MIL’s Kitchen Weirdness

It’s been now a few days since my Chinese mother-in-law left Germany and it gave us enough time to rediscover our kitchen. Before her 3 months visit I already feared that the kitchen might be destroyed but thankfully it didn’t go that far. However there are a few things which are not really anymore the same. Right now I have to disappoint you as I did not take any pictures of the kitchen during MIL’s reign as it was just too much to take and I didn’t want to have any record of it.

MIL holding a speech about kitchen destruction

So what did happen in the kitchen? As you can see in the featured picture above it is a rather “simple” kitchen without too many things being all around. Well, it stayed a simple kitchen but it got stuffed with all kind of things. The kitchen counters were filled to the brim with Tupperware, vegetables, medications, some kitchen equipment, trash and other stuff. The same fate the fridge had to go through…filled to the maximum with all kind of things. The worst part was that she simply forgot some things/ lost the overview so more than just once food started rotting in some corners. The ultimate horrible happening was right after she had left and my wife went through the fridge. She found one Tupperware with some unknown creamy thing inside which smelled cheesy…it was the rest of the whipped cream my brother and his girlfriend brought for his birthday cake 6 weeks ago! My crazy mother-in-law just saved up the rests from that day and forgot about them.

Also some things broke during those three months. One bowl we lost as she dropped it from the fridge (yes, bowls filled with food, sauces and unknown materials were always in the fridge), another bowl has a crack, one part of the kitchen counter vanished (a small part to cover a gap behind), the tile flooring suffered as well, the fridge defrost drain got clocked more than once and many other smaller things.

Then there are the just weird things such as her talking often about how less many other Chinese are cleaning the kitchen equipment and she actually showing the very first day how to do it right but then never doing it again. This resulted that I spent hours scrubbing every pot clean/ back to their metallic look rather than the brownish crusted look, scrubbing multiple times the induction hob plate, the filter of the kitchen exhaust hood (usually done once every six months, during her reign every 2 weeks to no avail as oil was just running down on it all the time) and still much more things still. She seems to really dislike cleaning in the kitchen otherwise I can not explain this whole mess. I do not even want to mention the rice cooker…I still got nightmare from cleaning it. In my opinion she is a kitchen demon to wipe out humanity with dirty kitchen rags and rotten “things” all around.

Have you experienced similar kitchen nightmares?

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31 thoughts on “MIL’s Kitchen Weirdness”

  1. My MIL is banned from my (super awesome, clean and well organized) kitchen, as hers is just as you discribed above. Some time when I was at her place I wanted some milk for my tea… When I openend the fridge… BELIEVE ME! Something was living in there! A new unknown organism grew in some corner and became alife D:

  2. My MIL only cooks in our kitchen once a year on Chinese New Year’s Eve. She spends the great portion of the day cooking and because many of the dishes are cooked with oil, I give the kitchen major cleaning after the feast is finished. Even with the fans in the stove hood [I think that is what it is called] going, the surfaces still have an oily feel.

    Most offer to help do the dishes, but I politely decline. I do all the dishes, clean the floors, and wipe down all the surfaces, including the cupboard doors.

    1. Oh yes, the oil. My MIL uses incredible amounts of oil. Usually my wife needs a liter of oil per month maximum, MIL needs over a little per week! It is not that she cooks more than my wife but everything is prepared with insane amounts of oil

  3. It sounded MIL annihilated part of your kitchen by trying to squeeze as many things in it as possible. My mum likes a full fridge all the time…when it’s half empty or even if there’s a free space on the shelf, she will go shopping to fill it up.

    When my brother is the last one to eat dinner at home, the kitchen becomes a nightmare. There will be scraps of food clogging the sink and it will stay there until my mum comes around and cleans it up. Oh, not to mention the splashes of water everywhere that comes from how he washes the dishes… D:

    1. Oh I totally forgot to write about doing the dishes. You see we got a dishwasher which we usually switch on every few days. With MIL around we used it every two weeks as she did it all herself and everything was filled with cups and dishes in the kitchen. One might think it is a good thing however our water costs and electric costs (water is heated with a boiler here in the building) went up the roof with this

      1. I never use the dishwasher at home for that reason – too expensive in terms of costs. Plus, it’s faster to wash by hand. At least for me.

      2. Well, I our case using the dishwasher 2-3 times a week is much cheaper than washing by hand 🙂
        But we also got much more dishes to be cleaned everyday. When I used to live alone I also wash everything by hand as it was just so little to be cleaned

  4. Thankfully my MIL is more of a neat freak than me so I don’t need to worry about that! But I do think she would probably reorganize my kitchen despite it being neat >_>

  5. I’m always scared to eat anything from my parents-in-law kitchen. It looks like your description of your kitchen under your MIL’s reign. I wonder if it’s an Asian thing.

  6. Oh, my, she is a real kitchen demon! Her kitchen in Xi’an, is it one of those old and dirty by the years kitchens? That would explain why she doesn’t really care about dirt and oil running, haha. Every time I wanted to rent a flat and visited some apartments I saw really disgusting kitchens, like they had never been scrubbed…

    1. Actually my in-laws renovated their apartment completly five years ago and the kitchen is really clean but this is only due to FIL with his cleaning craziness. However their kitchen ventilation is as dirty as any other Chinese, oil just running down the other side of the pipe, really wonder why they use so much oil when other Chinese can make due with just a small percentage of that.
      I saw really terrible kitchens in China in the past years and just thinking about them makes my skin crawl

  7. Ha ha..I think rice cookers are supposed to be slightly dirty at all times:) Looks like you’ve cleaned up the kitchen nicely after typhoon MIL was there though:)

  8. It’s so sad that she destroyed such a cute little kitchen… I really dislike anyone using my pots and pans and so I never lend them or allow others to use them. I can’t stand if they get just a little caked, so I really feel bad for your utensils!

  9. Thankfully my boyfriend’s mum’s kitchen isn’t too bad clean-wise, but the I can’t stand the clutter! Tupperware and medicine packets of all kinds of things everywhere. She has so many bowls and dishes it’s ridiculous. They fill every cupboard ;__;
    The kitchen ventilation sounds just as dirty however.. The whole stovetop area has been covered in layers of tin foil so instead of being cleaned the foil is just periodically replaced. Except I don’t think it’s been changed in the year since I first saw it.

    1. Yes the lovely tinfoil or any other plastic wrapping whih can be found all covereing up the kitchen seems also a Asian thing. WHen MIL arrived she started covering our kitchen with plastic wrapping as well until my wife was able to stop her. Supposedly they change it every few months but in some households I have never seen them change in the past five years…

  10. Well, I’m something like MIL, kinda of messy in kitchen.

    But note: My mother was always clean about her kitchen. A real feat because she cooked and fed 6 children.

    1. Wow, six children! That’s really a feat. My father had three brothers and including himself three of the children were born during the Second World War and hence also raised inthe aftermath which he described as a very difficult time he wishes no one to ever go through again. My dear mother-in-law is more than just chaotic in the kitchen, sometimes I’ve got the feeling that she simply does not think ahead what needs to be done or what might be happening due to her actions but well, we still love her even with those quirks 🙂

  11. My MIL is actually pretty organised and keeps everything clean, problem is that she is not doing well with technology.

    She didnt like the dishwasher and insisted on handwashing every fish which she ruined by systematically using the metallic sponge. She also used a mop to clean the kitchenware and knives which left huge ugly stains and used my familys christmas napkins as a mop…

    She was also cleanin bthe dishes and pilng them up wet which is totally useless as you need to wash it again before using them.

    Fortunately i showed her a few tricks and bought microfiber cloth and she didnt react badly to the suggestions.

    Changes also included toilet paper on the dinner table (replaced by paper napkins) as well as not spitting food directly on the table.

    Her obsession with things new and clean also mean she cant leave even a single paur of socks dirty she need to Wash it NOW. I wouldnt say no but she washes the xlothes so manybtimes they end up ruined, she doesnt lnowbhow to iron and sadly i’d rather do it myself.

    So in my case it’s not that bad, we kinda found some middle ground, and in the process i realiszs that some of my culture i cant let go, especially the way a table is set no matter how much i love china and like the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of a chinese diner table, i need my table setup before lunch everyone and everything on the table before we start. Some things i cant let go i dont want my daughter spitting bones on the table at school or taking food directly from someone else ‘s plate.

    1. Don’t get me even started when it comes to using the washing machine or the dishwasher. My MIL is completly ignoring them and says that they use too much water, electricity and are not cleaning well enough. Okay, guess what,during the three months she was with was water and electricity usage tripled! So without her cleaning all the time we have three times less costs…
      I hope we get everything settled that our son won’t learn too many of the bad Chinese table manners such as spitting on the floor, dropping food rests everywhere etc as his Chinese family tends to do. I also prefer a more organized approach when it comes to preparing the table and have everything in order however I do love also from time to time the Chinese chaos 🙂

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