Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Rice or Wrong; Will Teen MasterChef Clean Up in His Home Ec Exam, or Will the Experience Clean Him Up?

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Rice or Wrong; Will Teen MasterChef Clean Up in His Home Ec Exam, or Will the Experience Clean Him Up?

Article excerpt

Byline: Bruce Devereaux

"MATE," I exclaimed, frustrated at having to repeat myself for the third time in as many minutes. "Clean up as you go."

Master14 was panicking about his upcoming home economics test where he was to cook up fried rice and had asked to have a practice run at home. I agreed incorrectly thinking a stress free night of someone else cooking for the family sounded great.

"Stop yelling at me," he snapped back. "I'm anxious already."

He was anxious!?

I'd spent the past 15 minutes trying to keep my tone friendly and encouraging but it was getting increasingly difficult.

That's not how the teacher said to cut an onion. Then why did you ask me to show you? Do I cut up the trunks of the broccoli and put them in too? Yes, I mean do you even look at what I feed you as you're shovelling it into your mouth? I wanted a proper thing of corn not a can of corn, Dad. Well you should have said. I did - I told you I needed corn!

Nothing either of us was doing was right in the eyes of the other but he wouldn't let me leave the kitchen and after one particular point in the proceedings I decided I wasn't risking leaving.

Only a couple of minutes ago I'd walked past the saucepan bubbling away on the stove and asked him what had happened to all the water in with the rice.

"That doesn't look like eight cups," I told him.

"Eight cups?!" he exclaimed, racing over. "I thought you said a cup."

Half an hour later the family was enjoying Master14's dish and giving him all the congratulations he seemed to think was warranted.

He was lapping it up. But of course he wanted more.

"What would you rate it out of 10, Dad?" he wanted to know.

"Oh, a 10," I grinned through another mouthful of slightly overpowering burnt onion flavour.

I expected him to giggle and ask what I really thought of it and then we could discuss a couple of little places he could focus on during his test. …

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