I DO NOT LIKE TO COOK. Repeat. I DO NOT LIKE TO COOK.
Are you all in shock? Are you sure you’re reading the right blog? Yes, I shouted it out in all caps for the world to see (well, maybe not the world, but at least my close friends). At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself “Did a meteor strike the earth?” or “Did aliens come and take my friend Ellen away and replace her with a non-cooking clone?” The answer to both questions is a resounding “no.”
You see, folks, there are really three dynamics at play here. The truth of the matter is that I like to entertain. Cooking well enables me to entertain well. I also like to eat. Cooking well allows me to eat well. I also like to be lavished with praise. Cooking well allows me to receive copious amounts of compliments. The bottom line is that I am a nuturer who enjoys a good party. I love when people tell me how wonderful the food I have made for them tastes, like when they swoon in ecstasy over my Cranberry-Cognac Trifle or my Goat Cheese & Pistachio Spread. I harbor no animosity towards the effort involved in getting to this point. However, I don’t necessarily embrace every moment spent in the kitchen.
Here are some of the things that I do love about cooking:
1. Making chocolate chip cookies with my son. A collaborative, loving process that rewards both parties with a sinfully delicious treat and perfumes the kitchen with a lovely scent.
2. Caramelizing onions. I love the slow, patient process of transforming a humble root vegetable into more than the sum of its parts.
3. Making some sort of slow-brasied dish, like Veal Osso Bucco. I love that it takes more than two hours to break down the tough, sinewy shank into a rich, no-knife necessary bite of delicious meat.
4. Making sabayon, hollandaise, bearnaise, or any other rich sauce. Everyone bitches about calories, but I have yet to witness any dinner guest turn down a tablespoon to two of these heavenly delights.
5. Frying bacon. My son loves the fact that I don’t overcook his bacon and leave it chewy and moist. His happiness is my happiness.
6. Making hot chocolate. Again, milk and Hershey’s syrup (with a spritz of whipped cream for me). My son thinks I’m a genius. Who am I to disagree?
The bottom line: I love to make people happy. I have found a hobby that I excel at that allows me to do this. It also ameliorates daily living. I will continue to cook. I hope I can make you happy.