Monday, September 03, 2007

She Who Cooks

Mrs. Incredible was bemoaning her lack of skills in the culinary department. And she complained about having to clean up. I can totally relate to that latter complaint, although not the first.

I really love to cook. Wait, let me clarify: I love it when I have the time to do it, not when I'm running back and forth from stove to clamoring children, trying to keep them from beating each other to death with the wooden blocks. Then I get distracted and things get burned and I do things like adding 8 tablespoons of cayenne to a recipe when it only called for 8 teaspoons. Whoops. Little hot. Here, have some milk.

But given the time - actually, just given the chance to focus on the task at hand, I can whip up a very nice meal.

I miss that. I don't have the chance to focus on food or cooking right now. I don't know how some people do it. I read cook books the way some people read porn - you know, drooling and moaning and saying things like "Oh god, that look sooooo goooooood. Oh, I want some of that! Oh, baby, how did he do that?" I subscribe to Cook's Illustrated. I covet a subscription to Food & Wine and/or Saveur. I watch cooking shows like Hell's Kitchen, Master Chef Goes Large and The Naked Chef whenever possible. I'm obsessed with Top Chef, envying the contestants' opportunity to cook every single day. Sure, they have to please people like Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and my imaginary boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, but still. They get to cook.

Oh, Anthony, how I do adore thee. I want to get drunk and smoke cigarettes and cook things with you.

I worship at the altar of Alton, if I had a patron saint, it would be Julia Child and my most treasured possession is my Henckels 8" Chef's knife. If I were stranded on a desert island, I'd want that knife with me. I can do just about anything with that knife and I luuuuurve it. I dawdle over kitchen goods, stroking things and cooing, the way some women do in shoe stores (ok, I do it in shoe stores, too, but whatever. You can't eat a shoe.)

I have definitive opinions on food.

  • I believe in making my own stock.
  • I believe in trying new recipes.
  • I believe that a steak cooked any more than medium rare is a travesty.
  • I believe that chocolate (in any form), red wine and coffee make the perfect dessert. A sip of coffee, a bite of chocolate, a sip of wine. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • I believe a perfectly good meal can be made of a baguette, a great cheese and a bottle of wine.
  • I believe in diner food and fine dining.

But I don't believe in cleaning up. That falls under my new creed: She Who Cooks will have Those Who Eat clean up the kitchen. Otherwise, She Who Cooks will not cook any more for Those Who Eat and Those Who Eat shall be left to fend for themselves, subsisting on meals of Hamburger Helper and Kraft Dinner. And, lo, She Who Cooks shall find Others Who Eat who will appreciate her talents, nurture her desires to Cook Good Meals and all She Who Cooks asks for in return is gratitude and a clean kitchen.

Just don't put the Henckels in the dishwasher, else thee shall suffer the wrath of She Who Cooks and lo, it will be a bleak and expensive day.


If not a mother... said...


Even though I fall under "Those Who Eat" most nights and perform miserably under the tasks appointed to "Those Who Eat" around here, I totally appreciate this post. (And I'd probably be better at my tasks having you be "She Who Cooks". Because what is different makes things so much easier to appreciate, you know?)

(And dark chocolate is just fine for me, so they say these days...)

Major Bedhead said...

As far as I'm concerned (and I am a complete and utter snob about this, I freely admit) anything other than dark chocolate isn't worth the calories. And white chocolate is just vile. Vile and wrong and NOT chocolate.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I love to cook too but hate to clean up. I only cook if I have someone or someting to cook for. My girls cook with me, but generally things for little girls or baked goods. I love having a man to cook for now. To save him from Dinty Moore.

On your comment asking about my sugar and creamer set, and who makes it, I cant make out the name on the bottom but I got them from a gourmet shop in the next town over. I know the owner and will call and get the name of the woman. It makes sense you would have a mug by her as well as from CT since she is in that area somewhere and very high end. The set was my gift to myself when I bought my condo when my divorce was final. (well, the condo was my gift to myself, heh)

Anonymous said...

Have you read your boyfriend's book "Kitchen Confidential"? Not only will it make you want to get drunk and smoke and cook with him, but run away and work in tough kitchens in less than desirable conditions. And it all sounds so APPEALING.

Anonymous said...

I envy the fact that you like to cook. I've tried, I really have. I just don't enjoy it. A lot of it has to do with the whole cleaning up thing you mentioned - that definitely sucks. But I just plain don't like being trapped in my kitchen with a bunch of ingredients, trying to put everything together to make something edible. And usually the end result isn't edible anyway.

My first order of business when I make a ton of money someday is to hire a personal chef. One that cleans up after him/herself.

Jane, P&B Girls

Anonymous said...

Hilarious blog!

Because you are young mother living with diabetes, I thought you might be interested in helping out the International Diabetes Federation a bit.

We are in the midst of our preparations for the first UN-observed World Diabetes Day ( on 14 November this year, and I wanted to ask you if you would like to help us to spread awareness of this worldwide event and the theme we have chosen for it this year - Diabetes in Children and Adolescents.

It is estimated that over 200 children develop type 1 diabetes every day and there's no question that the disease often hits disadvantaged communities the hardest, and that children in the developing world can die because their parents are unable to afford medication. In many countries diabetes is still considered an adult disease and as a result can be diagnosed late with severe consequences, including death. Even after diagnosis many children experience poor control and develop complications early.

This is why one of our key objectives for World Diabetes Day this year is to double the number of children covered by the Life for a Child Program - We also want to encourage initiatives that can help to reduce diabetic ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) and to promote the sort of healthy lifestyles which can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in children.

A version of the diabetes circle, the icon we used for our Unite for Diabetes campaign has now been adopted for World Diabetes Day and we have produced a number of web banners that you can view and download here

The way in which you can help us spread awareness of World Diabetes Day is to add one of the banners to your own blog, which we would really appreciate.

The UN's World Diabetes Day Resolution (61/225) was really just the first goal of an ambitious campaign that we have been leading. This is the first time a non-communicable disease has been recognised as a serious threat to global public health and we are hoping now to further raise awareness globally of the disease that is predicted to contribute to 6% of the world’s mortality in 2007.

If you would like to know more about the UN Resolution and our plans for World Diabetes Day this year, just drop me a line at, and I will get back to you with more information.

Many thanks,
Stephanie Tanner
IDF - Communications Assistant

sandy shoes said...

I join you in the darkest of chocolate snobbery. WTF is with white chocolate? They should just be honest and call it "wax." Pffffft.