I’m Never Cooking Again (Not That I Ever Cooked Much to Begin With, So There’s Been Very Little…
I’m Never Cooking Again (Not That I Ever Cooked Much to Begin With, So There’s Been Very Little Change)
Here’s me when I came across Sarah Miller’s article on a recent morning.
Title: Why Cooking Sucks
Wait, yeah, cooking actually does suck. Down with cooking! I identify with this. Let’s start reading.
A few weeks ago I made dinner.
Wow. I guess the last time I made dinner was a few weeks ago, too. This is so me!
I didn’t make anything special. I didn’t make anything special. I made vegetables and rice…
If I ate vegetables, I would make them, I’m sure, so this is still ok.
…and two fig galettes.
-_____________- DAMNIT, SARAH. WE WERE IN THIS TOGETHER.
I have always been cooking averse. I can only make one thing, which I won’t even tell you now, in case you ever visit me and I want to impress you, but know that I actually do very little of the work. Otherwise, I’m generally the volunteer to do the dishes or pick up dessert or bring the wine, and I always end up bringing a bottle of wine per person, which is why I’m a hit both at parties and wine stores.
Why? Because cooking totally fucking sucks, so I’m 100% with Sarah Miller as she excoriates the practice. Her point is that people — — especially women, in this society that has beaten into us that this is our job, whether we like it or not — — cook to make themselves special and indispensable to others, but usually people just eat, without a second thought to where the food is coming from. Making a meal is its own kind of invisible labor: for many people, the food just appears, then is consumed, whatever it is, then dishes are put away and the TV is flicked on and we digest and forget. Cooking is often used as a means to provide for someone, or as Miller says, “to try to give someone something only you can give;” the article discusses her mother’s unending guilt over employing a housekeeper to make most of her family’s meals. But if a person will be just as nourished with a frozen pizza than they will with they will with a homemade, hand-rolled one, and if they’ll barely notice the difference, then why bother busting your butt unless you truly want to?
This isn’t to disavow eating, which has consistently ranked as my Favorite Activity for the past 22 years straight. There is a special kind of joy that comes with a variety in meals, in trying new things and experiences in taste, but for me, that type of eating is closely linked with people who cook for pleasure, not for sustenance. And even then, that consumption is framed as an experience — a dinner out to your favorite restaurant, a trip home to eat your favorite childhood recipe, a special homecooked meal to celebrate your achievements — not as the ordinary. For everything else, there’s microwave nachos.