In the past year I’ve done two job interviews, doubling the amount I’ve done in my life. After I didn’t get the first one I was asked if I wanted feedback. I said yes, but I was too embarrassed to go and get the feedback obviously. Instead, I gave myself feedback: “Eh, maybe when they asked for your experience they didn’t mean you to tell them everything you’d done in your whole life including, as a teenager, selling apple crumbles from your mother’s kitchen. Maybe they meant experience that was actually relevant to the job you were going for which was not, funnily enough, a catering gig.”
Luckily, I got the second job. When you get a job they don’t generally ask if you want feedback from the interview but I gave myself some anyway. “Eh, I don’t think you actually needed to mention the Minky Tower and the Babyliss Big Hair dryer.”
In the interview I had eagerly explained that of all the things I’ve written about in this column over the past 14 years; the Minky Tower clothes horse and the Babyliss Big Hair Dryer were the columns that got the most feedback. My point was that people like to know about things that might make their life a little easier or a bit more fun, especially if they are not ridiculously expensive things. Maybe I got bonus interview points for originality. I bet the Minky Tower has never been mentioned in a job interview anywhere except in the company where they make Minky Towers. I’d say they mention it a lot there.
Anyway, I still get emails from people saying: that clothes horse you talked about once, the vertical one you got in Argos, the one that doesn't take up too much space what was it called again? To which I say, The Minky Tower thingymabob. And I still get other emails saying: That hair dryer you wrote about, the one that saved your hair life and drastically cut your blow dry bill because suddenly you could make your hair look vaguely presentable yourself, what was it called again: To which I say the Babyliss Big Hair dryer thing.
And now I want to tell you about something else. And I want you to write it down because thanks to my incomparable interview technique I have this other, more important job and I don’t have time to reply to emails asking what was that thing you wrote about. (Sorry people whose emails I haven’t returned, there are three assistants working on them as I type. Maybe.)
So this is what happened: I got myself a Spiral Vegetable Slicer. I know! They also call them Spiralisers, in the way everyone calls vacuum cleaners Hoovers because Hoover got in there with a catchy brand name. I got myself a Spiraliser for €40 online and I couldn’t be happier.
Life is just better when you can, at a whim, whip out a courgette and turn it into stunning looking spirals of green goodness that look not unlike spaghetti. And then you start calling it courghetti and you aren’t even embarrassed. And then you mix it with a tiny portion of real spaghetti and sneak it underneath some tomato sauce and you’ve suddenly halved your children’s pasta intake but they are still saying: “You are the BEST cook in the world, Mummy”. Suddenly, they are eating pasta made from a plant and they don’t even know it.
You spiralise courgettes. You spiralise buttnernut squash. You spiralise carrots. Lovely, twirly bits of raw carrot that taste much nicer than boring old batons. You spiralise sweet potato. Oh, you haven't lived until you've spiralised a sweet potato. And then because you have mountains of spriralised stuff on your kitchen counter you have to find recipes online (there are millions) or closer to home in Dubliner Susan Jane White's Extra Virgin Kitchen . You discover a swirling world of Sprialiser Recipes. Toppings for courghetti. A pasta sauce made from avocado, garlic, lemon and olive oil that tastes like you've chucked half a pint of cream in it.
Sometimes when I am standing spiralising in my kitchen, turning the handle, the dainty little vegetable swirls piling up on the chopping board I go into a kind of reverie. I think that maybe I could become the kind of person who eats quinoa for pleasure and cooks with coconut oil.
And then I am just quietly pleased that what I am, what I'll always be, is the kind of person that can extract untold pleasure from a cleverly designed clothes horse or a magic hairdryer or a spiral vegetable slicer. As I'll probably say apropos of nothing during my next job interview: It's the little things in life. It's the spirals.