When you move five times within a four-year period, it becomes achingly clear just how much “stuff” you own. And I mean that literally, having done the packing and schlepping myself for most of those moves. As you can see in these photos, my stuff tends to be of the culinary variety. Although my collection of kitchen wares doesn’t qualify me for the Hoarding Hall-of-Fame like a Collyer brother or Bouvier Beale sister, it has nonetheless gotten a bit out of control.
Perhaps having a plethora of kitchen tools is the home cook’s equivalent of Linus’s blanket – we feel more secure in our culinary endeavors, knowing these tools are by our side. Sounds plausible, but nah, that’s just denial talking. Lately, I’ve been feeling the urge to downsize, which got me thinking about which tools are most essential in the kitchen.
What I am about to reveal will not paint a flattering self-portrait. It will not give you the warm-fuzzies or make you want to become my new very best friend forever (v.b.f.f.). Yet, it’s a story that plays out daily in kitchens across the country and undoubtedly is the source of “complications” in many relationships. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I’m willing to own up to it, for you see:
I am an alpha cook.
There. I’ve said it. What’s an alpha cook, you ask? In a nutshell, it’s somebody who must. be. in. charge. in. the. kitchen. A dictator in an apron. A cleanliness- and order-obsessed bitch with a whisk. The person who’s not going to be nominated anytime soon for the Retro Haus Frau of the Year award. In short, me.
It wasn’t until I had to share my kitchen with a beta cook, we’ll call him B for short, that I became aware of my, shall we say, obsessive tendencies, over matters of the culinary variety. As B has learned, I will likely turn down any well-intended offers to help me put together a meal, but I will happily bask in your praise for my cooking and let you clean up the kitchen afterwards.
Somewhere out there, some of you will be nodding your head, chuckling in recognition in a slightly guilty, knowing way. Fellow alpha cooks, you know who you are. As for the rest of you, hopefully, I’ll still be able to look you in the eye after you read this.