Why Do I Hate Cooking So Much??
As I stare at my plate of Marks and Spencer’s pre-prepared tortellini (the fresh stuff - I’m not a monster you know), I really have to embrace the fact that I’m rubbish at cooking.
With the OH galivanting through Naples and Pompeii (am not jealous AT ALL), 4 days on my own has made me realise how truly crap I am at cooking. Now you could also argue that perhaps it’s because I’m also incredibly lazy when it comes to coming up with culinary delights, and I probably wouldn’t argue with you. Sure I have a (small) repertoire of go-to dishes that I have perfected (including the infamous “gravy spaghetti”, which sounds horrendous but is actually the best comfort food you could ever imagine. We have to thank my Dad for his inability to eat tomato based sauces when I was younger and my Mum who had to cater for him, for this invention. Seriously, if anyone wants a recipe for a “shepherds pie minus the carrots and with pasta instead of mash” dish - hit me up). But my ability to conjure up delicious dishes on a whim is seriously lacking.
Perhaps part of the problem is that I have a major need to follow recipes exactly - and that requires a level of preparedness that I'm just not willing to engage in. On the other hand my OH will simply be throwing in a handful of “this” and a sprinkle of “that” - and maybe a dash more of “that” - into a bubbling pot - and this brings me out in a cold sweat. I can't understand why rules aren't being followed and why the end result is so god damn delicious.
I’m also a terrible creature of habit and will readily eat the same breakfast and lunch every bloody day of the week - if it means I don’t need to think about creating something. I don’t have time to keep going out to source the ingredients; create an elaborate, multi layered recipe for lunch, clear up the chaos that I’ve caused in the kitchen - AND hold discussions with lawyers about amendments to 7 different versions of Irish employment contracts. I’m trying to be very busy and important people! Throw a curve ball in when I realise that I’ve run out of salad leaves for lunch and I’m going to have to consider poaching an egg (I have a 25% success rate at this), well, this just sends me into a panic and reaching for the phone to Deliveroo some sushi.
But at the same time I don’t really want to be buying and eating ready made food (apart from the cost, I do actually appreciate fresh and well.... tasty food). I’m unusually proud of the fact that I haven’t had a McDonalds since 2007 or have owned a microwave since about 2009 (though obviously we do now have an on trend air-fryer - again, am not a monster). So the fact that the OH absolutely loves cooking and creating tasty and interesting dishes is a pretty good deal for me. He’ll happily ensconce himself in the kitchen for hours with a recipe book and laissez-faire attitude to measurements, which means he will invariably turn out some kind of Michelin level meal. Damn him.
So the fact that he’s out there in Italy, gorging on fresh pasta and probably the best pizza in the world, means that I have had to fend for myself and whilst I could have played freezer roulette (we’re terrible at labelling stuff), I opted for easy street and “ready in 3-minute pasta” from Marks. Didn’t even bother with a sauce - just drizzled olive oil over it. What a catch I am.
And I know these are first world problems - and I do feel very lucky that I have all these options when it comes to feeding myself. But I will still console myself with the fact that when the time comes and an epic celebration cake is required, I’ll be able to step up and deliver total deliciousness - because my hatred of cooking apparently don't apply when I'm baking a cake and fastidiously analysing a 23 point receipt plan. But Cakes for Alice* is probably a tale for another day…
*my short lived attempt at a cupcake business (they were bloody delicious if I do say so myself). But happily the thing that has given me my user name for all online things ever since.