I hate to cook. No, that’s a lie. I love to cook. I hate having to cook.
I hate the night after night after night chore of preparing dinner on demand for some chaotic schedule between hockey/soccer/band practices and working late. The seemingly ever changing chorus of – “I don’t like X” or “I don’t eat Y”.
Deciding every day what to make for dinner is pretty high up there on the least favourite list, too. It’s kind of like choosing the device by which you would prefer to be tortured. Don’t you think?
I think it’s high up on others’ list, too, because never has there been a more consistently puzzling conundrum than to ask a family member what they’d like for dinner. The universal answer? “It doesn’t matter.”, “Whatever you like.” or just “Whatever.” And then after running through the ping pong of “How about X” and they say “Nah.”, a few times, you say “Well, then, what DO you want?” Response: “Whatever.” and you pick up phone and order pizza. Again.
An, oh, the mess. The kitchen carnage. Ugh. Night after night it’s the same thing. (sigh)
Whether you are there already or on the brink of declaring I hate to cook, there are solutions. For example, you could move house and quietly lose the box with the pots and pans. Our little secret.
More reasonably, you could share the load. Let willing others into the kitchen to help or take over one or two nights a week. I know it’s your domain, but something’s got to give.
You could sprinkle in a few more YOYO nights (You’re On Your Own) in the month. Buy prepackaged meals. Engage a meal-in-a-box delivery service. Hire a personal chef one day a week.
The possibilities are endless.
I don’t know about you, but I really do love to cook, though. I love the rich, pungent, heady aromas. The flavours. The textures. The colours. I love the Nigella-esque, sumptuous, sensual nature of the whole thing. Not the ready in fifteen minutes, it’s a race to the finish line. Every. Single. Day.
I love the creativity. It’s using your hands, digging into something delicious to create something wonderful.
And then there’s the almost hypnotic rituals of chopping and slicing and stirring.
There is, of course, the whole nurturing and nourishing your loved ones thing. And that can be huge, but you feed them one way or another, it’s all nourishing, right?
Imagine if you gave yourself a break from the wretched grind. What if you only cooked when you wanted to, when you were able to take the time to enjoy the process, able to let yourself soak in the glorious-ness of the whole thing? Special occasions. Holidays. Weekends. Cooking for the pure pleasure of it.
You could do it, you know. You just have to decide.
I don’t think anyone will argue that sharing a meal you have prepared with the people you love is not among the ultimate pleasures. And if you have enjoyed getting there, all the better.
How about you? Where do you sit in the cooking food chain? Share your story in the comments below. We’d love to hear.