A Thanksgiving Rant
I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of articles around the internet about how “LOL, I’m just so hopeless at cooking, womp womp I can’t even boil pasta aren’t I funny?” (take this BuzzFeed listicle, for example) and I just find it so fucking annoying. Not being able to prepare anything but a packet of ramen noodles for yourself doesn’t make you cutesy or quirky, it makes you really obnoxious. Being able to prepare meals for yourself is a necessary skill and one that’s really not all that difficult to learn.
I’m not talking about creating Michelin star-winning meals; the average person doesn’t need those skills. The average person just needs to be able to feed him/herself adequately and shouldn’t feel intimidated by something as simple as frying an egg or sauteeing some spinach or whatever. It really, honestly, isn’t that hard. Follow a recipe to the T and don’t skip any steps and 9 times out of 10, you’ll come out with something delicious, or at the very least, completely edible (read reviews of recipes you’re finding online - they’re really helpful and offer up a lot of tips to help you tweak things and make it the best it could be). You can also use your intuition. You are hardwired with knowing when something smells good, looks good, tastes good… taste as you go along, don’t let shit burn and stick to the basics until you get more confident. The end.
I know this entry is probably over-simplifying things just a bit. I know there are socioeconomic factors to consider - time, money, etc. But no one ever taught me to cook - my mother’s idea of “cooking dinner” was to throw some Hamburger Helper on the stove. Her idea of eating her vegetables was opening a can of corn. We had no money, I had no guidance, but my curiosity about food and my desire to feel the pride that comes with preparing a really delicious meal for myself from scratch - not to mention my desire to not live on processed junk for the rest of my life - led me to start teaching myself, to start trying, and now I can cook pretty much anything decently enough… and it actually tastes decent! I work roughly 12 hours a day, so time is tight, but I still make that effort, even if it means cooking one dish and having leftovers for the rest of the week.
I know not everyone shares a passion for food, and many look at eating as a necessity rather than a cultural experience or an emotional one or anything besides what it is, and that’s fine. Your body still needs fuel, which means you should know how to prepare that fuel. Get with it. In the time it took the author to write that BuzzFeed article about how hopeless she is in the kitchen, she could have been in the kitchen, learning how to cook something. Lord almighty.
Just as an aside, I have loved cooking and baking for years, but I have my adherence to keto to thank for really getting my skill level up. Not eating sugar, wheat, grains, beans etc has really pushed my creativity, and the amount of amazing recipes online has made the past several months full of some of the best food I’ve ever eaten - and all prepared by me. I made myself a completely keto-friendly Thanksgiving dinner for one today, and it’s going to be an absolute feast: “cornbread” stuffing with sausage and sage, mashed swede, cheesy cauliflower mash, braised savoy cabbage, roasted balsamic brussels sprouts, butter carrots, some gorgeous chicken thigh meat and I’m just about to get the ingredients together for my coconut cream pie. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Jenn is correct. There is no excuse. My dad always says “if you can read, you can cook” and that’s why he has four children in the kitchen every holiday fighting over who gets to make what - because we’re all competent adults capable of feeding ourselves and others.