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2007-12-10 - 9:12 a.m.

...Dr. Jekyll Mr. Child? (as in Julia?)...

Yesterday, K and I went to a Christmas party at a friend's house, and K had volunteered to make 'appys.'

Aside: We have no idea where this nickname for appetizer originated, but we both find that the word "appy" makes us cringe. Sort of like using the word "garbage" in front of the British? I don't know. It doesn't help that K keeps referring to them as 'nappys.' So what's up with "appys?" SHUDDER.

Anyway, K volunteered to make ham and cheese croissants as our appy. I have to confess that I foresaw trouble and was trying to find something else to do to stay OUT of the way. K is a very particular cook - whenever he cooks a new dish in our kitchen, NOTHING WORKS. NOTHING goes right. Even the RECIPE is WRONG. In this case, circumstances made it so that he only had two hours before the party to prepare, and he was preparing a Swiss recipe that he hadn't made in three years, in a new country with a new oven, new ingredients, etc. So there were bound to be surprises.

It started off tragically with my mistranslating the German word for 'puff pastry dough.' Which meant that K had bought two rolls of 'phyllo dough' instead. (oops.) So we had the wrong type of dough, and the pastries were falling apart and drying out, and lacking the rich gooey lipidy goodness of a croissant from the outset. Not to mention, they were a bitch to roll because the phyllo dough just isn't a rolly kind of dough.

Now, normally, K is the most level, cheerful, charming, and helpful guy you've ever met. But get him in an uncooperative kitchen with a persnickety recipe, and the angry chef appears. Wow. He was cursing, yelling at the cats, stomping his feet, and on the verge of tears at one moment - all because the recipe wasn't working.

I had an inkling from before that this kitchen disorder existed. Yesterday when he made the apple cake, he informed me that the springform pan 'didn't work' - it burned the bottom of the cake... and I've watched before as he's stormed through the kitchen decrying the absence of ANYTHING USEFUL FOR BAKING and denouncing various kitchen appliances as CHEAP CRAP and / or BROKEN.

I guess it's useful to know these things about your partner...I'm sure that if he were writing this blog he could fill it with my particular quirks and weaknesses. But at least a kitchen disorder is really something that I can handle, especially because K returns to his charming wonderful self - and apologizes and hugs me - the minute the kitchen ordeal has passed.

Anyway, all turned out well in the end. The pastries he made - although certainly not the wonderful ham and cheesey goodness he had grown to expect the last time he made this recipe in a different country three years ago (ahem) - were a big success. Especially with the kids. The party was fun, too. A little bit kid-intense for kid novices like me... but fun nevertheless. We met a very cool woman in a neon green shirt who is a clutter organizer. What a cool job. She also spoke Platt Deutsch fluently, and came from the same type of family background as I did. I took her card, and hope to get her up here sometime over the holidays.

Weather report: Sunny and gorgeous, but cold. I will curl up with more papers at last today, but at least I will do it in sunlight.

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