Swedish Girl In London

London Life: Bright Lights, Big City. Now what's on TV?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Right Stuff

Believe it or not, but I have never trained to be an austronaut, so I don’t know what stringent tests they put you through to judge your psychological mettle. Maybe you have to calculate the square root of 7656, as you hang upside down in a hangar while a NASA guy blow-dries your face – what do I know?

Or maybe, if they are smart, they make you cook in front of an audience. If you can deal with that, you can surely deal with bits of your spaceshuttle falling off mid-orbit and other nuisances.

I can’t even make a bowl of cornflakes if people are watching me, but I seemed to forget this fact when Pingu was over for dinner yesterday.

“Just sit down and have a cup of tea while I’m cooking,” I said benevolently.
“Are you sure?”
”Of course, sweetie! Only, you can’t have tea because I realize that we have run out. What about a friendly-bacteria Yakult instead?”
“Oh. Thanks.”

It only took me five minutes to go all wild-eyed, manically rushing about the kitchen waving an oven-mitt at some in promptu fire and claiming that “everything was under control” in a strangely shrill voice.

“What are you making?” Pingu enquired politely.
“Tortilla Espanola. Now we just have to turn the pan over… bugger! Oh, nevermind, we can scrape it off the stove. Everything is under control!”
“Sure you don’t want some help?” Pingu asked.
“No, no, you sit yourself down now.”
“Oh. All right.”
“Another Yakult?”

[Oh well. I never wanted to go into space anyway.]


At 8:20 PM, Blogger Magnetic Mary said...


No it's not funny, really... those damn tortillas...

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Ach don't worry about it. I can barely cook even when people aren't watching.

At 1:39 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

I'm a control freak in the kitchen. Nobody is allowed to watch!

At 7:52 PM, Blogger hen said...

Watching can lead to back seat cooking which I am sure is in the Geneva convention or something.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard said...

I have worked as a waiter at several tableside restaurants where the essence of the job is cooking in front of people.

Tough gig, but great tips!!

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Swedish girl (so am I), I came across this blog googling something rather naughty...
Well, not THAT naughty but anyway...Think you mentioned NW1 area once or so. Just had this urge to contact you for some reason, maybe because I live there and thought we might have something in common. Which we probably don't, but still... Oh, and was curious to find out more about you. Did you say you were from Stockholm?
If you feel like it, please email me: gizelle_@hotmail.com

At 3:28 AM, Anonymous kate said...

It must be the Italian in me or something, but I thrive when people are in the kitchen with me. I don't let anyone touch anything...but they can watch :)

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard said...

kate, you are a culinary tease.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Lucky said...

I love to cook for people and I try not to mind people watching me in the kitchen. I'm able to keep a cool, confident exterior while inside my soul feels like it's in a martini shaker. And when all the timing comes together and the food is on the table I say "excuse me for a moment" and I go in the bathroom and sweat, curse and cry.

At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Nothing But Bonfires said...

Yakult! I'd forgotten all about Yakult! And I was quite pleased about that, actually. Sort of wish that's how it had stayed.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger lady miss marquise said...

I have a strange deluded dream to appear on *Ready, Steady, Cook*

Sad, I know. It could be down to the James Martin fixation, more so than my desire to cook in front of people. Although I have no qualms about cooking in front of people, but like Kate no one is allowed to touch anything...

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Yet another reason not to cook. I don't need a reason, per se, because I don't cook. However, it is good to have a list, just in case.

One of my favorite bloggers uses the gal from this picture as her icon, it made me laugh to see it on another blog.

At 8:29 AM, Blogger rubria said...

hi swedish girl. i run a european city blog: http://www.shortcut.squarespace.com/ and we're looking for a london blogger. if you'd be at all interested, please contact me at shortcut.europe@gmail.com. Thanks.
(couldn't find an email anywhere to contact you).


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