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I’m A Mother – And A Bully In The Kitchen

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My good friend and cottage soul mate, who is not a morning person, and not much of a cook, recently regaled us with hilarious tales of the Kitchen Gymnastics that take place every day in her home. It starts when she descends the stairs to drink her morning coffee. Grandma will emerge from her bedroom, as if on cue, and make a bee-line for the kitchen. She’ll start frantically busying herself while my friend, still in Zombie-mode, fumbles around for a cup. If my friend attempts to move from the espresso maker to the kitchen sink, Grandma will position herself dead centre and block her passage. Literally boxing her out! If my friend needs to grab a hand towel from the oven hook, Grandma will find herself fiddling with the stove dials as if she is prepping a feast. Except she isn’t. It’s 7 o’ clock in the morning! And to be frank, Grandma really has nowhere to go, and certainly not at that hour!

My friend, on the other hand, has yet to wake up her son for school, and has to get herself ready to go to work as well. The best part of this hilarious scenario is the way in which my friend describes Grandma’s comedic physical movements. Much like a broad-shouldered full back, Grandma stands in tackle position, legs splayed with arms outreached, gesticulating wildly as she moves stealthily around the kitchen. It’s enough to make anyone want to pour hot water on the old woman, but the hilarity of the situation helps to quell any such violent outburst. Unfortunately, the morning is not the only time that such scenarios unfold; it happens all the time and particularly when my friend happens to find herself in the kitchen.

And then there’s me. Back in the day when my then boyfriend, now husband and I shared an apartment, we ate out as much as we cooked in. I also had fabulous friends — great cooks who hosted many functions and experimented with different food preparations. As a result, our taste for good food became more refined and diverse. I would make what he considered to be “gourmet” meals, and I was pleased to do so because he was such a gracious recipient of my food. That is, until he started to sauce his food. Which I arrogantly presumed meant that he was doing something wrong, as in, killing the beauty of my culinary creations — I know, ego much?

At the same time, I believed that he was not too discreetly insinuating that my food had fallen short; that it was either bland or unsavory. I mean, what would you think? The funny part is when he took me aside and in soft tones said, “Love, I love your food, but I also like to eat my food the way I like to eat my food.” Oh. I’m sure the look on my face summed up my entire response. Laughing, I told him that it never occurred to me that what I had prepared could or should be “sauced.” That because I tend towards purist tastes in the kitchen, so should everyone else! I then proceeded to tell him that his predilections for saucing “my food” were blasphemous and compromised the integrity of the tastes I created specifically for the dishes he so wantonly sauced. So you know the face dudes make when they’re no longer listening to you? He did that. And then he just laughed some more.

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