Because pg 2 11-18-21

I consider myself a good cook. At least I used to be a good cook. However, as my life has changed I no longer do a lot of cooking…
My daughter, now living elsewhere with a family of her own, is a good cook, which she demonstrates on an almost nightly basis. My husband is an amazing cook and as a trained chef can easily whip up a scrumptious meal in a short amount of time.
Finally, my schedule as a full time PhD student often requires uninterrupted, long periods of time wherein I am researching or writing on a computer.  I find that I get lost in my schoolwork and when my stomach growls, I am reminded that I should venture into the kitchen and “cook” something to eat for dinner. But since my brain is often fatigued, my hunger significant, and my dining party limited to a party of 2, I am, quite frankly, not in the mood to really “cook” a nice meal using fresh ingredients that I may not have and a conditioned palate which now thinks that chips and salsa is just perfect! Rather, I only seem to have a desire to open a box or a bag or a jar, heat the contents up, and call it done!
On the rare occasions which require me to actually “cook” a meal like I used to, I am finding that, even if I have the time, I just don’t feel like doing it.  Rather than consider that I am no longer capable of cooking, I rationalize my decision for ordering out as a justification that, in the long run, it is less expensive to order food than it would be for me to go to the store, buy the ingredients, spend an hour (or two) prepping and cooking the meal, and then an additional 30 minutes cleaning up the dishes and pots and pans.  I’d rather say something like, “Don’t you feel like having Thai food?” Plus, it feels like a treat, and I can spend more time visiting and chatting with my dining companions.
In considering all the factors which have contributed to a redefining of what my actual “cooking” is of late, I may also blame some of this on the pandemic. I used to enjoy eating out once or twice a week. But when we couldn’t go out to eat last year and had to make do on limited access to fresh ingredients, I got super good at opening cans of chili, jars of tomato sauce, and boxes of gluten-free pasta.  We even discovered some frozen meals which, when microwaved, were quite delicious.
Since my wonderful husband always appreciates any meal I “cook” for us, giving him a break from the kitchen, I didn’t realize that I was no longer really “cooking” anything at all, but rather, only heating things up. I didn’t realize it until two weeks ago when I asked my father what I could get him as a sign of our appreciation for taking care of our cat.  He responded with “I’d like you to cook us a meal like you used to.” Hmmm… Perfect timing …
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


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