Following on from last week’s rant, I’d like to tackle another assumption that is widely believed about the female population. I hereby debunk the theory that all women love to cook.
We’ve come a long way since the Stepford wife stereotype that we all love to don an apron and whip up a meal for the menfolk. Let us all remember that The Joy of Cooking was written in 1931 and in those 80 odd years, that joy seems to have festered into blistering resentment. For me, anyway. Not for Nigella sucking on the end of a wooden spoon and treating her kitchen like a boudoir of Christian Grey proportions. Honestly, I’ve seen her look at a dried basil leaf like it was the sexiest entity she’d ever laid eyes on. Basil.
I fear that my culinary prospects were doomed from the beginning. My early attempts at helping in the kitchen were thwarted when Mama Bear realised that my presence was a hindrance and that I took far too long to peel potatoes. My Home Economics teacher told me I’d never find a husband at the rate I was going. To be fair, my inattention to detail meant that I tried to fry uncooked rice and was bewildered at its failure to soften and become fluffy. In the end, my ‘egg fried rice’ was more like fragrant potpourri. Sorry, future husband, we will have to forage for berries.
My later years haven’t proved much more fruitful. The easiest thing in the world to make is vegetable soup and yet, the bags piled high in the freezer suggest that S.O. isn’t actually going to ‘eat them later’. The gravy at last year’s Christmas dinner was likened to piss on more than one occasion.
It’s not that I don’t try. I cut out recipes I see in the paper. I buy cookbooks. I watch the Good Food Channel and Food Network incessantly. I thought this meant that I would naturally blossom into a Michelin chef by absorption but that dream never materialised. I think it just means that I love food and want other people to make it for me while I lay there like Jabba the Hutt, being fanned by palm branches.
The girls at work gush excitedly about their innovative creations at home and instead of matching these achievements, I am silently thinking ‘Just bring your food in and give it to me’. In fairness, I think some things are better left to the professionals. Sunday mornings are renowned for being easy and this is impossible when you are furiously trying to resurrect split hollandaise sauce, while the toast is burning and the eggs are going cold. Brunch is better spent sipping hot coffee, not threatening to throw it over your partner for daring to pee at the exact moment he was needed in the kitchen.
For all you sexist naysayers, I’ll have you know that the way to my heart is through my stomach and you are more than welcome to make me a sandwich. In return, I make a cracking beans on toast. Bon Appetit.