Just a one-dish kind of guy

18:46, Jun 13 2014
Beck Eleven
Beck Eleven

My boyfriend is an unusual man in more ways than there is space on this site to explain.

Oh, he's a delightful wee thing and I am happy but I have never met anyone quite so routine-loving and anti-kitchen.

I should have realised this at the outset when I noticed he had no oven. And later, when he called dinner at his house a "picnic".

When we met he had a hotplate and a microwave. Over time, the hot plate has proved unnecessary so just the microwave remains. He owns one fork, one knife and one spoon. One mug, one plate, one bowl.

I don't know why it's only just occurred to me he may well be the very definition of a bachelor.

With the exception of cutlery, which I believe to be a necessary modern convenience, I applaud his minimalist anti-consumerist attitude.


Well, I wish it was a minimalist, anti-consumerist attitude. The sorry truth is that he is just weird. He does not cook. He says he is able to cook but I have not seen the evidence. The closest I've seen is one time when he pushed some pieces of fruit through my juicer and, more recently, when he put two types of kitty litter together in a single tray. At least that looked like mixing. Not that you would eat kitty litter but I suspect he'd like it if I served it with a liberal sprinkling of pepper and chilli sauce.

With all due respect to his favourite Christchurch restaurant, which has a range of options on the menu, he will always choose the same thing. A seafood noodle deluxe soup (no bean sprouts, no onions). God help us all if a spring onion accidentally lands in it. The soup looks like stagnant dishwater with a few bit of regurgitated meat and some noodles bobbing about. He buys this at least six days a week. It gets a liberal sprinkling of pepper at the outset and then a squirt of chilli sauce on each noodley mouthful. Sort of like Rain Man would have done if the character from that film had been taken to a noodle house.

Do not get me wrong. Whenever I cook, he is the consummate audience. He is genuinely thankful and appreciative (unless there is a rogue onion on the plate somewhere). But I think he finds it strange that people want to eat a variety of dishes, even some that have been made by their own hand.

Once we went to Wellington for a weekend and I gazed longingly at the gorgeous cafe Floriditas while we were sitting in a noodle house across the road waiting for a seafood noodle soup without bean sprouts or onions.

Anyway, part of his Zero Tolerance for Excessive Cutlery Policy is to do with dishes. If you keep minimal cutlery, you create minimal dishes.

Sometimes he gets cross because he has to do dishes at my house which sends him into paroxysms because if he could just live his life like any "normal" person there would never be dishes.

There would be a lot of scurvy though, I imagine while passing a tea towel.

Last weekend we stayed at his "house", I suspect for the last time.

We each chose a frozen meal we could reheat in his microwave. But we couldn't eat together because he only had one fork. You probably have plenty of questions at this stage, like "why not go out for dinner or get fish and chips?". I have a lot of questions myself. They don't have answers.

We were going to have custard and ice cream for dessert but we couldn't have ice cream because he doesn't have a freezer. So we just stuck to the carton of custard. But then we couldn't find the spoon so that plan was short lived.

I could go on but I shouldn't be unkind. He really is embracing change. For instance, on Monday at the noodle house he put chilli flakes in the soup as well as the liberal sprinkling of pepper.

This really is a big step for mankind.

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