Let’s Dish: Quirks in cooking

by Amy Flanigan on February 18, 2009 · 5 comments

Rewind about 20 years and you would have found me working at a pizza joint. And if you had been a fly on the wall, you would have witnessed my boss, Bjorn, berate me over and over again for spending too much time “organizing” my pizza toppings.

Present day: I don’t work for a pizza joint anymore. But I am still neurotic about spacing out my ingredients evenly, no matter what the recipe is. It’s not a fear of different foods touching each other; it’s about needing every bite of food to have ALL the ingredients. The mayonnaise or peanut butter must be spread out so that every single grain of bread is painted, the sauce must cover every strand of pasta, and the powdered sugar must dust the pancakes like snowflakes, not cotton ball clumps.

I watch some of the cooking shows as the chefs grate, chop, and stir. Nothing is even or measured out precisely. And there are parts of the “canvas” that are…gulp…left untouched. And yet, they do not sweat. They remain calm. They do not need therapy.

Maybe I did lose the pizza company money due to all that extra time spent on my obsession for spreading out the toppings just so. But I made the best damn pizzas.

Do you have a cooking quirk?


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol February 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

I was surprised, when watching cooking shows, how relaxed they are about putting ingredients together. Now I don’t worry so much about having everything perfect. In fact, sometimes the uneven distribution can make the dish more interesting, as you can get a burst of flavor in various bites. I must confess, however, that yesterday lunching with friends I redistributed the filling in my sandwich because it was piled high and thick in the middle with nothing at the ends. It was too thick to bite into!


Mike February 19, 2009 at 7:47 am

I think I have more eating quirks than cooking quirks.


Amy February 19, 2009 at 7:36 am

Oh, I have another quirk. Actually I have many, but this one makes my husband shake his head….I need to touch the cereal as it’s pouring out of the box and entering the bowl. I have to.


Anna February 19, 2009 at 7:04 am

I wash my hands constantly when I’m in the kitchen. Even when I touch the plastic wrap the food comes in. It’s a little ocd, I know.


Lisa February 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I’ve been eating the exact same breakfast for the past 15 years or so. A granola and yogurt combination. I stock a ton of it in the house for fear I might run out.


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