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Sep 30, 2009 02:12 PM

People Watching You Cook

Is it just me? I don't like anyone to watch me cook, to see the dirty dishes, to see me have an "oh sh*t" moment, to wonder why I cut cubes versus coins versus julienne etc etc etc.

I just want to have my triumphant voila!

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  1. I love for my friends to watch me cook, but I have a friend who is a wonderful cook who feels exactly like you. When she visits me, she always wants to cook a meal, but she never wants anyone in the kitchen, and would really prefer that no one is even in the house when she cooks. And she absolutely hates for anyone to touch her food in even the slightest way. This can get complicated, because she is a smoker and I don't allow smoking inside my house. Once, she was outside smoking and I could smell that her roast chicken was done. So I committed the capital crime of taking it out of the oven to rest while she finished. She was absolutely furious and refused to do anything further with the dinner, because someone else had dared to mess with her cooking!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Kathleen M

      And you're still friends with her? Amazing.

      1. re: Kathleen M

        That would be a tough 'friend' for me to have....

        1. re: jeanmarieok

          Especially when it's in your own kitchen that she treats you that way. Wow.

        2. re: Kathleen M

          What a diva! In my younger days I would have put up with it; now: no way. Cooking is to be enjoyed and celebrated!

        3. I despise people watching me cook, except for a select group of individuals who know better than to annoy me and to stay out of my way in the kitchen (including my cousin and a couple of friends). There is no reason for people to be in the kitchen while I cook; it's generally distracting and rarely adds anything to the meal. Let me work my magic and we shall socialize over the finished product when it is done!

          11 Replies
          1. re: vorpal

            Are these the same group of individuals who gave you the Thai cookbooks? :-))

            btw....kudos to you for handling all the darts thrown your way, but need to relax a liitle and enjoy the ride.

            1. re: fourunder

              I only LOL occasionally here but yours did it :)

              1. re: c oliver

                Jfood's with you...OMG how can this happen. Almost had chocolate shake all over the screen.

              2. re: fourunder

                LOL... I like to think I'm not as uptight in real life as my persona on CH would imply. I don't consider myself particularly easy-going per se, but I consider CH a harmless outlet for me to get into the spirit of things and express my stodgier side :-).

                That being said, I can't lie; I do dislike people hovering in the kitchen when I'm cooking for many reasons. For example, one ties into the other threads I've been commenting on tonight: I'm pretty easy going when it comes to kitchen hygiene and I don't want to stand around feeling judged based on that, especially given that some of my friends are pretty paranoid about that kind of thing.

                1. re: vorpal

                  Aha! So you're a finger-licker and a spoon-dipper as well as a cookbook ingrate ;)
                  ( Poor you, you'll never live THAT thread down. Hope that's not your real picture lest one of your buds ever stumbles across it. I kid... I actually enjoy your comments and perspective on things.) Back to topic,... small kitchen, slightly OCD, easily distracted by nearly anything. When entertaining, we try to have all the "cooking" parts done before peeps arrive, so we're basically just doing the final touches. In that case, don't mind folks in la cocina. adam

                  1. re: adamshoe

                    Exactly. Mainly because I start socializing (read that as having cocktails) and then forget things. I have bowls and platters all out, the table is completely set, bar (read that as a corner of the kitchen counter) is set up, etc.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Perhaps Vorpal is teflon coated? What's up with friends who know better than to annoy me? Does he throw knives or just burn their gift cookbooks?
                    I wished all my cooking were magic. Perhaps it's from those damn friends in my way...

                    1. re: Scargod

                      Keep reading below buddy. one only hopes his tedious friends who gave cookbooks do not come to CH.

                      1. re: Scargod

                        I prefer to light the cookbooks on fire and throw them at the intruders. It's actually quite effective at driving people out of the kitchen! A detailed statistical analysis of several experiments indicates that it is 74% more efficient than using knives alone, and 48% more efficient than simply lighting cookbooks on fire. If you have any other suggestions, I'm happy to hear them, too! (Although after the knife experiments, I may need some time to amass sufficient test subjects...)

                    2. re: vorpal

                      I'm with vorpal. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, and stay out of my kitchen.

                    3. It doesn't bother me and I actually enjoy when someone appreciates my efforts and wants to learn a thing or it knife skills, techniques, tricks or shortcuts.....a little helping hand also helps pass the time and sometimes actually makes me more efficient in the process.

                      1. I'm fine with friends watching me cook, except one who fancies himself a stellar cook. I have lived much of my adult life with a foreign oven that has either C or British gas marks, no measuring cups, and a copy of the Joy of Cooking. So, I'm pretty good at eyeballing things. And he always makes these comments, which I'm sure are meant in kindness, about how I just manage to toss things together. I'm not explaining this irksome situation properly, but it really gets my goat. I'm not 'just' tossing things together; it isn't good luck that makes it work out these nights when he is over for dinner. It is craft.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: relizabeth

                          My problem is sort of similar. I also try to prepare/cook stuff ahead of time when cooking for others. Generally, I don't mind someone entertaining me with good conversation from the doorway of my tiny kitchen (too tiny for two!). But my BFF (seriously, for 37 years), who loves my cooking, always questions/corrects what I'm doing to the extent that I end up snappish and calling her on it. Trust me, there's a reason I'm doing it that way! Then she's embarassed. And the cycle starts again...

                        2. I generally prepare anything ahead of time that I can. The rest is when everyone arrives and we're all hanging out in the kitchen, drinking (!!)and snacking. Nao problemo.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: c oliver

                            Me too. Time-consuming and easy to make ahead dishes are prepared and chilled or at room temp. Only last minute stuff is left and we all join in - fun.