Greetings! We want to welcome back our cousin and collaborator, Thunder K. Katt. She’s here with tips for helping your human cook.
Hello everyone! It’s Thunder, and I’m here to show even how the most undomesticated kitty can help their human in the kitchen! Make sure your human is in a good mood before you help, though, or you may not get the compensation for your time that you deserve. All of these tricks have been tried by me and my sister, Onyx; hopefully they work well for you!
Help set up by clearing off a space on the counter or table.
I’m not sure if all humans are as bad as mine are, but any time they clean off our counter and table, within two days it’s cluttered with new stuff! Cans of food (usually yucky foods, like canned veggies or sauces), bills, spices (again, nothing good like catnip- mine humans favor salt and white pepper), or bottles of soda- anything that fits will sit. Then, when she goes to mix the cake batter, or assemble the hamburgers, my mom gets super frustrated with the lack of space. Thankfully, cats can help with that! Use your paws or tails to swipe off the smaller items, such as pens, coins, and those pesky bills. If there are larger, bulkier items in the way, plop down next to them, forcing the full brunt of your weight against the item. They’ll move, and your human will have room to cook! Be careful not to disrupt anything glass, as the shards can hurt your paws, and try not to knock over any open containers of liquid- not only will you get wet, your humans will get grumpy.
Help gather the ingredients.
Have you ever seen your human pace back and forth to the refrigerator and cupboard five or six times to gather what they need, only to realize they forgot one last ingredient, yet again disturb your afternoon lounge to gather it? Put an end to it by grabbing the ingredients for them! Although most containers won’t fit into our mouths (sticks of butter and some smaller produce varieties are the exception), you can jump on the shelf and knock the ingredients off for them. I’ve found this works best with sticks of butter, packages of cream cheese, meats and cheeses, and spices kept in sealed, plastic containers. I would avoid doing this with anything liquid, and with flour, sugar, or loose spices. If they’re looking for a produce item, roll it to them with your paw- try to avoid putting it in your mouth, as many things humans cook with are either too bulky to carry or can harm you if ingested.
Test out the viability of the cookware.
What would be more tragic than your human working hard to prepare something, only to realize the dish they wanted to use wasn’t suitable to cook with? Save them the time and frustration by testing it out yourself! As soon as your human selects and lays down the dish they intend to use, jump into it. You can stalk around in it, roll in it, or just sit in it. Make sure you’re given enough time to truly test the quality of the dish- if you have to, repeat the procedure until you are satisfied. It is imperative that you perform this maneuver as soon as the dish is set out, to prevent anything from being put in the dish prematurely.
This is definitely one of the best parts of helping out in the kitchen! As yummy ingredients are opened and mixed together, make sure the quality is up to par! Simply go up to what you want to test and start licking. You can also stick your nose or paw in whatever you want, if there are multiple options. By doing this, you’re alerting your human that you’ve claimed that piece of food, and that they need to leave it for you. Don’t hesitate to perform quality checks multiple times throughout the cooking process- after all, a block of cream cheese is going to taste much different than cream cheese combined with milk, butter, and powdered sugar. You want to ensure that only the best is created in your kitchen!
A big bonus to helping is the added fiber that cat fur brings to the meal! While performing your quality checks, take the opportunity to shed in some loose furs. You’re making yourself more comfortable, and adding the gift of beauty and fiber to your human’s creation! This sounds like a win-win to me.
Make sure the oven is heated properly.
It is important to note that this can only be done with ovens, not stoves, and this must be done with caution and good judgement! Most baked goods and oven roasted meals require the oven be preheated to a certain temperature before baking can ensue. Although most ovens beep to let you know when the desired temperature has been achieved, don’t leave anything to error. As soon as the door warms up, snuggle right up against it to make sure it is properly heated. Walk away as soon as your human opens it up, though- no kitty wants a nose burn!
Help with cleanup.
Cleanup is typically seen as boring, and should mostly be left to the humans. However, there are a few ways you can have fun and help clean up. First, make sure you lead your human to the sink or trash can each time. This ensures your space is clean, and that they don’t get lost or distracted along the way. You can even sit in the sink if there’s room, since there’s no way any human can miss the adorableness of a cat. Secondly, much like how you help clear the space to cook, you can do the same for cleanup. Swat egg shells and wrappers onto the floor, or use your tail to sweep away powders. Paper towels make a wonderful crinkly toy that you can claim upon discard. Just avoid messing your beautiful furs up!
Be a natural timer.
This trick works best with meats. How many times have you been able to smell the delicious meat being cooked, knowing full well that your meal is done, only to have your human sit around for minutes more, making you wait? As a natural timer, you can fix that problem! Cats have a superior sense of smell, and by extension, knowledge of when food is cooked. As soon as your nose and tummy agree that the meat is cooked, let your human know! This can be done by sitting in front of the oven and yowling, rubbing against your human while purring and then running towards the oven, or by jumping on and off of your human repeatedly. This way, even if they forget to set a timer, or if they set the incorrect amount of time, you’ve got them covered.
Test the finished product!
The final- and best- step of helping in the kitchen is being able to test the finished product. As soon as temperature allows, go up to the food in question and give it a few nibbles. You can start slowly by licking it, or you can go for a large chomp. If neither of these options appeal to you, you can step on it and leave a paw print, or you can leave nose smudges on it. If you enjoy the food, do everyone else a favor and drag it over to share! That’s the greatest compliment you can give to a chef!
Hopefully these tips and tricks make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable! Everybody needs help; now you can be the purrfect assistant to your humans cooking needs!
Purrs and furs,
Thunder K. Katt