I like to cook when it is fun.
What I mean is: I do not like to walk into my house at 5:45, scan the items in my refrigerator and pantry, and promptly “whip something up.” Because let the record show: I cannot whip anything up, and I certainly cannot whip something up in the time it takes me to get hungry at the end of a day (approximately 30 minutes to an hour).
But I can, when the occasion occurs, find a recipe I like on Pinterest or in one of my half-dozen cookbooks or in an email from a friend. I can make a list and plan out a weekly menu and buy groceries. I can cook with Jordan and have a meal ready in time for Jeopardy!.
All of this, I thoroughly enjoy… when there is time.
That, I think, is key. Time.
If I want to enjoy cooking, there has to be time.
As an adult, cooking has never been my favorite, not for lack of interest, but again, for lack of time. And, I am, it must be confessed, highly influenced by Lorelai Gilmore, and alas: There is no Sookie in my life to come over and cook up something fabulous at a moment's notice.
But I enjoy the moments I share with Jordan in the kitchen. I enjoy the dance we develop in our tiny kitchen, coming from the pantry to the counter, the oven to the refrigerator, dodging each other and the dog laying at our feet.
I enjoy knowing I created something with my hands for the two of us. I enjoy putting good things into my body. I enjoy the concocting and the — nerd alert! — directions-following.
I do not ever think I will be one of those people who whips things up. I will probably never add a pinch of this and a dash of that.
Instead, I will look for recipes that make my mouth water. I will slip and slide my way through the grocery store, smiling at the fish man as he explains to me what “shelled and deveined” shrimp look like. I will — perhaps not every night, but some nights — take the time to cook a meal with my hands.
I will enjoy the effort, and I will celebrate, because sometimes I remember: I am growing up in the best kind of ways.
Do you enjoy cooking? Why or why not?