I can't say I'm known for my cooking.

Generally my family knows if I'm making something in the kitchen because they can hear me. It's not the clatter of pots and pans that gives it away though, it's the yelps of pain.

I'm capable of slicing myself along with the ingredients, searing my fingers instead of the steak and once had to move fast to keep a piece of severed fingertip from landing in the salad.

I have been banned from using our mandoline food slicer, and even the sight of me reaching for a can opener brings winces and offers of help from bystanders.


But needs must, and when a daughter and grandkids landed before tea-time recently and looked reluctant to leave I stepped up to make one of my signature dishes ... my quick and easy frittata.

It's quite a safe option, given that there is little chopping, no can openers, and no pots of boiling water.

It starts with pre-heating the oven, locating an oven dish and scrounging the freezer for a couple of packets of chunky mixed frozen veges. The chunky packets are the best option because there's less chance of them having been used to ice a sprained ankle.

Add two primary school aged grandchildren at this point who will demand to know what's in the mixed veges and request not to have the corn or the beans or the capsicum.

Pretend you are sifting them out as you put veges in oven dish with a little oil and seasoning.

Take out a large bowl and a tray of eggs.

Fend off requests from the grandkids to be allowed to break the eggs into the bowl. Keep fending for three minutes then give in for the sake of peace.

Give grandkids a lesson on how to break eggs into a bowl. Hand egg to 7-year-old. Clean up subsequent mess, pick eggshell out of bowl and remember to praise the attempt.

Give egg to 5-year-old. Clean egg off floor.

Let 7-year-old try again but ask him to hold egg closer to bowl this time. Decide to sift eggshells out later.

Give another egg to the f-year-old. Retrieve entire egg from bowl using a slotted spoon and remind him to break the egg next time, just like when he's bringing them in from the chook house, but into the bowl not onto the ground.

Check oven temperature and turn back to find 5-year-old with both hands in egg-bowl.

Ask why and agree that "I wanted to know what it feels like" is actually a valid reason.

Request that he asks permission next time and gets his sleeves rolled up. Clean up mess.

Once the eggs are finished send children into the garden for some silverbeet while you discretely put the egg mixture through a sieve to get out all the eggshell.

Take delivery of silverbeet, confiscate snails from the 5-year-old, commiserate with the 7-year-old and explain that it doesn't matter that his brother bent his silverbeet leaf because you will be chopping it up anyway.

Turn down demand from the 5-year-old to be allowed to chop silverbeet.

Defuse imminent tantrum by giving children the silverbeet stems to feed to the ponies.

Hand over bread crusts after they point out there are only two silverbeet stems and three ponies. Tell them to take their time coming back.

Put veges in oven to roast a little. Try not to burn self.

Grate some cheese, mind fingers.

Take veges out, only burning self slightly, pour in egg mixture, add cheese, drizzle a little home-made feijoa sauce on top, return to oven, wonder where children are.

Pour a glass of wine. Send daughter out to locate her children.

Hear shouting and assume daughter has located children and that it isn't good news. Get out some towels and turn on shower.

Open back door to mud-encrusted children and distraught daughter who says she found them in the pig pen. Open a bar of anti-bacterial soap and tell children not to touch anything on their way to the bathroom.

Pour daughter a glass of wine.

Check frittata, realise oven has been on grill instead of bake, rectify.

Check children, remind them showers are to wash themselves in not dance in. Remind them how to use soap and flannel. Remember to praise the attempt.

Quick and easy frittata takes about 20 minutes to cook, the same amount of time it takes to clean a layer of pig-pen mud off two primary school aged boys.

Take it out of the oven to cool while persuading boys to wear clothes for dinner.

Agree to towels being called clothing just this one time, as long as tea is eaten without complaint. Comply reluctantly with requests for tomato sauce.

Clean up subsequent mess.

Pour more wine. Enjoy.