lisa and i were new friends - we didn't know each other THAT well and this would have been her first time seeing my apartment. it was a small studio - 17m squared. she sat on the couch while i baked and watched me - 2 feet away in the kitchen. she laughed when i put on rubber gloves to handle the chicken. i think she thought i was being funny, but at the time, chicken really grossed me out. i have since mostly gotten over the disgust of raw meat, but sometimes it comes back and i still keep a pair of rubber gloves on hand.
we had a nice conversation and while the chicken cooked i began preparing the side salad. i had a beautiful cucumber from the store that i held up in one hand with the knife in the other. "would you like some cucumber on your salad?" i asked, quite pleased with myself."suuuure..." she replies hesitantly. she was irish and i assumed her hesitancy was because they didn't put cucumbers on salads in ireland. i continue chatting as i am cutting and placing the slices of delicious veggie on the small salad plates i had. she stares at me and finally says, "but, you know that's a zucchini, right?"
i looked at the half-cut cucumber in my hand and realized it DID look a little funny. i didn't want my new friend to discover my ineptitude with all things culinary, so i said, "of course, i knew that." i had NO IDEA. she wasn't fooled. we decide to add it to the chicken to make our own sort of ratatouille.
the morale of this kitchen katastrophe is three-fold:
- bring a dictionary to the store in a foreign country
- cookbooks are invaluable - keep one on hand for last-minute reference
- pretend you know what you're doing no matter what!