The interrogation

“And how long do you cook this part?” Ann asked. I wanted to kill her.

We had decided to make stirfry for dinner, to use up the tofu and veggies. Little did I realize that this would nearly drive me over the edge.

My sister, who is an excellent cook, is also a by-the-recipe cook. Despite being a vegetarian and a fan of Asian food, for some reason she has never made stirfry before.

I make stirfry once a week, and I always improvise it. I take what’s on hand and follow the basic progression of a Chinese stirfry dish. I’ve done this so often that I don’t even bother to taste it as I go along, anymore.

But Ann wanted to know each and every step.

She also doesn’t know her way around my kitchen, and so she has to ask multiple questions at every step: “Which pot should I use? Where are your wooden spoons? What size chunks should I cut up the carrots into? Where do you keep the garlic?…”

This sequence of questions felt like an endless barrage from a hostile interrogator.

It’s another of those weird things about my reluctant brain – it resists questions. More than one question in a row, and my brain starts protesting: “Stop it! Get away!”

I guess my brain just isn’t ready to retrieve information on demand.

Especially painful is the need to think about something that I don’t need instructions for – and then instruct someone else about it. Like making stirfry.

I tried hard to conceal my annoyance. Ann was just trying to make dinner, and her questions were perfectly reasonable. She’s my big sister, and I love her.

But I could have killed her.