I finally get it. I finally get why everyone loves cooking so much, why it’s all the craze, and why, actually, I love reading about stories of people who learned how to cook and love it. It’s about perfection. It’s about having complete control over something in life, and, with absolute certainty, know what the outcome will be. Now that I think about it, I feel like that was a line in Julie and Julia. You rarely find that anywhere in this world, and when you do, you hold on to it like there is no tomorrow . It’s the same reason I fell in love with basketball. If I made 50 layups a day for 4 months straight, I’d perfect the layup. Hard work was directly proportional to immediate results. If I heat the pan to the perfect temperature, and wait for the perfect moment, my dosas will come out perfectly (yes surprise surprise my mom was sick so I was cooking food for my dad, and he wanted dosa). And if it doesn’t come out perfectly, there is a logical reason for it. I can reduce the heat of the pan, stop being impatient, and learn to read the signs better. It really is master-able. Because on the third try, when I actually paid attention, my dosas weren’t bad, I must admit.
I’m not saying that I’m going to start cooking like a crazy person, quit my job, and join Le Cordon Bleu anytime soon. And I’m also not saying I’m going to try and be a better cook (sorry folks, I optimize for nutrition, not taste). Because I still don’t want to make time for cooking. I realize my problem is that I try to do too many things at once. And I”m ok with that. Because while I’m making my dinner, I’m definitely trying to catch up on what’s happening with the last season of One Tree Hill, while also reading about the latest startup that Sequoia funded. And I will continue to make BBQ gobi for the foreseeable future (because I think slightly carcinogenic food groups will boost my immunity and besides I’m not really interested in sitting there and watching it cook).
I guess what I realized is that being a bad cook is a misnomer. You just haven’t practiced enough to be able to cook things to perfection without thinking about it.