So, I’m a woman in possession of a fully-functioning brain. This sexy brain of mine had refused to acknowledge the activity of “cooking” for an extremely long time. Then, about six months ago, two things happened. I took part in a Marital Merger that yielded many new and slightly frightening kitchen tools, and I moved to New York, where in some fluke of the gods, I had a bigger kitchen. Oh wait, one more thing: I lost my job. Jackpot!
Boredom, financial necessity, and curiosity all inspired me to start cooking on a level slightly higher than Boil Pasta. Just to show you where I’m coming from, here are my main excuses for not having cooked before, and the good stuff that I discovered when I started cooking.
Learned helplessness. So, my Mom was pretty much Martha Stewart. She made things from scratch, and (clearly before her time) she made them in large enough quantities to prepare our family for the zombie apocalypse. I never had to cook anything. Little Hattie’s attempts to “help” generally went badly enough that Mom eventually just had me set the table, at which point I promptly stopped offering to help. This is also why I don’t know how to set a table.
On principle. I may be married, but this is not a Leave It To Beaver-type arrangement. It’s 2010. Something about having dinner made for the hubz when he got home from work struck me as antiquated and unfeminist. What’s next? Bringing him his slippers? Fluffing his pillow? No thank you, patriarchy! I prefer my Empowered Woman Salty Frozen Microwave Dinners.*
Time crunch. I, like some other 9-5ers, was convinced that I didn’t have time. For anything! Eight hours of sitting on my rapidly expanding ass left me dead to the world by the time I got home. I was slightly delusional. Even with a hearty hour-long commute (woot woot, DC!) I’d still be home by 6:30 at the latest. The kind of dinners I’m making now take, at most, 30 minutes of actual work. Ooooh, eating at 7pm! What is this, Europe?
It’s healthier. YAWN. Let’s not even go down this rabbit hole; suffice to say that watching a bunch of whole ingredients come together into a coherent dish makes you appreciate how hard each ingredient works for the dish. This also illuminates how totally impossible it is for processed food to be made that way and out of those things. Then you start thinking about what chemicals they use to mimic real ingredients. Then the nightmares come.
It’s educational. Seriously, you learn so much about what’s in different dishes, and what different purpose everything serves. I’ve put eggs in dishes I thought they had no business being in. If you find an ingredient offensive, you can always experiment with leaving it out, and see what happens. In fact, please do this and send me pictures.
It’s yummy. Honestly, I’m not good at most things. However, some of the meals I have cooked in the last several months have been completely delicious. It’s not because I’m a good cook; someone thought up these recipes long ago and I’m just following their formulas and enjoying the results. It’s like math you can eat.
It’s cheap. It IS. Even if you’re buying good ingredients, your grocery bill for the week will probably be about equal to a few meals out. At least in this overpriced heckhole.
Anyway, I’ll continue to continue posting my musings about food and cooking as long as I can think of things to post about. ** My promise to you is: no stunt blogging, no catch phrases, and no calorie counts or weight discussions because BITCH PLEASE.
If that doesn’t get you going, then please watch this completely ridiculous but inexplicably hilarious video of a slowed-down Paula Deen. If you can’t get through it without laughing, then we’ll get along just fine.
*I am laughing at my own expense, here. Not yours.
**This will be a long time