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From Burnt Dinners to Gourmet Feasts: My Hilarious Journey as a Home Alone House Husband

Written by  May 26, 2024

Home alone. To say it has been a hectic start to the year for my wife would be a massive understatement. And whilst she has been busy loading up her Air Miles or gathering stamps in her passport I have been left to hold the fort at home. It feels like Home Alone the mini-series for Netflix.

Thankfully I have been successful in not burning down the house or starving my dogs, although they do have looks on their faces like “is it just you now?”

I am a house husband. And I must add that it has given me a new deeper respect for housewives, although I am not sure if it’s actually politically correct to say housewife anymore. Did you know that Guru and Ninja are now classed as offensive words? What is the world coming to?

I digress, back to my life as Kevin McCallister.

It’s a busy one. I’ve had to set my alarm to 5.15 just to fit everything in the day. I’ve basically been working from home since the pandemic, although I seem to be more out of the house and in meetings when my wife is away. Murphy’s Law.

And oh, the housework! What’s more satisfying than vacuuming up the mystery crumbs that appear like magic? Or scrubbing toilets like you’re unearthing a lost civilization. It's practically a workout. No need for the gym when you’ve got a floor that needs mopping!

And with dogs there is a lot of mopping. Without a dog a house would be clean, but then again my heart would be empty. And really you are never truly home alone with dogs.

And then there’s the pièce de résistance: cooking. I learned from a fairly young age to make seven meals. More practicality than pleasure. Seven days in a week, so seven meals. And then it’s a “eat, rinse, repeat” system.

However, I haven’t really used my system for a long time. My “pasta with three cheeses” looked like a roadkill. Crafting a meal that isn’t going to have me sitting on the toilet for hours was my goal.

Of course, there’s the added excitement of deciphering the tiny, cryptic cooking instructions on packaged foods. Am I the only person who takes a photo of the instructions on packets and then try to magnify them on my mobile? Nothing says culinary adventure like squinting at microscopic print while attempting to figure out why the oven is smoking.

And yes, I cremated a few meals in that smoking oven. My dogs looked at me in distain, I could hear then thinking “another meal straight in the garbage.

If wasn’t for my saviour neighbour, I wouldn’t have eaten anything green or vaguely healthy.

And then, as if a sign from a higher power, I got a message. “Can you go to Nautika to eat and write a review about the whole experience?” Could I? Going from microwave meals to haute cuisine! Yes, I could!

I was moving from takeaway pizza and burgers to Pâté de Foie Gras.

When the waiter asked what I would like to order I had to stop myself from saying everything. Just reading the menu made my mouth water. Cooked food, and I didn’t even have to squint at instructions to prepare. I devoured the starter like a hungry lion. People around me were taking their time, having a conversation between each bite and sipping wine.

On the other hand, I had wiped my plate clean before the waiter could ask “How are you enjoying your meal?” I had demolished the starter and the main course before most guests had finished their glass of wine. “I guess that you enjoyed that?” asked the waiter. “You have no idea how much,” I replied.

And of course there was the added bonus of not having to clean up, or indeed wash up, anything after I had finished. Needless to say the next day I was back to eating from the local bakery.

From Beef Charolais Fillet to burek!   

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to

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About the author
Mark Thomas (aka Englez u Dubrovniku) is the editor of The Dubrovnik Times. He was born and educated in the UK and moved to live in Dubrovnik in 1998. He works across a whole range of media, from a daily radio show to TV and in print. Thomas is fluent in Croatian and this column is available in Croatia on the website – Dubrovnik Vjesnik

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