Cooking can be such a beautiful, enriching activity, especially when it is done with a close friend or relative. That’s the theory, at least.
When a person is used to cooking alone, the kitchen is that person’s castle, and a well-meaning buddy who wants to bake cookies together can start to look like a horde of invading Vikings at the gates the moment he or she puts a spoon in the wrong place.
Cooking together can and should be fun, but here are 14 faces you’ll probably find yourself making when someone new starts messing around in your kitchen.
1. Before they arrive, when you imagine your friendly cooking community
You will bond over cooking and share food (which is just a metaphor for love) in your beautiful kitchen, which in your mind looks just like Ina Garten’s.
2. When you hear them arrive
Suddenly you remember that you do not live in Ina Garten’s luxurious Hamptons house with her totally sweet, Food Network star kitchen. Oh well. Dust bunnies are earthy, right?
3. When you talk about your menu plans
Oh, it’s no big deal — we’ll just be having beef bourguignon from Julia Child’s recipe, but of course you tweaked it a little bit. Is that a giant container of French gray salt? Oh, it’s so delicious, but it’s no big deal, really. You just smuggled it through customs on your way back from a recent trip to Paris.
4. When they want to show off their specialty instead
You were all ready to show off your beloved beef bourguignon, but now your guest won’t stop talking about their grandma’s special meatballs and how you really have to try them and they’re just so easy and — move out of the way a moment — oh look, you have all the ingredients you need to make them, and suddenly you find yourself playing sous chef while your guest shows off their grandma’s special tofu meatballs with Old Bay seasoning.
5. When they want to know why you have all the wrong ingredients
Oh, is that not the right kind of chili powder? Maybe it’s because we were supposed to be making beef bourguignon.
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6. When you’re trying to be polite, but the voice in your head says they’re doing everything wrong
Oh, you like white pepper instead of black pepper in your mashed potatoes? That’s so interesting.
7. When they run the cleanliness “inspection”
Don’t open the oven hood! You didn’t even know it was possible to open the oven hood.
8. When you realize their recipe involves wine
The recipe involves wine? Oh, you’d better open it right now and let it breathe. You’ll only need a smidge anyway, so you might as well have a glass while you’re at it.
9. When they use up all your fanciest ingredient
Of course they should use your fancy gray Paris salt. Wait, this recipe calls for how much?
10. When they put the butter back in the refrigerator without wrapping it
Unwrapped butter? Sacrilege!
11. When they use your decorative cutting board for actual cutting
No! Not the inlay!
12. When they find your secret stash
It might be a box of fancy chocolate, a bottle of expensive alcohol or just a sleeve of Oreos the kids haven’t found yet, but whatever your secret kitchen treasure is, your new chef buddy is going to find it, and you’re going to have to share.
13. When you find your absolute deal-breaker
Using white pepper instead of black was one thing. Eating all the Oreos was another. But if the pasta water is not salted, nobody in this kitchen will survive past the amuse-bouche.
14. When they insist on helping to clean up
Someone else is helping to do the dishes? This must be what it feels like to live at Downton Abbey.