Three Week Culinary Challenge: Dirty Dishes

January 25, 2012 No Comments by Tiramisue

Over a month ago in Wellington I embarked on a project in the hope of improving my non-existant culinary skills. Well I completed my challenge, and with one exception, I did cook/bake at least one item every day.

I’ve learnt a lot about cooking this past month, but what’s interesting and rather unexpected is that I’ve discovered a trait about myself that I never knew I had.


Laksa made from rather dodgy Thai paste

Before I go further let me just say that I am NOT a neat person.

This is my room on a good day. It drives my parents nuts. In fact mum’s always saying she’s glad she never gave me a bigger room because it would mean an even bigger mess.

(I think I recall my ex-boss saying something similar when I was bugging for a larger desk. He took away my two-metre table and gave me a one-metre table instead. I thought it was an outrage.)

So when I started cooking, it was very surprising to discover that I absolutely cannot stand a messy kitchen. I hate seeing unwashed dishes in the sink, I hate seeing crumbs and spills on the counter top, and even as I’m preparing food, I’m cleaning up at the same time!

The only person I can attribute this to is my mum, and the years of doing dishes and cleaning up under her stern supervision. Locked away somewhere in my subconscious is an intolerance for a messy kitchen, just waiting to burst out at the right time. Like something from a sci-fi movie.

Nowadays if I see something out of place in the kitchen I have this massive urge to clean it up or put it back where it belongs. Basically the kitchen has to be spotless before I’m content to leave it.

And this happens even when we stay in backpacker hostels. I’m constantly asking myself, “Why do you want to do someone else’s dishes?! Why do you want to clean up someone else’s mess? Are you quite mad?”

Perhaps I am. It appears I can live in a pig sty as long as I don’t have to cook in it.

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