Anyone who knows me personally or who follows me on social media probably knows that I enjoy cooking. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m great at it, but there’s something I love about creating something, anything in the kitchen. I don’t enjoy creating a mess and cleaning it, but I guess it comes with the territory.
Speaking of territory, I am known to get kind of territorial when it comes to the kitchen. I consider it to be my space. I mean, people can eat in there if they must, but I don’t really like to have everyone in there “helping” me or getting in my way. I know that might sound a little mean, but when I get help, like say with the dishes, I end up having to rewash something or I’m searching forever for a utensil or colander because someone put it in the wrong place. I’ll admit, I have control issues.
I just love being in the kitchen. I have my own little TV in there and I can even set up my laptop if I wanted to write or do some work. But just like I once thought the bathroom was my safe place, I’m quickly learning that the kitchen being my solace is also going out the window. It’s not going, it already left. Wherever mom is, the kids usually are. Carter is all over me touching my face or trying to get me to decipher what he needs or wants, Taylor is all over me, fussing at me to hold her, so I know exactly what she wants, Vanessa is asking me questions about a homework assignment or telling me some story about something “funny” that happened (kids these days). Now, Quang has encroached into my territory. Doing things I’d never thought he’d do. He washes dishes, puts them away (I normally just keep them stored in the dishwasher until I need them), and now he cooks! He recently showed interest in cooking and he ended up purchasing a wok for us.
What a great way for us to spend some time together and learn some new stuff. It sounds great at first. But I immediately thought to myself….
How long will it take for us to get on each other’s nerves?
Quang admitted he thought the same thing. I mean, it’s not like we don’t enjoy spending time together, but I guess when we start stepping on each other’s toes in a confined area, then things can get interesting.
I agree that cooking together can be fun and we decide to give it a try. Let the battle begin.
Saturday: Day 1 of Fun
On today’s menu is Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry (in our brand new WOK)! Cooked today by Chef Q. He’s Asian so he can’t fail at this, right?
We head to the grocery store, kids in tow, and scour damn near every aisle to find what we need.
“Do we already have this?” was a recurring question. We forgot to check the list at home to cross off anything we already had. So, yea, we ended up with some things we already had. Oh, well. As usual, a trip to the grocery store with the kids was a blast. Carter was bouncing around, getting in the way of other people. They patiently waited for him to move while I sometimes pretended not to know him. Taylor was causing a scene trying to get us to take her out of the basket. Vanessa was in search of everything vegetarian, while Quang tried to convince her that she should eat meat. Good times. Over a hundred bucks later and just a couple of bags, we get home ready to conquer this new dish.
Are we having fun yet??
After unpacking everything I get to work on chopping the broccoli as Quang stands over my shoulder.
Chop chop chop.
He’s still standing there.
Chop chop chop.
I pause for a second and look back at him wondering why he’s still there. I mean, can’t he be doing something else? I give him a smile and start chopping again. And then he opens his mouth.
“Is that how you’re going to chop the broccoli?” he asked.
And there it is. I feel my annoyance level rise. So now I can’t chop broccoli correctly or something? No, I’m not going to chop it this way. I’m going to suddenly stop and start chopping the broccoli in a completely different way. I mean, what are my options here? I want to take the broccoli and throw it at him. I opt for just asking him if he would like to chop the broccoli himself. Since obviously he can do a better job.
Definitely having fun.
As Quang and I try to maneuver between each other I think about how different this is than what I see on TV. I love to watch cooking shows. They make everything look soooo easy. Even when there’s more than one person in the kitchen, everything still goes smoothly. And of course, everything they make tastes so good. Like the best thing they’ve ever made. I’d be interested in seeing a real cooking show. The mess, the set up, the failed dishes, the arguments. Now that would be interesting.
My kitchen looks nothing like this:
Smiling faces, completely organized, clean spaces. Not at the Nguyen household.
My kitchen looks a little more like………
The biggest freaking mess you’ve ever seen. There’s no prepped ingredients already chopped or measured. There’s no sink big enough to hide all the dirty dishes. There’s no organization of any kind. We’re just kind of spread out all over. The smiling faces come later when we’re actually eating. Until we turn around and all the dishes are still there.
Needless to say it wasn’t all that bad. I mean, it’s probably gonna take some getting used to. Having someone else in my kitchen acting like the head chef. I have to remind him that he’s not in charge. He’s just the sous chef. My sidekick. The assistant in my kitchen. Time to put on the apron and follow orders. He should be used to that.