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Ok, so he doesn’t actually help.  But he is my ever-present companion when I cook.  My 3 1/2 year old either sits quietly on the corner of the table to watch me chop veggies and wash dishes, stretches up to touch whatever is on the counter, or peers inquisitively at my preparations from a chair and lets out a meow or two.  Oh, did I forget to mention he’s a cat?  Silly me.  Hutch, my kitchen companion, has an amusing number of canine qualities such as fetching, needing constant attention, coming when called, and–most pertinent to this post–wanting to sample whatever human food we eat.

He delights in the aroma of meat and the sight of fresh vegetables.  He’s present more often then not when I open the fridge, and he sticks his little head inside as if he’s searching for something too.  On days when I prepare the bulk of my food for the week, Hutch will make his way through the maze of ingredients and appliances on the kitchen table to get a better view of what’s happening on the counter and stove.  Sometimes I pick him up so he can survey the goings-on in full view.  He encourages me (perhaps it’s more of a demand) to give him tastes of food, and I oblige when it’s cat-friendly.

Hutch prefers tasty morsels that are hand-fed, so I offer tiny bits of soft chicken meat above his quivering nose and let him lick the teensy drop of cream from my finger.  Even more enticing to him is eating when he thinks it’s verboten. Therefore, I “forget” to put away items like celery, parsley, and kale so he can sniff and munch at the greenery…he thinks he’s so sneaky.  Hutch most likely does not attach much meaning to our moments, but I do.

Although my husband loves my cooking, he doesn’t love the process, so it’s nice to have company who appreciates and delights in it as much as I do–even if it is for different reasons.  It’s a bond Hutch and I share with each other, these hours in the kitchen.  My husband has moments with Hutch that I don’t have, and that’s fine with me, because these kitchen moments are mine.

Do you have a kitchen companion, either human or otherwise?

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