Home > burned, cassoulet, dinner, South Africa > "What Is That Bad Smell?"

"What Is That Bad Smell?"

“David, please, what this bad smell in die house?” So asked one of my foster kids as he walked in after school.

I don’t profess to be a good cook, but I like food – I love food! So, I have had to teach myself to cook the meals that I like, one of which is cassoulet, which is a dish from SW France.

Now, I don’t want to bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that a lot of preparation goes into this dish, and it takes me the best part of two days to get it on the table.

I was in the outskirts of Johannesburg at the time, and decided that a cassoulet would be a good meal that would last a few days. I started preparation on Wednesday, and started to cook it as soon as I got home from work on Thursday.

But that’s when disaster struck. I had not long been in South Africa and was still struggling with the lack of oxygen at 5,500 ft. So, having put all the ingredients on to simmer for an hour or so, I fell asleep.

I was rudely awakened by the smell of burning meat, not the “Oops! Dinner is a bit scorched” smell, but the “seriously burned to a cinder” smell, which is stronger and horrible.

And I had no dinner.

I opened every window and door in the house to try to dispel the smell, with little success. Hence the question on Friday afternoon,

“David, please, what this bad smell in die house?”

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