Is it worth it to know how to cook?

A while ago, I expressed my displeasure with the people who post pictures of the food that they cooked on Facebook.

You can view the post for the full rant, but to give you the Spark Notes version, I concluded that people feel a sense of pride in the meals that they concoct, and they wish to share it with the world. It’s basically just a huge “HEY EVERYONE, LOOK WHAT I DID!” post.

This would be all well and good had they made a seven-course meal with a main platter consisting of a full rack of souvlaki. Then maybe you do deserve some credit.

But most of the time it is just a deformed-looking plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Is that really something you want to brag about? What are you going to brag about next? Eggs over? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

My general rule of thumb for life is to preach to people to act like they’ve been there before. It works for nearly all contexts — including cooking.

I’m not bashing your culinary skills, in fact, I applaud you for taking the time to cook food. Because in my mind, you could have saved forty-five minutes of your life by walking down the block to a nearby restaurant to pick up food, and it probably would have been equally as satisfying.

Now I personally know how to cook extremely basic things — eggs, grilled cheese, macaroni, smores, etc. I do enjoy making myself breakfast in the morning, because it takes really just one or two ingredients and five minutes to make. It’s totally worth it.

But cooking your own dinner? Now that is a different story.

To cook a more complex meal, even spaghetti and meatballs, you will tend to need several ingredients. It will also take considerably more time than making an egg and cheese sandwich. In my mind, it’s just not worth it.

I have no problem ordering out all of the time. If you know enough restaurants in your area, you can diversify your food intake, and still manage to eat healthy. People think that individuals who eat out all the time solely dine on restaurants like Wendy’s or Subway. That is simply not the case.

Also, another knack on people who prefer to eat out is that they spend more money. Well, I can debunk this myth very quickly. Do you have any idea how much it costs to gather a ton of ingredients? And it’s not like you can just save the ingredients to make it again — most of the time you can’t preserve some of the food and, therefore, most cooks tend to make more than is required. This leads to leftovers that either will never be eaten, or will taste half as good one or two days later.

So I think that an individual can easily go their entire life without learning how to cook complex meals.

Although I will admit that there are certainly benefits to cooking. For one, I have a strong inkling that it is a huge turn-on for girls when a guy knows how to cook. If you’re a guy, and you cook a homemade candlelight dinner for a girl, then you’ve probably gone up ten notches in her book. That is unquestionably a huge plus.

Additionally, I understand that there are plenty of people out there who genuinely enjoy the art of cooking. Just like how some people like playing sports, others love video games, there are people who find joy in the art of mixing ingredients, slicing vegetables, putting it all together and eating the food that they concocted. I respect that. However, I am not one of those people. Cooking really gives me no thrill.

Finally, you should never assume that your partner/spouse/girl you slept with last night will know how to cook. I’m seriously not trying to sound sexist here. I know guys always joke that “the girls should do the cooking,” but it’s obviously not true. Girls don’t have to know how to cook just because they are expected to.

They should learn to cook because they want to. However, I do assume that most girls do want to. Unlike us guys, with our beer bellies and our contentedness with eating cheeseburgers or ribs every night, I think girls have a more sophisticated liveliness and more cultivated sense of taste that leads them to seek out other foods. Cooking is one way to achieve that. In other words, girls are better than us.

That being said, I’ll still never assume or expect that I will one day have a wife who does all the cooking. Such assumptions would be unfair.

Therefore, I suppose my final conclusion is that it wouldn’t hurt to know how to cook. There are times when cooking does indeed represent the more appealing option. Whether it’s to impress a lady, to try something new, or to feed your family. Cooking is indeed a practical and resourceful trait.

But does that mean I’m going to learn? Probably not.

Unless… do you think I can impress a girl by making her a homemade ham and cheese sandwich on the third date?

4 thoughts on “Is it worth it to know how to cook?

  1. Okay, you caught me! I sometimes post things I cook, but only if it’s something especially pretty or slightly unusual (like individual ramekins of meatloaf) but I guess writing/taking photos of food comes with my territory.
    You and I posted similar things last night, http://jennithebaker.blogspot.com/2012/07/food-for-thought.html
    I truly love cooking, especially for my husband. Honestly nothing brings me more joy than timing cooking -just- right that dinner is coming out of the oven right when he comes home. It’s totally sexist and clique, but god help me, I love it.

    It’s funny you say “Girls should do the cooking” because at school we were completely disrespected and judged and had to work three times as hard and curse three times as much to gain a gram of respect. Of course, I did Baking and Pastry, so we pretty much were left alone…unless you count the culinary assholes saying our degree of choice was a joke. Anyway…..I get that some people just don’t enjoy cooking, and I respect that. With your skill and motivation level, I know you can make an assortment of tasty things to impress a girl. Like Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. With honey mustard, or something. Throw in a salad or chips and you’re golden. If the girl is like me, she’ll be easily pleased, anyway.

    • I legitimately applaud your desire to cook — I officially came to the conclusion that not only is it useful, but an impressive and extremely skillful talent. I’m sure your husband is also very appreciative of your abilities.

      And perhaps you’re right. Maybe if I really, downplay my inability to cook, I could lower expectations to the point where when I DO bring out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the entree, they will be in shock and awe. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Hey. I’m Xander. I’m 15 and I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and I’ve been inspired to begin writing my own. Do you have any advice on, well, writing a blog? Thanks in advance,
    Xander

    Also, why eat out when you have Ramen?

    • Hey Xander. or can I call you X? I’m sure many people do already.

      Anyway, my advice is to just stay motivated and don’t stop writing. Also, write about things that interest you. If you firmly believe that blogging is your calling, then that must mean you are interesting, that you enjoy writing and that you are determined. It’s a good combination. Because if what you are writing is honest and quality — people will read it. It may take a little while, but you bet people will.

      Hope that helped.

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