Do you like to cook?
We know you enjoy good food, or you wouldn't be here... but how do you feel about cooking it for yourself? Are you a gourmet chef? A good plain cook? Somebody who can burn water? A mixture of all three?
I like cooking... sometimes I get tired of it and really want a break (and wish that my DH was able to share the job with me!) but most of the time I'm a good enough cook that I look at the stuff on my plate in a restaurant and think 'why did I pay ten dollars for that plate when I know I can make it just as good or better at home for five?'
I love to cook, but I don't cook as often as I used to. I passionately hate my kitchen, and it wears me out just to be in there. If I ever get my remodel (and if I do, it'll be at least 5 years away) I will enjoy it more again.
Plus time. I am so swamped with obligations that cooking in a frustrating kitchen just feels like one more obligation sometimes -- takes the fun out of it, you know?
I do love to cook, though, and have since I was a very little girl. Something wonderfully creative and artistic in cooking. And it's pleasing to every sense. How many arts can you say that about?!
It's great to be able to share that gift over & over with people you care about.
I love food....have most of my life. I don't like cooking. For me it's a burden and the work/reward ratio isn't worth it for me. I'm an average cook, would probably be better if I loved it. Fortunately we eat out about 3-4x/week and Dh cooks more often at home than I do. I probably cook about once a week.
My kitchen has its problems, and once in a while I DO just want to zap something and all I have is *ingredients*, but generally I enjoy cooking so much none of these things really matters. Mrs. O is in fact a pretty good cook herself, as I was delighted to learn when we first met, but her dedication to regular meals is all but nonexistent, whereas mine is an obsession. So I'm the cook, and since her dad is the cook in her family she did not find it hard to get used to (difference is that Pops won't wash dishes, whereas I do, and don't mind it at all). And, in turn, she doesn't mind dusting and vacuuming, and loves painting walls and ceilings, all of which are things I despise doing.
The thing about me and cooking is that it's really the only skill I've engaged in, other than driving, that I consider myself to have come close to mastering. You never really do, because it's an endless, bottomless process, but understanding that it IS a process, that it's about ingredients and procedures a whole lot more than it is about specific dishes and recipes was an incredibly liberating thing to me. I get a huge kick out of being able to look in the pantry and invent supper from what I can find - I know I'm going to like it, and if Tania does too then it's a big Bingo. The acid test, I think, came the first time I cooked something brand-new for a dinner party - what they tell you NEVER to do - and it had'em licking their plates, or at least looking like they wanted to. Since then I've never worried about it for a second.
re: Will Owen
I do brand new things all the time for parties, and my mother just can't believe I threw her sage advice right out the window on that one!
I think when you are a good, experienced cook who really enjoys cooking, you can tell what's going to work and what isn't. Not that my mom isn't a good cook; she is. I just don't think she typically found cooking something of a hobby as well as a necessity.
When you're a really good cook, you can crave something you've never eaten before and make it, and other people will love it, too.
And I love reading cookbooks. I have a pile by my bed and read them like some people read stories. I felt guilty about all the cookbooks I had because I am able to find so many things online. And then I thought, hey, what if these were novels? Would I feel guilty then? No, I wouldn't. So I don't feel guilty anymore -- the only problem is that we're running out of places to build shelves!! :)
I love to cook. I love to bake. I love my new kitchen. We did a remodel almost 2 years ago and I got whatever I wanted and i couldn't be happier. I don't know what we ate for the first 2 years we lived in our home because the kitchen was so awful, I didn't use it. I would say I am a great home cook.
Last week, my husband and I went out and wondered why we spent $85 on an average meal at Bandera here in LA. We had to wait nearly an hour for a table, on a weeknight, and they comped out app because of the wait. Two entrees and 2 glasses of wine and valet parking.
The next night, I made minted pea soup, filet of beef bourginion and delicious green beans with lemon for a fraction of our mediocre meal out.
I also read cookbooks for fun. With 3 little kids, recipes use up my attention span.
I'm there with you about being disappointed by restaurants. Ethnic restaurants are the only places that serve better food than I can cook at home, AND are a good value for the price. I feel guilty spending a week's worth of grocery money on one meal, and if it's no better than I can do myself, why bother? Going out to eat doesn't even feel like a luxury a lot of times, more like flying on an airplane.
Plus, our friends generally can't afford to go out to eat. So most Fridays, I bring food to the practice barn for a night of rock 'n roll and socializing. 8 or 10 of us eat for the price of a dinner check for 2.