There is so much more to cooking than following a recipe. Cooking is about people – what they like, love, and need. And cooking, like many things, is best done at home by someone who loves those for whom she or he cooks. Becoming adept in the kitchen is a key to quality living for large families, couples, and for those who live alone.
This is true for trained chefs and for people who loathe the very sight of a kitchen. Think of it this way: Just because you live in New York is not to say you need never learn to drive a car. The ability to drive a car is a handy skill. Just because you don’t particularly enjoy doing laundry is no excuse for taking everything to the cleaners. Knowing how to pull and turn a few knobs and separate the whites from the colors is a basic life skill. Just so being able to feed yourself.
Being unable to scramble eggs, make biscuits from scratch, or whip up a mean spaghetti sauce is just plain dumb. The idea that it’s fine to go around practically bragging about not cooking is childish. Not being able to cook is only fine if you are a child. Let’s all do our friends, parents, kids and their spouses, and our grandkids a great favor: let’s lead by example and cook!
It doesn’t matter who you are, the time will come when you need to cook. My mother-in-law, bless her forever and ever, taught my husband to cook, clean, can, and that no job was beneath him. So, when our last child was born Cesarean and I was a bit under the weather – no sweat. From the time John brought the older three to the hospital looking ready for portraits, until I no longer needed his help, he took care of things – including the cooking. When the hospital nurses remarked on the kids’ neatly parted hair, clean fingernails and starched little Levis, I was at a loss. Did other dads actually drag dirty, unkempt kids to the hospital to see their mother and new sibling? Apparently so.
At our house it works best for me to be the Kitchen Master. Because of my proficiency, it’s easier to do most of the cooking myself. But easier is not always better. I need breaks, John enjoys weekend cooking, and cooking with the kids (especially if the grill and beef are involved), and the kids need to learn to cook.
So, you’ve taken the first step. You’re convinced (or almost) you do need to know your way around the kitchen. Stay with me and you’ll learn so much more than that.