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No Cooks in the Kitchen

January 28, 2011

Women, upon learning that I live alone, will ask me, “What do you eat?”  It’s happened too often for me to dismiss it as a fluke.

I don’t know if I’m being accused of anorexia or domestic incompetence, but it strikes me that I’m being accused of something.

The question embarrasses me.  I eat a lot of frozen things, Lean Cuisine, Lean Pockets, Healthy Choice.  They’re fast, easy, tasteless.  I hate to tell people that.

Driving home the past few weeks, I’ve wanted to stop at a restaurant on the way; microwaved food was unappealing.  But so was fast food.  And I didn’t want to take the time to sit down for dinner before getting home.

I don’t know that I crave more appetizing food so much as more warmth and care in its cooking.

There’s something more satisfying about rolls that I saw rising.  Rosemary that I smelled while chopping.  Butter that I heard sizzling.

My grandmother cooked from scratch nearly every day.  I spent more time watching her cook and trying to help her clean dishes than actually eating, I suppose.  I enjoyed the anticipation of hamloaf and au gratin potatoes as much as the meal itself.  What made the food really wonderful—something I only came to appreciate in retrospect—was that grandma’s love was mixed right in there with it.

Carried by a wave of nostalgia, I looked in the cupboards again tonight to see if I could cook something.  Something simple would be fine.  But something with a little love mixed in.  I had left over cinnamon chips.  I knew the package had a recipe for oatmeal cookies.  And a can of oatmeal was on the shelf!

But I had no eggs.  I probably could have found a half-baked recipe for oatmeal cookies without eggs.   But my sails were already deflated.  There, on the counter, sat a box of inorganic, sterile, pre-packaged, and definitely unloved oatmeal cookies.

Eggs, butter, milk, cheese.  The perishable things are the ones I don’t keep around.  I never have time for them.  And they won’t wait around for me.  They go bad.

I’ve gone to great lengths arranging life so nothing goes bad.  But instead of making the time, taking care and adding a little love to keep things from going bad, my solution is to avoid things that need time, care and love.

What to eat tonight?

I’m going to buy some eggs.

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2 comments

  1. I hope you do/did! ;o)


  2. I did do! And the recipe on the back of Hershey’s cinnamon chips turned out very well!



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