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Prompt:

What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more?

Post:

Cooking.  Ugh.  It is BY FAR the household task that I most dislike.  I would rather scrub dirty toilets than cook a meal.

I have never properly learned how to cook.  I was 21 years old and living on my own in Toronto for nearly two years before I learned how to cook ground beef.  My friend Shannon taught me how when she came to visit, and saw me struggling to make Hamburger Helper for supper.

When I was single, it was manageable.  I can get by on a bowl of soup, or a bowl of popcorn, for supper.  I learned enough to ensure that I wouldn’t starve, but now that I have a family, it is quite obvious that there are other skills I didn’t pick up.  Things like how to plan meals and shop for groceries so that you come home with the correct ingredients to make a meal.  Often, I’ll come home from buying over $100 worth of groceries, and still not be able to make something for supper.  Not much you can do with apples, olive oil, sour cream, crackers and sausage.

More specifically, I most dislike cooking supper.  Breakfast is easy, lunch is easy, supper is its own special hell.  I am unable to just open the fridge, take a look at what we have, and make a meal.  I need to follow a recipe.  I need someone/something to guide me at every step.

For awhile, I tried one of those dinner prep places.  You go there and assemble meals that can be frozen.  They have all the ingredients you need, everything chopped up, recipe cards, instructions, everything.  But the environmentalist in me doesn’t like the number of plastic bags and containers that you have to use, and the animal rights activist in me doesn’t like using meat that came from CAFOs.  Also, I try to avoid highly processed foods and refined sugar, and most of the meals contain heavy, sugary sauces (I’m guessing to help them taste better after they’ve been sitting in your freezer for a month).

My food philosophy (eat natural, whole foods) doesn’t line up very well with my food preparation skills (none).

I feel like I’ve made a valiant effort over the years to learn how to prepare a meal, and meal plan, but it just doesn’t stick in my brain.  For so many years, I actively campaigned against slotting myself in any kind of domestic role.  I think I may have succeeded in shutting down my inner cook for good.

Perhaps I need a sister wife.

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