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Lateral thinking for sweaty soup

I’ve found another use for Bake-O-Glide. Well, any reusable cooking liner really, but Bake-O-Glide has the best name and also exactly the perfect shape for this particular job.

What happened was this: I was making soup in the way I had either been taught, or had gleaned from books, or had discovered by trial and error (or a combination of all three). My soup method is to gently soften onions on a low heat, then add, in order of fibrousness, other chopped vegetables: celery, carrot, swede, parsnip – pretty much anything chunky goes into our soups because we like soups you can eat with a knife and fork, should your spoons be unaccountably absent. Once all the veg are in, I pop on the lid and wander off to do other stuff for 20 minutes to let everything soften down – no liquids at this stage and still on the lowest heat setting possible.

As I was thus employed making a hearty, flavoursome lunch, I pondered a recent disagreement I’d had with my sister-in-law about the lid thing. My head and heart say “Lid On”. Her soup softening method is similar, but Lid Off. “No, no,” I corrected, “you’re letting all the steam out!” “No, no,” she insisted, “you’re keeping the heat down. Plus, you need to stir occasionally.” “Absolutely not!” – I was getting quite fierce now – “No stirring is required!” “Absolutely is!” she retorted, “so everything cooks evenly.”

Rather than engage in lengthy soup wars with a woman who is both an excellent cook and engaging company, I let the matter drop. But a hazy recollection has been gradually creeping up on me. I’m almost positive Delia Smith or Pru Leith or a guru of that calibre has once written somewhere that as well as a lid, you should actually place a sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the veg to ensure that no moisture is lost.

This is where the Bake-O-Glide comes in. In my drawer of under-used resources, I happen to have a pre-cut Bake-O-Glide 9-inch cake liner. This snuggly fits my stockpot and I was able to seal my gently sweating veg à la Delia, or Pru, or whoever. At this point my husband walked in and said “Ah, a cartouche”.

How infuriatingly galling. Not only had my invention already been invented, it had a name which my husband knew. The maddening truth is this is not an isolated experience in our household and I suspect it’s the same story up and down the country. Husbands pretend low-level domestic skills either to make their wives feel more important, or simply to keep us busy and out of harm’s way when they want to watch football on the telly in peace. Yet all the time they know not just how to do something properly, they can also produce the technical name for it. 

I’ve since looked it up. He’s right, blast him. Cartouche is one of those clever cooking things the talented French do so well.

But I want it put on record: it was me who thought of the Bake-O-Glide.

Posted: 08-Dec-11

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