It wasn’t long ago that it all became very clear to me why builders make excellent cooks. They are, after all, very precise in their work lives, they can’t afford to get the measurements of a plank wrong, can they ! Their meticulous approach to following instructions easily translates in the kitchen to be the makings of good cooks.
My brother Chris, a builder, can whiz up a plum crumble at the drop of a hint. He can also rusle up a banana cake, Bill Grainger’s, in fact. And where did he learn to do this ? Well he heard BG talking about the cake on the radio so he decided to bake them, two in fact. All whilst we were getting the lunch ready. Interestingly he tells me that blokes (aka Aussie men) on a building site these days are happy to tell you not only what they cooked the day before for dinner but exactly how the made the spaghetti vongole. Not a work place conversation ever heard several decades ago.
My hypothesis was confirmed conclusively at a recent Men in the Kitchen class. The star of the class was a builder. His bread dough had the perfect texture, starkly obvious right from the moment he had finished kneading it and his rhubarb tart looked good enough for a pastry shop window. The rhubarb was cut to within a millimetre of precision and the pastry looked so so neat. It tasted as fantastic as it looked too.
More men are cooking these days. It’s no longer just a female activity. But builders are among the best at it.