Monday, 23 April 2012
14. BEWARE! Man at work - in the kitchen!
Okay, before I start, I just want to say I told Matt I was going to write about this; to which he responded with a cheeky grin and a “I look forward to reading it!”. I also want to clarify, I am VERY grateful whenever Matt helps out in the kitchen or cooks me a meal.. BUT.. He is THE world’s messiest cook in the world! I don’t know if it’s a ‘Venus and Mars’ thing (as in the book) but whilst we share a lot of common traits (with us both being Capricorns), in the sphere of general household stuff (especially in the kitchen!) we are polar opposites!
Take this past weekend as an example. Matt sweetly offered to cook breakfast for our guests and our family. That’s 3 adults and 4 children. For the children, he served up noodles, dumplings, spring rolls and chicken buns. For the adults: eggs, bacon and toast. Mind you, it was more brunch than breakfast seeing it was past 10 o’clock. Why he made so much food? I’m not sure as we also had brunch/lunch booked for 12.30. Okay, I digress.
At some stage, I wandered into the kitchen to find that Matt had used nearly every pot, pan and counter top in the house. As we don’t have a dishwasher and its only fair that whoever cooks doesn’t have to wash up, the distinction fell squarely on my shoulders. And so, I began to work through the mountain of what-can-only-be-described as a culinary battlefield. There was a wok, a 2-pot steamer, a frying pan, one pot for noodles and another for wontons. There were empty noodle, spring roll, chicken bun and dumpling packets, along with several cooking utensils, bits of uncooked noodles (that for whatever reason did not make the ‘cut’ and managed to escape the boiling hot water) ALL strewn across the kitchen top like evidence at a crime scene. The open kitchen cupboard doors and drawers only added to a post ransacked-by-hungry-bears scene of carnage. AND he had NOT even started cooking the adults’ breakfast. Excellent!
Again, I want it noted that I always feel like a princess when Matt cooks for me as it doesn’t happen very often due to the practicalities of our day-to-day lives. It also brings back fond memories of the first time he cooked for me and presented a feast of baked fish, Caribbean-inspired rice, drunken chicken AND a side of plantain – just for the two of us. And yet, in spite of my romantic musings, as I walked into the kitchen on Sunday, I couldn’t help comparing (only in my mind of course!) how many FEWER pans I would have used, along with all the rubbish I would have already thrown directly into either the rubbish or recycling bin as I cooked. And should I also mention I wouldn’t have cooked so much food seeing we were booked to dine once more in a couple of hours? Okay, I digress again. As you can see, I am still traumatized from dealing with the washing-up on the weekend!
Yes, Matt and I are very different in the kitchen. Where he would follow a recipe to the letter, I would throw caution to the wind, tasting as I cooked, adding and cutting out as I went along, until it metamorphosed into an a-la-Mish creation. As I clean and clear while I cook, reusing pots and pans to save on washing up (hint, hint!), Matt lives for the moment and creates his own summit of pots and pans which slowly mount up like an asymmetrical pyramid in the sink. He would laugh and tease me for using smaller pots, pointing out that regardless of the size, it would still need washing up. And I see his point.
As much as I moan and groan to my girlfriends (and them to me) about our demented husbands in the kitchen, I must confess I love the way Matt is hyperbolic in his utensil usage as he puts together a culinary masterpiece to impress me, even after 16 years together. I know I am a lucky girl -- just don't tell him I said so or I'll never hear the end of it!