ALH Anna Lee Huber

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Confession: I don't like to cook.
September 11, 2011

I don’t like to cook.

I can cook, or rather follow a recipe, but I don’t like to. There are several reasons for this. For one, I gag at the sight of raw meat. I know, it’s pitiful, but I am one of those people who prefer to pretend their main course didn’t actually come from a chicken or a cow or a pig, that it just somehow magically appeared as is. Handling it raw sort of shatters this illusion. Particularly if I’m forced to dig my hands into it, as I am when mixing meatloaf or Salisbury steak. 
I also don’t particularly enjoy the smell of a lot of foods before they are combined and cooked. Raw meat (obviously), onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, several spices and herbs – there is honestly an extensive list. Part of the problem is that my sense of smell seems to be particularly acute. There are things that others can’t smell until they have their nose practically smeared in it that I can smell from twenty feet away. I enjoy watching cooking shows, but I never pick up an object of food I have just sliced into and wax poetic about its scent.
Which leads me to probably the most important reason I don’t like to cook—it simply doesn’t excite me. I firmly believe that cooking is an art form. Much like artists use paint, musicians use instruments and voices, and writers use words, chefs use food as their tools of expression. While I can definitely appreciate the skill and mastery of a good cook, I do not feel the drive to create my own gastronomic masterpieces. To me, food is a necessity for living—one that I would certainly rather be tasty than merely expedient, but a necessity, none-the-less. I am suitably in awe of those who have the talent to turn raw ingredients into brilliant dishes of their own accord. The best I can hope for, on the rare occasion I feel the need to make something special, is to follow a recipe. And although these dishes always turn out delicious, they lack that certain spark a true culinary genius can create. 
Now, baking—that’s a whole other matter. And an entirely different blog topic.
I’m just glad that I live in a time when it’s okay for a wife to be unexceptionable in the kitchen. And can pass the spoon to her husband. Lucky for me, I can say, mine is a fabulous cook.
What about you? Do you like to cook? Does food turn your brain on? Are you creative in the kitchen, or do you simply follow recipes like me?

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