Sunday, October 9, 2011

En la Cocina

This week I worked for my morning routine as the kitchen wench.  This is not the official job title, but it should be.  Assisting the disagreeable señora, each morning I cut fruit for breakfast and set the table.  I also was lucky enough to score the job again to help prepare the lunch for a few days.   I don’t think I still have a fair read on her but let’s just say she is not the sugary sweet grandmother type.  She bangs around the kitchen bumping into whomever or whatever is in her way. She has very specific ideas about how to cut fruits and vegetables (she’s been here for 8 years) and unfortunately for most of the volunteers who speak some but not fluent Spanish, she only repeats the same words over and over but in a louder and harsher voice in order to explain her preferred preparation method.  A few volunteers have ended their time in the kitchen in tears but I have vowed not to do so.  I know how to cook.  I can chop, dice, etc.  These skills help (especially compared to the 20-somethings here right out of college with not much more than Mac-and-cheese in their cooking repertoires.)  Unfortunately, she still is usually not pleased with my fumbling in Spanish while I attempt to get a clear directive from her.  Instead of letting it get to me I’ve decided to kill her with kindness and not show that the banging and yelling affect me at all.  Inside my mind I am usually reeling and bad-mouthing her in any Spanish phrases I can think of (which sadly I don’t have many and should have paid more attention to the side conversations in my high school Spanish classes,) but outside I'm all sí and por favor and gracias.  Thankfully next week I will be back to an outdoor morning chore and done in the kitchen!


  1. So great to be reading your blog. You write well and I can tell that it is the Angela that i know that is writing.

    Yes being a volunteer in someone's kitchen can be an experience. Hang in there.

  2. Maybe you could introduce her to the Soup Nazi!