I am an excellent theoretical cook. If there were a cooking theory test, like the driving theory test, I would probably get an A*. I flip through foodie magazines. I look at luscious, mainly US blogs that have lovely photos of perfectly decorated cupcakes. I have a stack of cookery books in my kitchen, which new guests always comment on. They remain impressed until approximately 10 seconds after I serve up the first course. I just can’t translate the theory to the practice.For me, cooking is like chemistry. I need a recipe, and I need to follow that recipe slavishly. No deviation. If it says half a teaspoon of salt, that’s what it gets. Never mind if an extra half teaspoon would improve it – I can’t put it in, because the end of the known universe might ensue. Probably. I also need a menu plan. Not because I am a Perfect Penny that has to have a month’s worth of meals worked out, with matching shopping lists, but because I have zero imagination. I cannot open the fridge, look at a chicken breast, a potato and a carrot and think mmmmm….. chicken a la blah de blah. I think: oh – chicken, potato and carrot for tea. In theory, though – I am a great cook. I can live with that.