When I’m cooking dinner – any meal, really – I hate having people in the kitchen with me.
So, of course, that’s exactly where 60% of my family was last night as I was trying to concentrate on the complex set of instructions that came with my new gadget.
“I wonder how long before they start cooking food by splitting an atom,” Colin said.
“I can’t tell you for sure that’s not what this does,” I said, only slightly kidding.
“It looks dangerous, you should wear these,” Mike said, holding out a pair of safety glasses (I really have no idea why we keep a pair of those in the kitchen. I don’t think I’m the reason).
Honestly, the thing did look dangerous after I unpacked it. The box had been replete with pictures of roasts and steamed rice and sautéed vegetables and all kinds of promises of health and convenience and wellbeing. Inside, there were no fewer than a dozen warning labels about not touching this or that part of the thing, or putting your face or any exposed skin directly above the valve that lets steam escape, or immersing particular parts in water, or moving the thing while it was on.
Once, when Mike and I went on a trip to Mexico, his parents stayed with our kids for the week. That’s when my mother in-law rearranged my kitchen and destroyed my life.
I exaggerate, a smidge. What she actually did was organize a spice cupboard and matched all the Tupperware containers to their lids, which was really nice, but her actions caused a momentary inconvenience a kind of chaotic tension that has reverberated throughout our household ever since. Whenever I can’t find something, I blame her. Even now. I’m sure anyone who ever had a kitchen can sympathize – including my mother in-law, who still laughs at her own ballsy behavior six years post Operation: Kitchen Reshuffle.
I clearly have issues when it comes to the kitchen.
A little part of me believes herself to be Julia Child incarnate.
Pesky Julia rarely feels like strutting her stuff when I have a free afternoon and no one to impress. She shows up when I’m pressed for time and need to provide appetizers for a couple dozen people.
I should feel lucky, if I’m going to have multiple personalities, at least there’s no BASE jumpers or spelunkers clamoring for space. Julia rarely puts me in any danger. She’s just overconfident in the kitchen.
And Julia really digs Pinterest boards with names like “Absurdly Easy Appetizers You Can Do Unless You’re an Idiot,” and a phone app we can use in the parking lot of the grocery store. When it comes to wreaking havoc in the kitchen, Julia and Pinterest are codependents.