This blog features news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.
We all get a little territorial in the kitchen sometimes. Which direction to slice an onion, whether to clean up in stages or all at the end, when to season–these are areas where personal preference can be strong, and where, in the heat of a busy cooking session, you don’t want someone nitpicking over your shoulder.
So the best cooking partner is one who will step aside, keep his mouth shut and manage to pick up all the scraps you drop without blocking your access to the stovetop — not to mention one who always thinks your cooking is worth drooling over.
I’ve been lucky enough to cook with just such a partner for the past four and a half years.
He’s not much for prep work, and his knife skills are, thankfully, untested. But he can clear a plate like a pro, and at the sound of the words, “clean up,” he’ll drop anything he happens to be doing at the moment and rush to the end of my pointing toe.
I don’t have to ask for his attendance when I start working in the kitchen. The moment a produce bag begins to rustle, or the clink of dry pasta sounds on a Pyrex cup, he comes trotting in. Even though it doesn’t make too much of a sound, something about the action of pulling butcher paper away from meat brings him sprinting to my side, an almost trance-like look in his eyes as he looks up at the counter.
He’s watched with remarkable focus as countless balls of pizza dough have become pies, as pancakes have been flipped, as butter has been whipped for cookies and cakes.
Were it not for his unfortunate lack of opposable thumbs (and the fact that he stands less than two feet off the ground) I am sure he could perform all of these tasks to perfection.
For now, he’ll just have to settle for eating the remnants of my cooking.
Thanks, Eddie. You’re a cook’s best friend.
Do you have a loyal cooking companion? Tell us about them in the comments.