A little while ago I posted a question to my Facebook friends: ” Keen cooks, what do you argue about with your partner when cooking in the kitchen?”
The results were amusing and illuminating. These were some of the responses.
–Mess. I’m a clean as you go type of cook.
– “Stir it to the right.” “No!!!!! stir it to the left!” “Alright then, you’re on your own!”
–OK, so technically this is after cooking but Sol and I have arguments about the best way to wash dishes. He hates my technique so much that I can only wash dishes when he’s not home
– I would have to say mess! I don’t even know how he does it but there is shit everywhere when rob cooks. And apparently I don’t stack the dishwasher correctly…
This feedback inspired an article I wrote for Gourmet Traveller with my partner Paul. Take the kitchen quiz…
Quiz: How well do you cook with others?
Cooking solo and cooking with others are two very different matters – and your demeanour in the kitchen can say a lot about you. So, are you a zen-like dream when cooking with your significant other or closer to a raging bull? Take our quiz to find out.
Cooking is an art, and cooking with others – particularly your significant other – is an art form. Sure, the kitchen has the potential to be a little stressy, with all those sharp things, blunt things and naked flames, but by harnessing your Emotional Intelligence, you can ensure that your culinary arena is like the Garden of Eden before all that apple business.
We’ve devised the following quiz to help you measure your kitchen EI: are you the the Gandhi of the grill or the Stalin of the stove?
1. While hovering over you as you prepare snapper fillets, your partner mentions that your previous skin-crisping efforts have been average. Do you:
a. Take their excellent advice to pat the skin dry first.
b. Excuse yourself to the pantry for a 10-minute sob and, when you emerge looking like a rabbit with advanced myxomatosis, claim you’ve been preparing onion confit.
c. Launch a scathing rebuttal that’s ingeniously framed around the time they glanced at the brunette in the supermarket.
2. Your partner is slicing a bocconcini ball with the one good knife, leaving you to hack at a turnip with the butter knife. Do you:
a. Power-walk to the shops for a new knife, taking a detour to get a “We make a great pear”card.
b. Sigh in your partner’s direction and say mournfully, “Gee I wish I had a better knife…”
c. Get the axe from the shed.
3. Your partner’s clean-up-at-the-end-if-ever approach is clashing with your draconian clean-as-you-go philosophy. As the dishes in the sink pile up Jenga-style, do you:
a. Attend to them while trilling “Que sera, sera”.
b. Balance their favourite mug (a gift from their late aunt) precariously on the top of the pile.
c. Vow never to clean a single dish even when, weeks later, you’re forced to drink tap water from your cupped hands.
4. Your partner just pulled off an amazing 10-course degustation. As they dissect the brilliance of each course in forensic detail, do you:
a. Applaud wildly: not many people would carve an Eiffel Tower centrepiece from a cucumber.
b. Repeatedly mention how bang-on your one contribution – vacuuming the hallway – was.
c. Turn up the telly and feign deafness.
5. Your partner has decided that hummus would make a fitting accompaniment to your green curry. Do you:
a. Compliment them on their innovative thinking and reflect that they may be onto something.
b. Roundhouse kick the hummus tub from their hands.
c. Mentally divvy up the white goods in preparation for your impending divorce.
6. You believe that baguettes should be sliced at a 38-degree angle to maximise surface area for buttering. Your partner is cutting at a reckless 45. Do you:
a. Mention that your method yields 15 per cent more Lescure butter per mouthful.
b. Grab the knife and do it yourself while muttering something about paying peanuts and getting monkeys.
c. Demote them from commis chef to waste disposal operative.
If you scored:
Mostly As – Top of the class
You are Personality Type Maggie Beer. Your kitchen EI is as big as a show pumpkin. You play well with others and love feedback (how else does one learn?). Just found out that fifteen vegan coeliacs have turned up unexpectedly for Christmas lunch? Bienvenue, pull up a chair! You’re the harmonious home cook everyone wants to be and be with.
Mostly Bs – Fair effort
You are Personality Type Pete Evans. You have charm and a cool exterior, but the wild look in your eyes gives it all away. While you usually hold it together without medication, an inappropriately julienned carrot or poorly stacked dishwasher can trigger psychosis.
Mostly Cs – Improvement required
You are Personality Type Gordon Ramsay. You’re as welcome in the kitchen as a pregnant cockroach. Screaming is your default mode of communication and your favourite cooking style is back seat. Remember: cooking with your partner is a joy, not Guantanamo’s vilest torture.
P.S Andrea – questions 6 is dedicated to you and your Mum 🙂
Dear Collaborative Team!
I found your article on kitchen collaboration (or lack of) creative and perceptive. I am awarding myself ‘C’ for all questions as I’d rather admit being a mini Stalin than a false Ghandi! -:)
I enjoyed reading it. Happy cooking in 2018!
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If you are a ‘c’ there is very good reason – it’s because you are a kitchen god and nobody should interfere with your genius!!!!!! 🙂 Speaking of your genius, we have booked in your delicious Christmas pudding to be enjoyed at Chinese New Year. Can’t wait! Everyone is excited!
Happy New Year too 🙂