I’ve finally gotten to a place with cooking where it’s become fun.
This is kind of amazing, considering that a little over ten years ago I told my husband, “I could take or leave eating.” A sentiment that I didn’t mean in a disordered way; it was just that food was food and I put it in my body to get on with my day.
I think my cooking evolution went something like this:
- I don’t care about food. I eat frozen or rehydrated meals. I’m picky about what I eat. There’s ketchup involved in everything.
- I meet my future husband. He likes to cook, as some kind of weird, time-consuming hobby. Curiously, food tastes better more regularly.
- I try cooking a couple times. It’s dumb because it’s too much effort. Preparing food, cooking the stuff and then cleaning up after can take your whole day. I’d rather just eat frozen crap.
- We move to an apartment with a dishwasher. We hash out a more reasonable cleanup distribution.
- I’m tired of eating food you like. I want to eat more of the food I like. What the hell do I like? I don’t know, but I know it’s not quite this. (Hint: It’s mostly vegetable-based dishes or sweets.)
- The food I’m making turns out bad half the time. I can’t tell if it’s me or the recipes. I usually wait until I’m hungry to cook, making cooking a miserable chore. Cooking still sucks.
- STEPHEN, WILL YOU COME LOOK AT THESE POTATOES?
- STEPHEN, WE DON’T HAVE THIS INGREDIENT, WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD? WHY CAN I USE THIS AND NOT THAT?
- I start cooking before I’m hungry. (It’s a breakthrough!)
- I’ve figured out what kind of food I like. I have decent recipes to chose from. I make notes on the recipes about what worked and what didn’t. The food I’m making turns out good more often.
It took ten years or so to go from reluctance to enjoyment. There’s still a lot of STEPHEN, WILL YOU COME LOOK AT THIS? IS IT DONE? But I’m getting a vague understanding of why some ingredients are included (thickeners, flavor profile, to keep things together).
The growing enthusiasm for cooking good food was in no small part a product of my environment. I’m sure that without my husband and his family’s unbridled joy for good food, I wouldn’t see the point. I still think they’re a little zany to want to spend so much time in the kitchen, but I’m glad to eat the fruits of their labor.
And more often, I’m pretty happy with the fruits of my own!