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Universal Kitchen Truths

It happens every time: the minute I start cutting chilis, I get something in my eye....

or, I get my hands in the middle of some gloppy mess and the phone rings.

any of this kind of thing happen to anyone else out there in cooking land?

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  1. You are usually one ingredient short and have to make a substitution.

    When your hands are the most sticky and gloppy, you need one more ingredient from the fridge.

    When you are frying something in hot, popping grease, the dog will come over and stand between you and the stove.

    You've made a recipe for years and it is wonderful, except when you prepare it for an important event, then something will always go wrong.

    The one item you need is always behind five other things in the back of the fridge.

    No matter how careful you are, when you are finished baking, there is always a thin layer of flour covering everything on the kitchen counter.

    53 Replies
    1. re: Antilope

      So true about the dog. Bruin loves to lie in front of the sink or stove when in use.

      1. re: mucho gordo

        We have chihuahuas now, but years ago we had a dalmatian that would lay in front of the oven and guard it on Thanksgiving. ;-)

        1. re: Antilope

          I don't think the dogs considers it guarding. They're waiting for you to drop a drumstick.

          1. re: mucho gordo

            Cats, too. They also seem to get "stuck" between the fridge and fridge door, when trying to close it. Of course, they don't do this on purpose.

            1. re: liza219

              When we were kids we had a guinea pig that would start squealing when it heard the fridge door open. It knew that's where the lettuce was kept.

              It must have learned that after hearing the fridge door sound and then lettuce would appear. Maybe it was Pavlov's Guinea Pig. ;-)

              We currently have an Amazon parrot that mimics the microwave beeps and done/ready tone.

              I sometimes do a double-take to see if I left something in the microwave. 8~}

              1. re: liza219

                My cat is the worst in the kitchen. He gets himself in between me and the stove and stretches himself up on the oven door like he is being frisked by the cops. Then he just watches me and moves his head following what I am doing up there. Its too cute.

                1. re: suzigirl

                  One of my cats (his name is Sulla) does much the same. And he can be comatose in the farthest corner of the house, but if I open a package of meat, no matter how stealthily, he will come staggering blearily into the kitchen and demand his cut.

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    My female can hear the lid come off the olive jar from a dead sleep and also demands her cut.

                    1. re: suzigirl

                      An olive-loving feline?

                      **signs and wonders**

                      Does she dote on a particular kind of olive?

                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Manzanilla pimento stuffed green are her poison

                        1. re: suzigirl

                          OK, I've heard of chow HOUNDS, but chow CATS?

                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            She is one of many chow kitties I have had and i know there are plenty more here.

                      2. re: suzigirl

                        My 17 year old cat becomes as spry as a kitten if olives are opened. They make him crazy. I have to be careful if I am chopping olives, as he will absolutely climb up a leg to try to get to the olive-y goodness. His preference is pimento-stuffed Spanish. When I make picadillo, the soundtrack to the cooking is a constant and pitiful caterwauling. What is it with cats and olives?

                        One of my other cats thinks any plastic bag noise emanating from the kitchen means he's getting a rice cake. Rice cake loving cat? Really? It's a headscratcher. But he loves them with fierce devotion.

                        1. re: cayjohan

                          I am glad Cashmere doesn't have it that bad but she will stretch up my leg and beg.

                          1. re: suzigirl

                            cats like olives? wow..I never knew that I must tell my aunt this..she has three cats..

                            1. re: girloftheworld

                              Cats also really like cantaloupe. We have had several cats that crave it.

                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                  I had company coming, so I put out a tray of canapes with cream cheese topped with lox. I went to the door, greeted my friends, and when we got to the table, half of lox was missing, and there was Cleopatra going at it.

                                  1. re: girloftheworld

                                    I wouldn't advise trying it. They're natural carnivores.

                                    1. re: girloftheworld

                                      Actually, no. I worked with a vegetarian with 2 cats, and she said she'd done the research: you can develop a healthy vegetarian diet for dogs but not for cats.

                                      1. re: WNYamateur

                                        weird I would have thought the opposite.

                                    2. re: Antilope

                                      I had one of those flavors of cats, too. The cantaloupe fiend. My first husband and I were young marrieds in the mid 80's and the Thing was cantaloupe and prosciutto. We thought the cat was after the meat, but later learned that cat would eat to a bloat-state on cantaloupe if allowed to.

                                      An (even further) aside: I was advised by my Animal Control folks to use cantaloupe as bait for a marauding woodchuck, as its fragrance is so strong. I wonder if that pungency is what attracts cats, tending as they do toward the *smelly*?

                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                        Dear deceased Ptolemy cat loved Motoyama Teriyaki Nori Hot (spicy dried seaweed). I would hold up a strip, he would jump for it and catch it between his front paws, then retire to a corner to eat it up. Crunch crunch.

                                        1. re: Felila

                                          Harry, the younger of my Maine Coons, *lives* for playing catch with cheese. The cheese drawer in the fridge in The Most Fascinating Thing Ever. We frequently snack on cheese in the evening, and it always means a game of Catch the Cheese with Harry. Heroic leaps! It's amazing. He doesn't eat the cheese; we have to be mindful of collecting the cheese after playtime. And he does have preferences. Tonight, it was Havarti. For awhile he was completely hung up on some hunks of Fontina. He won't even turn his head for cheddars. The last time I picked up some Havarti, my inner voice noted that *Oh, Harry loves this one.* Sigh. Yes, we often choose our cheese based on playing catch with the dang cat.

                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                            We have a male that plays catch also. He likes lunchmeat. He is quite the catch

                                      2. re: Antilope

                                        I have one cat with a soft spot for Turkey Hill Root Beer ice cream. What can I say....he also likes avocado...hide the guacamole!

                                        1. re: liza219

                                          Avocado is not supposed to be good for cats.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              That's a common misconception. Cats (and dogs) can safely eat the fruit/flesh of an avocado; the toxin (persin) is found in the skin, pit & stem.

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  It's amazing how widespread that notion has become. I knew there had to be more to it when I saw avocado-based dog & cat food at the pet store, so I did some research!

                                          1. re: Antilope

                                            My cats - both now deceased - loved anything and everything spicy. And by spicy, I mean spicy to the point of seriously over-the-top it'll-kill-ya-in-five-seconds to most Canadian/American people spiciness. They'd lick tobasco sauce or sambal oelik off my fingers or plate if I let them.

                                            1. re: LMAshton

                                              Sulla chuffed a bit o' burnin' biryani chicken yesterday. His chicken madness overrode any reservations he may have had about the insane Hyderabadi spices.

                                              1. re: LMAshton

                                                Mr. Pine used to rub Ben Gay on his forehead when he had a headache (he has some weird self-remedies). The cats couldn't wait to climb into his lap and lick off the Ben Gay.

                                                1. re: pine time

                                                  I get migraines and find that remedy to be helpful. But my cats do not like the scent at all.

                                                2. re: LMAshton

                                                  lol we should start a " is your pet a foodie:" thread.

                                                  1. re: girloftheworld

                                                    There is an old one called "My pet loves people food". If you go to it the adorable Siamese Bengal mix kitties posted are mine. I would give you a link but I can't figure out how to do it from my tablet.

                                                  2. re: LMAshton

                                                    Yup.....I always get worried when mine hits the wasabi, when having sushi. He snaps it in his paw and licks it. I always panic, as he scurries away to eat it.....only to see him back at the table, ready for another swipe. Half my dinners involve me running to my laptop to look up what foods may be toxic....keeps my dinners eventful!

                                                  3. re: Antilope

                                                    Whn I was a teen I had a cat that loved beer. Your glass, can, or bottle were not safe. he would tip them over and lap away until it was all gone. He would sit on the roof of my car and when I was going out partying he would jump in and sit on the back window deck and hang out. When I got to the park where we drank beer he would hop out and stroll over to everyone, begging for beer. A total alky. Egg nog during the holidays was always a main target as well.

                                                    He also loved green grapes, cheese doodles, and garlic knots from the local pizzza place. Not people food but he went wild over catching and eating crickets.

                                                  4. re: girloftheworld

                                                    I have had several cats over the years that LOVE olives. They can smell them on your hands and will rub their face on you. Its pretty cute actually.

                                                3. re: cayjohan

                                                  I've had two cats now that are obsessed with Arby's. One had a thing for their chicken strips, the other is obsessed with their roast beef. By obsessed, I mean climb in your lap and start trying to hook the food out of your hand, mouth... wherever. One is long deceased, the other is quite elderly now but when Arby's enters the house you'd think he was a kitten. The now long-deceased cat also had a thing for raw pumpkin. Made making pies interesting.....

                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                    Whenever I bring home fried chicken, I have to order an extra wing just for Sulla. Otherwise, I'd go hungry.

                                                4. re: suzigirl

                                                  (Quote) Perilagu Khan Jun 14, 2013 06:15 AM

                                                  One of my cats (his name is Sulla) does much the same. And he can be comatose in the farthest corner of the house, but if I open a package of meat, no matter how stealthily, he will come staggering blearily into the kitchen and demand his cut. (/Quote)

                                                  We had a cat that would do that whenever someone cut an Avocado!! Although she wouldn't ask nicely, she would wait till you turned your back then jump on the counter and steal half the Avocado if it hadn't been sliced yet then run for the back bedroom to devour her prize!!

                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                    Ha! The image of that is breaking me up!

                                            2. re: liza219

                                              Just like they don't stand directly behind you when you're about to turn around.

                                          2. re: Antilope

                                            My dalmatian would guard every step of the cooking process if she could, but I found that toddler gates would force her to guard from afar :D

                                            1. re: alliegator

                                              Not exactly a small dog to be tripping over in the kitchen. Nice solution

                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                Thanks, it's a big help. When mangator came home and saw my day's project in action, he was like "I can't believe you did that---it's really smart". Luckily, I was not holding anything sharp ;P

                                          3. re: mucho gordo

                                            We have a quaker parrot that spins like a top and paces back and forth whenever we take cheese out of the fridge. Dairy isn't great for birds, but Jack loves his fromage. He prefers hard cheeses (parm regg is his fave) to softer ones like brie or chevre. One of these days I'm going to have to videotape it.

                                          4. re: Antilope

                                            My old German Shepherd used to come in and lie down behind me while I was in the kitchen cooking. I'd back up, step on her, she'd squeal and jump up in horror and I'd get knocked over backward. Her name was Duchess, I should have named her Dammit.

                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                Lol on Dammit. My chocolate lab runs over every time I open my oven. I use my right hand to shoo/curse him away. What a dipstick. Ovens are hot!

                                            1. Mine is absent minded stuff or multi tasking disasters:

                                              As soon as I put something to carefully watch in the pan to quickly toast (like nuts) my SO calls from the other room for me to come help with something.

                                              Whenever I put something under the broiler "for a minute", I get engrossed in something else and burn the first batch.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                Oh totally! It's always the thing that takes the least amount of time to toast/brown, then I forget what I'm doing until I smell something burning.....

                                              2. The minute I sit down to eat the phone rings.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: emglow101

                                                  This! A thousand times this. Worst case scenario, it's a work call and I end up having to talk for 15 minutes, so when I get back to my food it's cold.

                                                2. My hands are goopy, I'm getting ready to do a critical blend or mix of the recipe and I gotta pee!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: treb

                                                    Ha Ha Ha! That so sounds like me! My other WTH moment is when I find the utensil that I need is in the dishwasher.

                                                  2. The toast always falls buttered side down.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                      1. re: charmedgirl

                                                        And, as I learned this morning ... jam. :-(

                                                        1. re: charmedgirl

                                                          Gah, cheese toast side down! As I just learned.

                                                          1. re: charmedgirl

                                                            That's when it is good to have a dog in the kitchen, makes cleanup easy.

                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                              We used to say that our dog prayed to the god of dropped food.

                                                              His favorite words were, "dropped one!"