Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pet Peeve 1

Here I am wallowing in my self indulgence when my housemate wanders over. With a smile, he remarks that I am a really fast and neat cook.

"One moment I see you cooking up a storm and somehow you seem to be only using a couple of pans and plates. Unlike my girlfriend. When she cooks, it's like every plate we own is out on every surface on the kitchen. And not only that! By the time you are finished, everything is washed and put away. Wow .. impressive!" said my awed housemate.

OK, Pet Peeve 1 - I hate people who have to use every darn pot, pan, plate, cup, spoon, ladle, bird bath, whatever when they cook! And they do not clean as they cook or worse ... major shudder here ... they leave all the pots & pans to 'soak' for days after they cook. Who do they expect to clean up after the them? The friendly elves??? Luckily, my current housemate's girlfriend never cooks here. No one uses the kitchen except me. Bliss.

I grew up in a family of chefs and my grandmother was one tough cookie. You wash & clean up as you cook. You lay out your ingredients etc aka mise en place before you lay seige to them and whip them into something that does not offend the human palate. You clean up and I mean clean! after you are done. And she was an economical chef too. You use as much as required and not more.

I once lived with a girl who had a boyfriend who was the dirtiest, most wasteful and messiest cook I'd ever seen. And I've seen a lot. Suffice to say he managed to use up an entire bottle (my bottle!) of balsamic vinegar and 3/4 of a bottle of olive oil (again, mine!) in one cooking session. Worst, he always bought the cheapest ingredients and would then nick my stuff when he realised mine were better quality. And of course, he never replenished the stock that he nicked. To say I despised his cooking habits is to put it mildly. Worse, he was a terrible cook.

To gross you out (because misery loves company), my then housemate and her boyfriend were so filthy that they used to leave out their teacups - actually they left everything out ... including him in his bloody drawers all day on the sofa ... major eeeuwwww. Draining the teacups was too much for them and the leftover tea would ferment and maggots would grow in the few days before the maid came to clean up. It was horrifying. After a while I dreaded going into the kitchen and seldom cooked in that apartment. I felt so sorry for the maid. The horror ... the horror ...

As I glance at my shiny, clean kitchen, I am bloody glad that my grandmother taught me well. I may have bitched and moaned when I was a kid about her training but at least there are no maggots in my kitchen. Shudder.

Stepping off my soap box now.

Categories - Rambling Prose


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