Prompted partly by gastronomic curiosity and partly by sheer greed, Mr H entered the kitchen with Mrs H as his guide. The result is perhaps the most honest food book ever written. It is certainly one of the funniest.
While exploring culinary items both famous and obscure, from pizza to pancakes, Seville orange marmalade to blancmange, they made an important discovery - there are several important differences between men and women in the kitchen.
Women in the kitchen (according to Mr H)
* Women are very, very, very bossy.
* Women are very difficult to get out of kitchen shops. Their favourite reading tends to be the Lakeland catalogue.
* Women are obsessed with cleanliness to extent that it imperils our natural resistance to bugs and germs.
Men in the kitchen (according to Mrs H)
* Men want a huge amount of praise for anything they do.
* Men are reluctant to follow recipes in the same way that they are reluctant to ask for directions when they are lost.
* Men tend to overdo the ingredients in recipes. They think that if a little is good then a lot will be even better.
Many dishes in this perilous endeavour were seasoned with salty language and peppery outbursts. In the devastating heat of the kitchen, it was the most perilous of domestic adventures, but the marriage somehow survived.
Some couples climb Kilimanjaro, Mr and Mrs H made a pork pie.
Christ Hirst writes hugely popular weekly 'Weasel' column in the Independent and commentates regularly on current food issues. He lives in London.