I was given the “Any Bitch Can Cook” Cookbook as a gift. It’s a great cookbook with lots of basic cooking info and good standby recipes that are easy to make from everyday ingredients. It’s made for people like me who are a little intimidated by cooking and frankly a little mystified by the appeal of performing planned, time consuming cooking feats for consumption.
The book is one in a full line of “bitch” books…” Any Bitch Can Party,” “Any Bitch Can Lose It,” “Any Bitch Can Drink,” “Slow Simmering Bitch,” etc. The word ‘Bitch’ in these books stands for ‘Babe In Total Control of Herself.’ The books are great for people like me who are always seeking to amaze people with what great meals I can prepare with the least effort possible.
I think my dad and stepmom secretly hope that someday something is going to click in my head and I am going to enjoy cooking and going to an extreme amount of work shopping for and preparing a meal. They give me wonderful baking dishes, pans, tools and recipes that make a world of difference and make everything taste better.
And my wonderful stepmom teaches me cooking tips every time I am around her. I am truly grateful for this, but I’m not sure if I’m ever going to be able to naturally convert. It’s like I’m missing the gene.
Don’t get me wrong, I like to prepare meals that my family enjoys. And I certainly love to go out for great food and can appreciate fine cuisine. But luckily I married a guy who is more than satisfied with having a night or two during the week when we do pizza or sandwiches, and the rest filled with standby casseroles, spaghetti and Costco cuisine.
He knew what he was getting into when he married me. That I really wasn’t into the cooking scene and most likely wasn’t ever going to be with my whole heart. And he knew that I was a far cry from being able to master the more gender stereotypical domestic pursuits. And that I was probably the most highly functioning ADD type personality he’d ever met. I think he wanted the challenge.
I’m happy to do the dishes and let someone else cook. Someone who is much more particular about how it is done. It seems a tad futile to put that much work into something that will be overwith in 30 minutes to an hour. Clearly I don’t get it. Again, I appreciate it in others, but I don’t get it.
Is this nature or nurture? My mom was not a great cook. She mastered standards like porkchops and rice a la chicken and rice Campbell’s soup and other such varieties that I remember eating in our harvest gold kitchen. But something about her beef stroganoff has stuck with me and the smell of that dish to this day does not bring back good memories.
So it could be nurture. Or quite possibly it could have been nature for my mother and subsequently nature for me? Just not in the DNA. Something to think about.
At any rate, I am truly grateful that I have many great cooks in my life who love to cook wonderful meals for my family. And also that my family loves my simplified standby variety of meals that I make while typing a blog, finishing a work project and working on a last minute painting idea.
And frankly, I’m grateful that we have food to put on the table.