Monday, January 17, 2011

Kitchen Adventures, Etc.

Not me

My name is Rachel and I am not domestic. Just putting "Rachel" and "kitchen" together in the same sentence is sure to garner some laughs from those who know me best. However, since my uni doesn't have a meal plan, that requires me to cook unless I want to shell out money three times a day for prepared food at school, I have to sort of learn to cook. I say "sort of" because I know how to make pasta, chicken, potatoes, and cookies (and my cookies can be a little dodgy if I've read the fractions wrong... be very afraid.) That's it. But my mom has just sent me a link of student recipes, so no doubt there will be more entries about my adventures in domesticity.

But we shall focus on two particular instances that occured in one night (Friday night.) I wasn't sure if we would be given dinner when we got to Herne Bay (though it turned out that we did, other people did not, so it was a good plan.) So I turned on the stove to boil some water for pasta, put the pot and water on with some salt, and went back to my room to finish packing. About ten minutes later, I went back to kitchen to find that the water was still sitting there very What the freak? Why wasn't it boiling? It had been sitting there for ten minutes and I could feel the heat from the... oh. The burner next to the one it was sitting on. Oops. So I grabbed the handle of the pot to move it and burned my hand because it had been hanging for ten minutes over the burner that was actually on. I'm super smart.

Burning myself seems to have been my thing this week- when I was cooking chicken in a frying pan the other night, I kept trying to rest my wrists on the edge while flipping it or cutting it to make sure it was done. And this weekend at homestay, I burned a shiny strip across my thumb while straightening my hair. Pain for beauty... and food :p

That same night, Adrienne joined me in the kitchen as I was washing off some of my dishes. The water pressure in the sink I was using was nothing, so I decided to turn it off and heat up some pasta sauce while I waited for it to sort itself out. So I'm taking the sauce out of the microwave when the sink I had been using turned itself on full-blast, the water hitting the basin so hard that it was splattering the floor and walls around it. I put down the bowl of sauce and ran over to try and stop it, but no twisting of the knobs would make any difference. Adrienne and I both stood back and just watched, a little freaked out... and then the other one started doing the same thing! We both attacked a sink, twisting the knobs every way possible (so... two) to try and stop the water, but nothing worked, the water was scalding hot, and we didn't want to get soaked right before we left, so we stepped a safe distance across the wet kitchen and watched as the sinks worked together to spurt water everywhere.

"I think the kitchen's possessed!" Adrienne yelled over the sound of water on metal, and it certainly seemed that way for awhile, but apparently the spirits got it all out of their system a few minutes later, when the water stopped drilling into the sink and the water pressure was nil again... making it just as difficult as before to wash my dishes. :/

In semi-blog related news, I'm ecstatic that The Social Network won a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay (among other things) because that's the first thing I noticed about it when I was watching it on the plane over here- the writing is fantastic. Go see it! This relates to my blog because I would like to sing the praises of Facebook for allowing me to find out about an audition next week in London. Before I came over, I researched a ton of London theatres, subscribed to them on Facebook and Twitter and looked at their audition dates. One subscription on Facebook got me invited to an auditon for a play in which there is actually a part for me! So I'm pretty excited about that :)

One more thing I noticed when I was on homestay- when I'm in conversation with English people, I auto-correct a lot (look at the use of linguistic lingo. Gotta make that terrible class worth something.) Auto-correcting, if you don't know, is when people (women are more prone to it) automatically elevate or change their speech in an effort to make some sort of impression on the person they're talking to. In my case, when I would converse with my host mother and/or her children, I would make a big effort to replace my American vocabulary with British- coach for bus, university for college (and never "school"), tube for subway, football for soccer, etc., and I do that a lot with my English classmates, as well. As I said, this is less in an effort to appear English (considering that my accent sticks out glaringly) than it is an effort to blend in as much as possible and avoid any double-takes during conversation; I just want to have the conversation.


DivaDea said...

Ah, the kitchen. I used to set the stove on fire so often that I wouldn't even bother to end my phone conversation while I put it out.

Anonymous said...

The kitchen is not so scary when you can muster up a few good meals. (and impress your friends)
I started my cooking when I went to college too!
Then your dad improved my cooking throughout the years.
So see, there is hope LOL

Be careful IN the kitchen... we do not want to have to re-build the dorm!

Courtney said...

I feel as though cooking is one thing that all of us learn a little bit of, abroad--I didn't do a ton of it because I was staying with a host family and had a stipend, but I did learn how to make a few of the simple Chinese dishes! (Some of them involve LOTS of chilies and this interesting spicy pepper that numbs your tongue.... I have warned Stuart that I will be trying to reproduce it next semester, so we'll have to see how that goes...)

And aw.... I am sorry to hear that you've burned yourself a lot lately! It does honestly sound like your water system is possessed; have you and Adrienne tried performing an exorcism of any sort? :-P

Rachel said...

Courtney- yes, at least I'll be able to do some new things in the kitchen by this summer, no matter how bland those things might taste :p I request that you film Stuart rying these new things,as I would like to see his reactions, LOL.

Yes, I think we have some angry spirits in our kitchen... possibly it's because our flatmates NEVER wash their dishes and we have a growing mountain on our island. As a person, I would like to do things to the kitchen to express my anger, so I can imagine what a spirit might want to do, LOL.

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