IT always seems to come as a bit of a shock to people when I say I like to cook. It’s more than obvious that I like to eat, but apparently the thought of me actually straying into the kitchen to prepare the odd meal is less easy to imagine.

Some years ago I encountered a reader as I browsed the spice aisle in a local supermarket. “Have you got a shopping list from the housemate?” she asked.

“No,” I replied. “I’m just looking for something for a new recipe.”

Ten minutes later I still hadn’t managed to convince her that I was the one who would be following said recipe so decided that it was easier to admit defeat and agree that the housemate would be chef for the day.

For the past goodness knows how long preparing the Easter Sunday lunch has always fallen to us, but with the sister away on holiday for Mother’s Day this year, she decided to nab the festive date announcing, not altogether truthfully, that she can only cook a roast dinner.

“That’s fine,” I said. “We’ll do dinner on Good Friday.”

With a new recipe I was keen to try already on my mind I meticulously planned out the preparation, ensuring that I was able to grab the last possible minute in bed before beginning  work on lunch.

Everything started well and the schedule was being followed to the letter, especially by the housemate who likes nothing better than a timetable.

And then it all fell apart….

“Where’s the big tub of cream cheese for the cheesecake?” I asked.

“What big tub of cream cheese?”

“The big tub of cream cheese you said we had in the fridge when we were out shopping and I said we needed cream cheese,” I replied patiently.

“I didn’t say we had a big tub. I said we had some cream cheese. I think there’s two small ones in there.”

“There is another small one, but it’s garlic and herb and with the best will in the world that won’t work in a caramelised white chocolate and blackcurrant cheesecake,” I snapped beginning to panic.

“Well pop to town and pick up some more,” she replied, as calm as always.

“Where is that on the schedule? Can you see a slot for ‘pop to town for last minute shopping’” I snarled back grabbing my car keys.

Twenty minutes later I still sitting in a traffic jam in the supermarket car park.

“That’s it. Cancel lunch I won’t even be home by half two. There’s nowhere to park and I haven’t moved in ages.”

Later that day as we enjoyed our almost on time lunch, the housemate recounted the tale to my delighted sister.

“This doesn’t taste of garlic at all,” said the brother-in-law-to-be sampling the cheesecake.

“I’m so glad you had a cooking nightmare for a change,”added my sister “I don’t feel half as stressed about cooking for you all on Sunday now