Amidst the pictures of food porn, brunch and crazy baked creations on Instagram, Jessica Rowe‘s culinary posts are a welcome sight.
The Studio 10 host regularly posts pictures of her dinner creations with the hashtag #CrapHouseWife. Homemade fried rice, tinned spaghetti, sausages and beans on toast are stars of the show.
But Rowe didn’t always wear her “lack of domesticity” with pride. In fact, she used to go to great lengths to fool her friends into thinking she was the exact opposite.
Watch: Jessica Rowe on the subject of resilience. Post continues after video.
“My youngest sister, who made a name for herself cooking for Jamie Oliver in London, was complicit in building this facade. Over the years I have hosted dinner parties serving food made by her,” Rowe wrote for Daily Life.
“I’ve had the cheek to pretend that I was responsible for the bruschetta entrée, the main of Moroccan lamb tagine with couscous tossed with currants, when all I could manage was scooping out French vanilla ice-cream and serving it with strawberries for dessert.”
Oh Rowe – we’ve all been there.
She successfully got away with it for years, until one curious guest almost exposed the her by asking for the tagine recipe.
“Thankfully, probably due to the rosé we were chugging down, she didn’t notice the reddening of my face. I laughed and shrugged my shoulders, while my honest husband became engrossed in the salt and pepper shakers,” she said.
“I don’t remember exactly,’ I said. ‘I just threw a few bits and pieces together.’ But she wasn’t satisfied. ‘You must tell me what spices you used. Was it paprika or turmeric?'”
Rowe says it was having children that finally ended the “exhaustion that comes from pretending to know what turmeric is and to be perfect at everything.”
Now the impossible task of flawless three course dinners is replaced with trying to create meals to please her harshest critics – her kids, Allegra, nine and Giselle, seven. (Post continues after gallery.)
Like many, she was swept up in the Thermomix hype in her determination to be the perfect mother – although it didn’t end as she’d hoped.
“I was under the misapprehension that this appliance would roast a chook, prepare salad, bake bread, make chocolate chip ice-cream and mix a watermelon daiquiri all at once. My lack of attention to detail – that is, I didn’t read the instructions properly – meant I spent a fortune on ingredients for a chicken curry and managed to turn it into purée,” she said.
“Determined not to be beaten, I tried making soup, risotto and more soup by closely following the simple recipes. But when I managed to burn the power cord of the appliance because I’d plugged it in too close to the hotplate, I accepted that kitchen gadgets and me weren’t a great combination.”
Today is Wednesday… Wednesday is new pasta recipe!!! #girlswon’teatit #backtospagbol #craphousewife A photo posted by Jessica Rowe (@jessjrowe) on Mar 16, 2016 at 12:18am PDT
Now, the mum of two is happy to keep things simple and has built up a new, tagine-free, repertoire. Using panko crumbs is as fancy as it gets and she’s learnt to turn the oven down just a little- oh, and not be afraid to embrace packet ingredients.
Mince five ways? Sounds brilliant to us…
Listen to Jessica Rowe’s confessions on being a crap housewife on I Don’t Know How She Does It: