Not strictly recipe related, but important for the cook's sanity.
When I cook, I need the kitchen to myself. I need space to carry boiling hot water to the sink without risking burning well meaning intruders or having curious onlookers distracting me while the meal burns. I admit it, I'm a control freak in the kitchen. But I have trouble maintaining focus when people want to talk about whether or not it's raining harder today or was it raining more yesterday.
I either need the whole room to myself or if you are going to help, you need to be under my direct command. Otherwise someone gets injured (usually me cutting myself to avoid cutting the strange hand that suddenly dashed under my knife).
So how do I discourage people from being in the kitchen? How do you discourage them?
I tried asking nicely and telling firmly to get out while I'm working. It really doesn't work, in fact it has the opposite effect.
I don't feed tidbits (although people feel it's quite okay to steal them from under my knife... ug!) or any other treats until meal time. I don't want to encourage them to come a begging.
I have tried putting people to work. Fine, if you are going to be in my way in the kitchen, you can do this really awful job. I even go out of my way to buy make-you-cry onions for interlopers to chop (even when I don't need onions) just to try and reinforce the idea that the kitchen is for working, not hanging out or gawking. But they have caught on to the fact that I don't need onions chopped for making bread pudding, and simply refuse while standing in front of the cupboard with the raisins (and won't get out of the way!)
*pulls hair in frustration*
I need help finding a new way to keep people out of the kitchen while I'm cooking, otherwise they are going to go hungry while I go quietly insane in a corner somewhere.
Oh, and I'm talking about adults here. Kids know better than to awaken the 'Great Grump of the Kitchen' (me).
So what do you do in order to have the kitchen to yourselves? Or, am I the only one who had this trouble?