Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Up On A Soopbox

I’ve got something on my mind..

Exhibit A: A friend stopped by to have coffee this morning, and our conversation turned to food, or more specifically, the preparation of food. I forget exactly where we were in conversation when she made a comment that made me pause. To paraphrase, she sighed wistfully: some people just have an innate ability to know how to put things together. She then went on to say she thought that I was one of those people, whereas she was not.

Exhibit B: Flashback to Thanksgiving 2009, and the whole family is gathering for an epic feast. I offered to do most of the cooking, mostly because only me and one other family member really enjoy cooking, especially for a crowd. During the weekend, two different people thanked me for doing so much of the cooking, but then went on to say that “it’s easier for you, because you like to cook.”

Exhibit C: Flashback even farther to years ago when some people we know had children, and we did not. It was Christmastime and I brought an assortment of cookies. One person looked at those cookies and proclaimed, You won’t have time to cook like this after you have kids! (My snarky yet - wisely - unspoken reply: Yeah, well, you didn’t cook like this BEFORE you had kids).

And my point(s), to all this whining?

Cooking is a learned skill. Yes, my friend from Exhibit A, I now feel that I can mostly “wing it” even if I don’t have a recipe, but that’s because I learned by cooking FROM recipes for the last 20 years. Even someone as thickheaded as me should pick up a few things after that much time. Sure, some people have a greater interest in and talent for cooking than others, but I wish you wouldn’t feel discouraged just because you think you lack some innate ability.

Cooking is work. And although I enjoy cooking, that doesn’t make it less work! It does make the task less onerous. And Exhibit B family, I was oh so happy to hand over the dirty dishes to you – I would much rather cook than clean, but you already know that since you’ve seen my house.

Cooking is a habit. Exhibit C friend, you were right – you do have MUCH less time to cook after you have kids. The arrival of our 2nd made me even more grateful that the cooking habit had been firmly ingrained long before the children arrived. Call me compulsive, but I MUST MAKE SUPPER. I’m also grateful that my kids will eat almost anything – they’re happy with seaweed and rice for supper, though most nights I still manage to throw something half-decent together (ref. Exhibit A). I’m sure that my hubby has noticed a decline in the quality and “fanciness” of the food lately, but hey – it’s still all homemade.

So there you have it: my cooking philosophy. Cooking is a habit that takes effort to learn. Now go make something.


Val said...

Yes! I have always said that if you can read, you can cook. And yay for still making dinner with two tots running around. If there's a will, there's a way!! The key for me is getting a lot of prep done during naptime.

Kate said...

Okay, okay. SIGH. I will learn how to enjoy it. Soon. I am practicing, you know. Every weeknight. But...I still like doing the dishes better.

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

i love the way you say this! But I totally agree with all your points. Especially the learned skill issue. It gets easier to wing things because you practice!! Have a fabulous 4th of July!!