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Something has been bothering me a lot lately: people can’t cook.
It boils my blood hearing someone say, “but I don’t know how to” or “I can’t even scramble eggs.” Really? Following directions is that hard? Our grandparents knew their shit like it was the back of their hand. Cooking seems to be a forgotten art like Damascus steel or Greek Fire. I, for one, am tired of it. With Google, food blogs and an entire fucking channel dedicated to food, the resources are all there.
The truth is, the situation is binary: you are either lazy or an idiot. Following directions some person typed up on the internet that got 4.7 stars is not that hard.
As someone that loves to cook, hearing excuses really grinds my gears. Maybe it’s that people don’t want to take the time to hone their skills, but cooking food at home saves so much money. Always eating out or subsisting on a diet of ramen and Progresso soups is no way to go through life. It’s also much healthier and saves an incredible amount of money to make meals at home.
My dad was a grill master, as was his dad before him. From an early age, I took all the home economics classes (free A’s) but I noticed that if I paid attention and followed directions, my food turned out better than the rest of the idiots in the class. I was hooked and continued to hone my craft, seeking out knowledge from the greats like Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, Emeril, Mario Batali, Hank Hill – I couldn’t get enough. I even got to meet Iron Chef Morimotto, although this was not for cooking. He decided to go play a few holes by himself before an event where I used to work and I was told to go find “an Asian guy with a ponytail,” but that is neither here nor there.
Back in college, knowing how to cook was like having $100 bills attached to myself. No one really cared about your job like they do now and everyone was roughly equal, unless you can set yourself apart. Garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and cast iron seared sirloin steak with thyme butter compound was my signature. I have a very strong stance against dating vegans or vegetarians so that was never an issue. Learning to cook is like fishing with dynamite.
Ever go to someone’s house and their food sucks? You can’t say anything about it without hurting feelings. More times than I’d like, someone brings out some nasty casserole or overcooked shitbox of a roast and I have to chase it with booze. Not learning to cook is a disservice to your fellow man. No need to showcase that quinoa mac n’ cheese without learning the basics.
The onus to cook is not just for women, although too many women I’ve known “simply can’t cook.” As a modern man, making food in the Madoff household rests solely on me. It’s a nice tradeoff: I hate laundry, she hates cooking. It’s all about teamwork, compromise and I get to go to the grocery store for some peace and quiet.
It seems like our entire generation never learned to cook and in some ways, it’s not our fault. With rampant spending cuts in the arts, people aren’t exposed to learning their way around the kitchen. Rather than learn life skills, we learn all about Calculus, MLA format that I’ve never used since I left the hallowed halls of high school, cursive and tons of other useless information. Pluto isn’t even a planet anymore. Maybe it’s high time some of our fellow young professionals shell out a few bucks for some classes to learn some stuff.
Everyone should have one thing they can make that doesn’t taste like a smelly boat shoe. Branch out, do some research, learn what spice works with what, take some chances, buy a crockpot and know that low and slow wins the race. It’s really not that fucking hard. .