Is cooking one of those things that either you like to do, or you don’t? Is there a middle ground?
For years, I’ve tried to figure out why I have an aversion to it. Could it be that I lack a “cooking gene,” just as I lack a “shopping gene?” (I wrote about it in May, 2009.)I hear some of you saying, “She doesn’t like to cook. She doesn’t like to shop. What kind of a woman is she?” Do these voices reflect my lack of self-esteem in the kitchen and the mall? (By the way, is self-esteem still a buzzword? I like to stay current.)
I grew up in a family where cooking was executed more from necessity than joy. There were no home-made rolls or lasagna. Everything was made quickly, aside from a few Sunday and holiday dinners. However, the southern roots of my parents made certain familiar things easy and fast. Cutting up a chicken was done lickety-split, and so was the mashing of potatoes.As a little girl, baking Betty Crocker cakes and homemade peanut butter cookies was fun; especially because I got to lick the bowl. (After a few fights over the bowl, Mom devised a system for brother and me to have an equal share.) But as I got older, it was time to step it up. Once, Mom left a chicken thawing in the sink for me to disassemble when I got home from school.
“Ewww,” is what I felt. I’d seen her do this a hundred times, but still, the headless, fleshy creature grossed me out. That was the beginning of my realization that I don’t like food preparation and ultimately, cooking.
How can a person love, love, looove food, yet lack the motivation to prepare and cook it?
I know – there are millions of others who feel the same. And I guess they do what I do – they get by.
Oh, once in a while I enjoy making something. It has to be delicious and highly anticipated; and I can’t be rushed. But, after five or six times of making it, the process goes into the boring and tedious category. The thrill is gone.
Another deterrent is my finicky family. My husband hardly eats carbs, so there goes rice (I use brown rice!), pasta, white potatoes, rolls, and anything with sugar, like a pineapple sauce over chicken. Leftovers hidden in clear plastic containers evade his palate, too.
Daughter #1 doesn’t eat beef or pork. And, if there is the slightest hint of even a piece of onion being in a dish, that’s a deal breaker. Same for things in the wet category like mayo or salad dressing. There goes chicken, shrimp, and tuna salad. Thankfully, she does like pasta sauce.
One of my favorite standards is a broccoli and diced ham quiche. Three of the five of us like that - 60% approval – not good.
I could go on, but I won’t. I think you get the point.Somehow, we all eat and we’re all healthy. Everyone has learned to roll up their sleeves and modify their meals.
The cooking dilemma is on my mind because I have children – girl children.The majority of women I socialize and/or communicate with, believe that it is their job to prepare the meals. They don’t actually say it, like, “It’s my job,” but they say other things, like, “John will be home soon and will want his dinner.” Or, “Michael doesn’t like fish, so I hardly ever make that.” Or, “No way Fred will cook.” Is it the same with the younger women, too?
What’s in store for my three girls? One of them helps her dad with cooking on holidays when he makes the meal, and she will cook an occasional Saturday morning omelet. Another will make sandwiches filled with cheese, hummus, and her favorite veggies. The third thrives from things that she can take out of a bag or box and put into the toaster or microwave.
Poor girls. They’re just like their mama! When they get married, will their husbands be the sons of mothers who never expected them to lift a finger in the kitchen. I hope not.
So many of you like to cook. I see it on your blogs. It’s like art.For me, it seems a waste of time; like I could be doing something else. But, gotta eat; gotta do it. And really, it’s okay.
And my girls will be okay, too.What is the cooking routine in your home? Are the kids included? Is there a difference between what the girls and boys do?