The Best Meal I Ever Cooked

5 Sep
Full course dinner

Image via Wikipedia

‘Best’ is a relative term, of course: I’ve told you before that the Hub says things like ‘If I can’t smell burning, we’re having salad.’  You may think he’s cruel but he and I both know the truth.  If he can’t smell burning then we are having salad.

I could tell you about my many mediocre meals and cooking cock-ups, but you’ve heard it all before.  Instead, I will tell you about the best compliment I ever received about my food.

My sister-in-law and her husband were over here in the UK from South Africa.  The exchange rate that way to this is horrendous and they had to be careful with their money.  They weren’t thrilled then, when, on a grand tour of the relatives, every family they visited insisted on going out for a meal and letting them pay for their own.

By the time they got to us, they had as little money as we do.  I crossed my fingers and cooked up a feast fit for an average day at t’mill.  I can’t remember what was in it but I can guarantee meat, potatoes and three veg, minimum (potatoes don’t count as veg any more, according to the government, who don’t include it in the recommended five-a-day).

My brother-in-law ate his portion.  And seconds; and thirds.  Then he sat back in his chair and said, ‘That’s the best meal I’ve had in England.’

Six years on, I’m still glowing.  Rather like the Geiger counter in my kitchen.


For Viewfromtheside’s prompt.

29 Responses to “The Best Meal I Ever Cooked”

  1. vivinfrance September 5, 2011 at 11:33 #

    When you come here, I wouldn’t dream of letting you – or any other guest – pay. Congratulations on your feast.


  2. wQueens7 September 5, 2011 at 11:52 #

    I’ve gotta cook tabouleh for a holiday pot luck today, wish me luck. And thanks for reading my poems.


    • Tilly Bud September 6, 2011 at 20:57 #

      My pleasure.

      I don’t even know what that is but I wish you luck with it 🙂


  3. sarsm September 5, 2011 at 12:20 #

    Travelling costs so much money – and not necessarily because of the flights.

    The last two times I came over, I stayed with various friends and they were truly generous but I still spent a lot of money.

    Previously, I stayed with my parents. My mother hates cooking, resulting in me doing most of the cooking. Which meant also buying ingredients for her kitchen as she had well, none!! Then there would be take-aways and restaurants too. Often, we’ve felt the need to take them out for dinner because we felt obliged at them letting us stay. At times my step-dad has paid. But I also distinctly remember my mother complaining that she couldn’t afford a chippy for everyone. I hadn’t actually expected her to pay for us, even though I knew she could easily afford it, but I felt so uncomfortable then that we paid for everyone instead.
    It really adds to the whole stress of the situation when money feels tight on your visit. But for me anyway, I don’t like to put someone out or be unappreciative of a place to stay.

    My husband hasn’t been with us to Britain for a couple of years. He says it’s just not affordable. Presents, meals, car hire/taxi’s. Plus the flights. Although it’s really nice to see people, it’s really stressful trying to make time for everyone. And very tiring.

    I have really felt the difference between staying with someone who really appreciates the effort you’ve made to come and see them. I’ve been with friends and just had something as simple as a bacon sarnie and loved it.

    Tilly I bet your meal tasted all the better because of all the thought and care you put into it.


  4. gigihawaii September 5, 2011 at 12:32 #

    It was stressful for me and hubby to host friends from Canada in 1998. I was between jobs and David wasn’t making enough. Plus we had 2 kids to support. We spent a fortune on our friends, paying for restaurant meals and admission fees to the sights. But, my friends paid for all of us at a couple of restaurants, so all was well. The following year, they sent their son and we had to go thru the same thing again.

    As for us, hubby and I prefer to stay in a hotel when we travel.


  5. misswhiplash September 5, 2011 at 12:58 #

    You are so funny TillyB, but your posts are hilarious and wonderful.Just like you!


  6. nrhatch September 5, 2011 at 16:48 #

    I bet the good company had LOTS to do with the compliment. 😀


  7. slpmartin September 5, 2011 at 17:27 #

    When I visited England…i too was surprised by the cost of eating out…I began to look for those place univesity students frequented…that helped. 🙂


  8. sufilight September 5, 2011 at 18:23 #

    I met my significant other’s middle brother this year with his girlfriend who traveled and visited us for a few days. Now, I can cook, but only for two or three very loving friends or family who will overlook any cooking mistakes, but… the casserole I made was so good, the girlfriend asked for the recipe. Whoo hoo. I am still glowing after 6 months. 🙂


  9. SidevieW September 5, 2011 at 18:56 #

    The number of helpings someone can’t resist is often a good indicator!


  10. ElizOF September 5, 2011 at 19:21 #

    Now that was a truly lovely gesture and the food was delicious too. 🙂
    I find that eating out on vacations is pricey and when possible, I look for where the locals eat or pay for food-stand dishes. When you factor in the awful exchange rate, everything is double/triple… I think it helps to remind others of the constraints; it’s the fair thing to do so people aren’t feeling put of pocket and overstretched. 🙂 TY Tilly 🙂


  11. earlybird September 5, 2011 at 20:01 #

    So you CAN cook! 🙂


    • Pseu September 5, 2011 at 21:14 #

      Exactly, earlybird.
      All this ‘can’t cook’ lark is just a ploy to gain our sympathies. Well it just don’t wash.

      “Smoke me a haddock. I’ll be back in the morning” 🙂


  12. bluebee September 5, 2011 at 22:01 #

    It’s all relative 😉


  13. kateshrewsday September 5, 2011 at 22:21 #

    That’s what I call hospitality 😀


  14. Yulia September 6, 2011 at 04:52 #

    Looks like you are good in cooking, should I look for you when I visit England one day 🙂



    • Tilly Bud September 6, 2011 at 21:10 #

      You should; but don’t be fooled: my cooking is adequate at best 🙂


  15. geri-Mom September 7, 2011 at 05:54 #

    This post made me laugh out loud. I related on sooo many levels. First, the cooking. I had guests over who mistook my cauliflower and cheese sauce for cauliflour and cheese soup…they couldn’t understand why i didn’t serve it first!! And then, there’s my guy…who offered to make his own birthday breakfast…because he was afraid of possible ruination…

    and i’m considering not telling anyone of my visit home this Christmas…because I can barely afford family….I love my friends,but I can’t afford a million dinners and christmas gifts…..


    • Tilly Bud September 8, 2011 at 08:01 #

      We are twins! 🙂

      Welcome to my blog; we can poison people together 🙂



  1. How to be a Good Guest… and a Good Host… « Local Heart, Global Soul - September 12, 2011

    […] Blogger Tilly Bud made an interesting blog post I have thus been inspired to give some of my thoughts on the pros and cons of being a guest and […]


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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