Wednesday, February 18, 2009

the pope and cooking

There are two things I distinctly remember wanting to be when I grew up: the Pope and living in a hotel. The Pope because he has a cool hat. Living in a hotel because it would mean someone else would cook and make my bed.

My parents gently pointed out a couple challenges to the Pope plan: I am not a man and not Catholic. After awkwardly crossing myself with the wrong hand during an Easter service in Italy, it seemed confirmed that a future in Catholicism was not to be.

The second is still not entirely out of reach, but would need some modification to be realistically accessible. Instead, as a conflict resolution specialist might suggest, I've gone to the "interest" instead of focusing on the "position".

It cannot be stated enough how much I truly dislike anything related to cooking. Occasionally I have the urge to bake something or try a new recipe. Otherwise, I detest cooking. I dislike shopping for food, planning a meal, cooking a meal or cleaning up after a meal. I find words grossly lacking for adequately convenying how little satisfaction I derive from being able to throw ingredients together to create sustenance. Seriously.

Initially I think it was a common assumption that this disinterest stemmed from not having adequate practice or resources. So, in a strong showing of support, family and friends purchased upwards of ten cookbooks for me in the first year of marriage. There were some beautiful books with foods that looked truly sumptuous in the pictures and several that indicated a certain pleasing taste by virtue only of ingredients therein. I looked through them with the best of intentions and was exhausted by the time I finished.

Then, I think out of concern for my husband, the strategy of family and friends changed slightly. It seemed they had overestimated my potential for creating nourishing dishes requiring a certain level of skill and dexterity so several books and magazines bragging "three ingredients or less" or "done in 10 minutes" appeared at my disposal. I was not to be swayed (or insulted).

It wasn't that I didn't know how or didn't have time or found the recipes too confusing (though for some that is a legitimate concern), it was and is that I don't like it. If I lived in a hotel, I could have food available to me daily, and I wouldn't have to clean to boot.

I suppose that might be true if I had become the Pope too....

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