Julie, by her own admission, isn't an adventurous cook. Much of it is down to her upbringing; her family always went for burgers and potatoes, sausages and chips, etc etc. The exception to this was a massive fondness for a roast dinner and a penchant for fruit cakes. Julie has picked this up brilliantly and makes a fruit cake which is requested whenever my folks come to visit. Considering my Mum's cooking and baking skills, this is high praise indeed.
Mum's cooking isn't haute cuisine, nouvelle cuisine or even Gordon Ramsay (for which we are all grateful), but she likes to have a go at most things. In her time, she has cooked everything from steaks all the way to a full Chinese banquet in lieu of a traditional Christmas dinner. Well, everyone gets fed up with turkey after a while, don't they? My mum's specialities are a corking sherry trifle and a lasagne that is so popular, my sister requested two dishes of it as part of her day-after-the-wedding party. I would have said it was funny to see everyone not in the know watching the scrum for a piece of it, but I wouldn't know. I was too busy elbowing someone out of the way.
Back to Julie. As I say, I do like a roast meal cooked by her; the roast spuds are usually pretty damn good. And the cake? Well, you know of that already. However, don't bother asking for herbs or spices in anything. That side of things will be down to me. While Julie likes the taste of them, she doesn't quite have the confidence to experiment herself; the best she will usually manage is a healthy dose of Worcestershire Sauce. Usually this is great - but not in porridge (don't ask). If you ask Julie about her culinary skills, she will usually sum it up this way...
In other words, don't bother asking Julie to get with the fussy green bits and wotnot. Let her bake a cake - she's happy then. (Admittedly, sausages aren't that difficult, but when I do them, I like to get a decent sausage, not a meat-flavoured loaf. My fussiness throws her off)