Now, I am building my expertise as a watcher of daytime cookery shows. 'Amazing recipes!' they exclaim, before whizzing through a choreographed engagement with ingredients, clashing stainless steel implements, and immaculate kitchen surfaces that always involves several ingredients that I haven't got (and don't know how to acquire), and results in far too much food for me and my limited stomach capacity.
I watch the cooks frazzled by their efforts as they wrestle dough, whisk eggs and trim edges with panache. They obviously have squads of brow-moppers, sweat dabbers and want-a-glass-of-water-sirs: handmaidens to assist with their travails. Hey presto! Magnifique!
When I was young and poor, I used to sit and watch these shows while I ate a slice of bread and butter. The exotic recipes made the bread and butter particularly delicious, with the added bonus that I didn't have to do very much washing up at all, unlike the support squads for the TV chefs. Now, I think 'If I only had that one missing ingredient, I would make that magical hey-presto food, but since I don't, it's pasta for dinner again'. I am also still partial to bread and butter, which can be the most satisfying food in the universe when the bread is freshly baked and the butter is cold.