September 14, 2012 by Lindsey
For as much as I love food and love eating, I despise cooking. I used to really enjoy baking, and cooking simple lunches for family members, but that was almost in the height of my eating disorder, when people just thought I was cooking for them so I could live vicariously through their mealtimes.
I was so malnourished then that I can’t even decide if that may have been true. At the time, I certainly didn’t think that’s what I was doing.
These days, I hate cooking for 5 reasons:
1) Calories. Calories add up so quickly in most recipes! Somehow the combination of ingredients, even if they are healthy, seem to multiply unfairly in recipes.
Plus, it’s already so depressing to realize how many calories can be packed into tiny amounts. I just read that McDonald’s is going to be posting their calories in their locations nationally. I rarely (if ever) eat McDonalds, but it just reminds me how something as innocent as a piece of pie or a coffee drink can eat up 1/2 or more of your daily calories.
The same thing happens when I look at the calories per serving in a recipe. I don’t want to be depressed by the process of cooking if it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby!
There are plenty of reasonably caloried recipes, but they inevitably incorporate Reasons #2-4 too…
2) Mess. Do I really need any more dish washing in my life? No. Some recipes call for things like sifted flour. Am I expected to wash the sifter? What if the flour flies all over the countertop and floor? Do I need more sweeping in my life? No.
Nevermind things like rolling dough out on the counter, chilling the dough, using separate bowls for frosting, sauces, garnishes, or a place to rest a dirty mixing spoon, beater, or tasting utensil.
3) Measure. I already have to measure everything for Weight Watchers. Do I really need any more time with the measuring cups? No.
Plus, I hate dirtying extra measuring devices like tiny teaspoons. That just makes more work for Reason #2. And forget about all those separate ingredient bowls that they have on cooking shows. If I measure something, it’s going in one big mixing bowl. It does not need to live in its own space until all the ingredients are measured.
4) Portions. Perhaps part of my weight problem (okay, probably 80% of it) is that I am terrible at estimating portions. Even when the recipe gives a guide, say, it makes 8 slices, or 4 bowls, or 12 muffins, I can rarely get close to that number.
Even if I do get there in the measuring and distributing stage, I rarely eat the recipe in that many separate sittings if it’s just something I’m making for myself. I know I can halve the recipe.
But that adds math into the mix, and that’s a #6 I could easily add to this list. I need a single-serving recipe. And they exist. But they involve those pesky reasons #2 and 3…why go to all that trouble for 1 serving?
5) Equipment. Inevitably, recipes require some piece of equipment I don’t have. (Food processor, Vitamix, waffle maker, ice cream machine, and the rice cooker come to mind)
And, typically, the equipment isn’t some small factor in the recipe as a whole.
It’s the star.
The reason you own that appliance. I could bust out and buy whatever’s required, but how many times am I going to use it in a year?
And isn’t that another thing to wash? Forget it.
I use the microwave, a toaster oven, the freezer, and a sink to cook.
It’s enough for me.