Kitchen Control Freak?

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Kristi S.
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2003/12/11 13:23:49 (permalink)

Kitchen Control Freak?

Is anyone else on this board a control freak when it comes to cooking? Whenever I'm in the middle of even a simple dinner prep, I get all bent out of shape whenever someone offers help. I guess I just want to do it my way or no way at all! I consider myself perfectly capable of running the show, whether that includes an eight-course Thanksgiving extravaganza or a simple pasta-and-one-sauce deal.

I am fully aware of every bake time, of each gurgle of water, of how much time the microwave has left, the correct amount of oil to vinegar, how many eggs to use, which spoon goes with which dish.

When someone saunters into the kitchen to 'casually' stir something on the stove, I have to fight the impulse to bat their hands away. I don't know. Maybe there's something wrong my wiring -- when it comes to cooking, at least!
#1

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    EliseT
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 13:28:29 (permalink)
    I like help...chopping and doing only what I tell them to do, exactly as I tell them to do it.

    Of course, there are those people who are always underfoot like a cat...inbetween you and the sink when you are holding a big pot of hot spaghetti. People congregate in my mom's kitchen at holiday mealtime and I am forever saying, "If you're not cooking somehing, get the hell out!"

    No one has yet dared to try spicing or otherwise messing with my creations. My boyfriend gets kind of scared. He says, "When you are in the kitchen, you are 10 feet tall and your aura becomes solid."
    #2
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 13:29:10 (permalink)
    I have to admit it, I am a bit of a kitchen control freak. Much to the chagrin of my wife.
    #3
    lleechef
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 13:44:26 (permalink)
    Everyone is welcome to come into my kitchen, open bottles of wine or beer, make cocktails, converse, but you'd better keep your mitts outta the food!! And even tho SO knows this, he never fails to bellow out, "Hey Pussqette, youze need help out there??" The answer is always the same. NO THANK YOU!! Too many years of cheffing and being the boss.........control freak?......who? me? (Bad chef, evil chef)
    #4
    Grampy
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 13:50:59 (permalink)
    I, too, am a control freak. Fortunately, friends (some of whom are chefs) and family know that, and they give me my space. I was once asked by my sister-in-law to take over the BBQ for a party she was having, and I offered to make Vietnamese chicken breasts. I cooked them to juicy perfection, but as I took them off the grill, I saw a hand behind me putting them back on. It was one of her 'fraid-of-food friends who obviously believed that chicken should cook until it has the consistency and appearance of a snow tire. Yes, words were had -- and these are words I will not share with my Roadfoodies.

    Still, I am not averse to delegating tasks, albeit dictatorially. I nearly scalped the same sister-in-law for not peeling a potato properly.
    #5
    Lone Star
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 14:34:57 (permalink)
    Grampy -" />

    Is there some kind of program for that?

    I will take all the help I can get - under supervision of course. The more the merrier.
    #6
    Grampy
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 14:52:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lone Star

    Grampy -" />

    Is there some kind of program for that?

    I will take all the help I can get - under supervision of course. The more the merrier.


    Lone Star:

    Interesting point you raise. There are all manner of courses designed to help people cook, but none to keep you away from the stove. I find intimidation to be the key -- and fear. Keep your knives razor sharp, and kick up some flames while you are sautéing. First ply them with a couple of Stalini's, and they will be silly putty in your hands.
    #7
    chezkatie
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 15:10:49 (permalink)
    I am the absolute boss in my kitchen and no not want ANY help......I nearly gag when I see these dinner party stories written up in Bon Appetit or Gourmet where it shows about eight people in the kichen all smiling and chopping and cutting and tossing and stirring.....help...give me a break. Come out to the kitchen and drink with me and laugh with me but do not touch anything. After dinner is over, all of you are welcome to take over and clean the table, load the dishwasher and put the food away........BUT DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH MY STEMWARE!
    #8
    lleechef
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 15:17:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by chezkatie

    I am the absolute boss in my kitchen and no not want ANY help......I nearly gag when I see these dinner party stories written up in Bon Appetit or Gourmet where it shows about eight people in the kichen all smiling and chopping and cutting and tossing and stirring.....help...give me a break. Come out to the kitchen and drink with me and laugh with me but do not touch anything. After dinner is over, all of you are welcome to take over and clean the table, load the dishwasher and put the food away........BUT DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH MY STEMWARE!

    AMEN SISTAH!!
    #9
    Grampy
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 15:17:18 (permalink)
    Or let your guests put anything away without asking! Why do they all have this inherent belief that they know where everything goes? Even my wife still puts the jar of hot pepper on the shelf over the stove. Sweetie, spices go in the closet, in the dark, and arranged alphabetically!
    #10
    mayor al
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 15:21:08 (permalink)
    It is a matter of personality, not only in the kitchen, although that's a shining example of where it focus's . I had the same atittude when I had student teachers in my classes. My possessive nature says "It is MY Class I run it ! I recognize that you aren't Me...But By God you should be !!! There are some places that that 'style' comes out and for some it is the kitchen (not for me thank Heaven!) but put me in a Class and I will be the one to call the dance steps... Or I'll take my drum and go home !

    Let me just add.... I don't rise to the challenge of the cooking for company thing very often. I will when we have family over,and the kitchen is mine! but prefer to participate from a contributors position rather than the "Leader of the Pack" when we are dealing with friends or "outsiders" who may not be aware of the 'pecking Order' in my home.[|)]
    #11
    Grampy
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 15:24:33 (permalink)
    And give the students who don't listen a drum, so they can beat it...
    #12
    Grampy
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 15:37:19 (permalink)
    Good point. I am teaching my son to cook. Not simply because he enjoys it, but because I see him as the heir. He will get the knives and french copper pots, since there will be no money left, having spent it all on things like knives and French copper pots.
    #13
    Grampy
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 16:43:14 (permalink)
    When my mum goes, my sister and I will pay the neighbors to take the kichen stuff away. Before my father died, he bought as many ridiculous gadgets as he could from the Home Shopping Network (yes, I confess, he gave me the meatballer). If I am a kitchen control freak, it skipped a generation. You could steal my mother's stove and she wouldn't know it.
    #14
    Kristi S.
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 17:39:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by chezkatie

    DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH MY STEMWARE!


    Oh yeah. One more thing. No one in my family knows how to load the dishwasher correctly. This is a MAJOR peeve of mine and I may die defending my way of doing it....
    #15
    Grampy
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 17:47:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Kristi S.

    quote:
    Originally posted by chezkatie

    DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH MY STEMWARE!


    Oh yeah. One more thing. No one in my family knows how to load the dishwasher correctly. This is a MAJOR peeve of mine and I may die defending my way of doing it....


    I'll bet they load from the front, too.
    #16
    Cosmos
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 17:55:41 (permalink)
    When someone asks if they can help, I tell them they are already doing a great job (sitting across the room with a glass of wine). I probably told this story once, but what the hey...One year we were the dinner portion of a progressive new year's party in our neighborhood, and we were doing beef wellington for the first time...for 27 people. My wife and I were nervously flailing away in the kitchen..we decided to not attempt the pastry, opting instead for frozen puff pastry. We were sweating away making small talk with everyone while we tried to look like we knew what we were doing.

    At one point I left the kitchen to get some air, wandered around my house to realize we had about 22 people crowded in the kitchen. I then loudly announced that everyone was to "get the F.... out of my kitchen, and enjoy a nice cool room somewhere else in the house".

    They laughed, and vacated, so we prepped the last bit in peace. To our suprise it all came out perfect (I didn't have a good thermometer and was deathly afraid to over cook the suckers).

    Now I just tell people right up front...go in the living room, have some nuts, enjoy your wine...
    #17
    EdSails
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 18:29:56 (permalink)
    I try to be flexible, but tend to offer "helpful advice" when someone else is in the kitchen. Combined with that-----and that fact that everyone really enjoys my cooking-------it seems I don't have many people joining me in the kitchen. Instead, I just have lots of peole telling me to "come in the living room for a minute and finish your drink. And when's the food going to be ready?"
    #18
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 18:37:58 (permalink)
    Unless I'm teaching you how to do something, keep your hands out of my prep and my cooking.

    When my wife was alive I did enjoy working with her in the kitchen. She always knew what I needed and when, and she was damned good in the kitchen, herself.
    #19
    Rusty246
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 18:43:31 (permalink)
    I like company, ONLY if they stay on the other side of my kitchen bar. My husband is contstantly in my spaghetti sauce, tasting this and that. It drives me nuts! Maybe I should consider it a complement......as far as friends and relatives, no how, no way, and they know it. I prefer my space, and I know how and in what order I want things done. I want dishes washed along the way, not to pile. Having "visitors" or "helpers" just slows me down, even if I'm not in a hurry. Besides, and pardon the bragging, but I'm the best cook I know. I usually give advice when ASKED only. In fact my best friend says: "If you were a man I'd marry you!" As far as my kid's, I give them fair warning when I getting ready to take my kitchen over...
    #20
    4fish
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 21:21:15 (permalink)
    quote:

    Oh yeah. One more thing. No one in my family knows how to load the dishwasher correctly. This is a MAJOR peeve of mine and I may die defending my way of doing it....


    I'm SORRY, OK, but I don't own one myself! I won't load my mom's anymore because I know she's just going to redo it as soon as I leave the kitchen. Of course, then I feel obligated to offer to wash up the leftover pots and pans, so maybe there's method to her madness.

    I live alone so I'm rarely sharing my own kitchen. If I have guests I'll let them open the wine, get the wineglasses off the top shelf (I have to get the stepstool to reach) and maybe toss the salad, but there's rarely anything more than that for them to do.

    I once helped a friend move and was aghast when she told me to unpack the kitchen boxes and just put things away in the cupboards. When I bought my house the kitchen boxes were unpacked slowly and cupboards frequently rearranged until I had everything just so. Now if someone were to come into my house and start rearranging, then you'd see a control freak!
    #21
    jgleduc
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/11 22:16:36 (permalink)
    It's almost always a struggle. There are those moments when a few extra sets of hands are needed, but then - "oh don't do it that way!". Sometimes my SO helps in the kitchen, but only with basic tasks - otherwise I get worried. Occasionally I politely put up with an interloper. But the only person truly welcome to take a hand in my kitchen is my father. I learned to cook from him and have worked in the kitchen with him so often that we easily fall into a groove. It's a bit more difficult at my house than at my parent's, as my kitchen is narrow and inadequate, but we make up for it. It's one of those situations in which one hardly needs to consult the other on what one is doing - it's pretty much all understood already.
    #22
    lamertz
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/12 09:31:48 (permalink)
    Love this thread! I,too,am a complete control freak about my kitchen.My kitchen meaning absolutely everything in it.My husband hasn't been in ours in our 20 years together and that's fine by me. I like having the grandkids in to help/teach. But that's diferent. Our friends know this and gladly sit on the other side of the bar. Some of them even do this when I visit them. I am shameless about "helping" others.Once a chef....

    #23
    Dipstick
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/12 09:37:45 (permalink)
    As my better half has told me several times, I make no points for heaven when I'm cooking!
    I tend to be very protective of my kitchen while I'm slavin' over the hot stove. I guess all those years growing up with a large family milling around the food preparation aimlessly finally took their toll!
    #24
    Lone Star
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/12 09:53:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by clothier

    quote:
    Originally posted by Kristi S.

    quote:
    Originally posted by chezkatie

    DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH MY STEMWARE!


    Oh yeah. One more thing. No one in my family knows how to load the dishwasher correctly. This is a MAJOR peeve of mine and I may die defending my way of doing it....


    Gee, and I thought it was just me...


    My mother was always a housewife and ran our home beautifully. After my father (an engineer) retired, he decided to "instruct" my mother in her "inefficiency" with her household tasks, especially the way she loaded the dishwasher. This argument has been going on now for years - he just doesn't get it.

    After dinners at their house and the KP is done, I have been known to go back and tump all the dishes in the dishwasher around from their "scientific" arrangement. They get clean just the same and it aggravates my dad to no end.

    I don't care how they are loaded, as long as everything dirty can fit!
    #25
    yumbo
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/12 10:22:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Grampy

    I nearly scalped the same sister-in-law for not peeling a potato properly.


    Grampy - How does one peel a potato properly?

    -Yumbo
    #26
    lleechef
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/12 10:22:58 (permalink)
    I'm only a control freak about the cooking and the food. As for the clean up, anybody can go in there, knock themselves out (where are my Brazilians???) load the dishwasher any damned way you want and don't forget to clean the stove! I'll just sit back and have another glass of wine!
    #27
    yumbo
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/12 10:28:20 (permalink)
    I'm also a bit of a control freak, but I'm trying to get "better."

    Nevertheless, I have 2 rules -

    1. Don't futz with stuff on the stove.

    2. Be careful where you put my Wusthof knives, and never ever put them in the dishwasher.
    #28
    rumbelly
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/12 10:47:08 (permalink)
    A kitchen is not ruled democratically.
    #29
    Grampy
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    RE: Kitchen Control Freak? 2003/12/12 10:50:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by yumbo

    quote:
    Originally posted by Grampy

    I nearly scalped the same sister-in-law for not peeling a potato properly.


    Grampy - How does one peel a potato properly?

    -Yumbo


    I'm sure there are several ways to peel a potato properly, but the concept is long, even strokes, undressing it, as it were. My sister-in-law was hacking at it with the peeler as if the potato had offended her in some way. Love thy potato.
    #30
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