smaller.
I noticed that she referred to everyone's hair as 'fungus' and was very fond of saying, "....and get a hat on that fungus!"
Enter one giant stuffed mushroom (made in sewing class not cooked silly!) sitting at the front of the class wearing a chef's hat.
"Please Miss, I've put a hat on my fungus, can he stay now ?"
I did not learn how to prepare rock bun recipe 189. I was sent to the headmaster, a wise man who sent me to art class as a punishment for upsetting the harpy harridan.
Lesson 4: Health and Safety in the Kitchen.
Rule 1 Stay away from the ovens.
Rule 2 Stay away from the ovens.
Rule 3 Do not even think about going near the ovens.
" But Miss, the ovens are not even turned on. "
" They can still hurt you! "
" Why Miss, do they bite ? "
Just before I was sent to the headmaster I was able to witness a tour of inspection of everyone's cooking. Heaven help anyone whose rock buns were not cooked properly.
I had formed a very very cunning plan. I obtained a dummy from the drama department, dressed it in school uniform and pinned a notice on the skirt "No more bloody rock buns!" I then placed the dummy head first in the oven.
Enter one harpy harridan (who I should mention was a little shortsighted)
"OMG! Get that girl out of the oven!!"
"But Miss, she's not done yet!"
Yes, you've guessed it.... headmaster, who had a strange attack of coughing as he sent me to the chemistry lab as punishment. Truly a wise man.
To keep me out of mischief I was promoted to store cupboard assistant. I had to stand behind the sacred counter of many cleanings with the harpy harridan and pass ingredients to her as required. A blatant attempt to have me do her bidding thus ruining my reb cred.
Did you know that a good way to test the strength of super strong hairspray is to gently wave a sieve full of flour over the wearers head? The strength of the hairspray is such that the wearer remains oblivious to the fact that she is starting to look like recipe 478, sugar dusted rock buns.
I was enjoying being store cupboard assistant. I was doing the actions and lip sync and everything. It was not my fault that Melanie Miller literally peed herself laughing!
" RIGHT, IF YOU THINK IT IS SO EASY TO TEACH THIS CLASS, YOU CAN DEMONSTRATE A NEW RECIPE, AN ORIGINAL RECIPE MIND YOU (not exactly difficult) NEXT WEEK AND IT HAD BETTER BE GOOD AND GET A HAT ON THAT FUNGUS !!!"
Big mistake, huge! as a Prettywoman once remarked.
I obtained one rubber chicken and half a dozen plasticine balls. I made a giant chef's hat with a huge wobbly bit on top. I studied the Muppets Swedish Chef.
Recipe: (Plasticine) Swedish Durmplinks Sturffed Rubber Chickern
Imagine the actions now folks!
Urdy durmplinks flurdy chickern urdy flurdy chickern botterm.Botterm durmplinks, durmplinks botterm. Flurdy urdy chickern botterm stuffernd durmplinks inder ohvern
halfernour, gasernd severn.
I never went to Cookery class again after that. The headmaster did not think it would be a good idea for harpy harridan and I to be together in a room with so many sharp knives, what with her having recently returned from her sudden holiday and all....
Ps. Eventually the harpy harridan's face lost some of the deep purple colour with which the bursting of so many blood vessels at once had suffused it.
The rubber chicken and the dumplings developed a meaningful relationship and were later married in a civil service.
Melanie Miller has never trusted her bladder since those days and still wears rubber knickers just in case.