Popular conversational topics #5: cooking competencies
what do you cook? unless you include toast and porridge I dont really cook. You don’t cook? Do you eat out all the time? the question is asked with the intonation of shock, disapproval or possibly repulsion. I eat out once or twice a week, having a quality meal produced for me is one of my favourite luxuries.
If you don’t cook and you don’t eat out, what do you eat, microwave meals? My questioner is still intoning in a disapproving manner. For a few moments I wished that I had aspirations to conform to the social norm of interest or pride in the preparing and cooking of food. Those moments pass quickly. My lack of indugence in use of the microwave, only for porridge, allows my interregator to release a wrinkly or two from her brow. I mostly eat cheese, tomatoes, cheese cucumber, cheese, coleslaw, cheese, necturines, cheese, toast, cheese, marmite, cheese, twiglets, cheese, triffle, cheesecake, peanut butter, date and walnut or battenburg cake. All raw, no cooking involved. You like cheese then? My interregator appears to be reasonably satisfied with this reply. But still their hangs a a niggling doubt over my ability to be a fully functioning member of society if I don’t cook.
can you cook? It had never occured to me that people don’t cook because they can’t. At high school all girls were required to take cookery classes, under the title of ‘home economics’ classes. They taught me to do things I’d been doing at home for years. I used to cook, a lot. As a student I rarely ate out and hand’t yet lost my verve for food preparation. In my 30’s I used to host about one dinner party per month and the food seemed well appreciated, in my 40’s I hosted fewer parties with more guests and they seemed well appreciated. I can cook. I only really enjoy it when I’m cooking for others and not doing it in a rush. My interregator appears convinced that I can cook.
All my lasting lovers have been excellent cooks, deriving pleasure from whipping up food to whet my palatte and I certainly enjoyed them doing so.