Genes, not skill, drives need to cook

Roxy Hammond

Roxy Hammond

I’ve always laughed at men who think their wives should have supper waiting for them when they get home. Chances are if I were married to them they would either a) not be willing to eat what I tried to cook, b) have take-out gracing their placemat, or c) A followed by B.

Cooking and I have had a mutual misunderstanding for as long as I can remember. Truthfully, I am domestically challenged. For the longest time, I was incapable of making scrambled eggs without burning them to the pan, or making a grilled cheese sandwich any other color than black. Since I’ve moved out of the house, I’ve kind of developed a taste for the charred.

Which is why I’m beginning to worry myself a little bit. You see, I’ve always planned on living in my own little bachelorette pad, having someone else cook for me (mainly some Chinese restaurant) and leaving my hatred for all things culinary on the back burner (no pun intended).

But lately, I’ve had the strong urge to cook. I see cookbooks in the store, and I feel the need to pick them up and thumb through them. I find myself staring down at the ingredients, asking myself, “Do I have that at home?” or “Would this be feasible to make after my criminal justice club meeting? Oh, no, prep time is 45 minutes. That’s too long.”

What happened to that girl who scoffed at the idea of wearing an apron?

I confided this thought in a friend, and he gave me an all-knowing look and told me, “Oh, it happens, Roxy. Soon you’ll get the urge to clean things, too.” And so what if I do?! What comes next? The urge to procreate? NO, NO, NO!

The thought of becoming domesticated basically goes against every grain of my current existence. I’m about as girly as a tube sock, and my desires to settle down and start a family are so far in the future, I’ll probably have my funeral before they kick in.

So why do I like to cook all of the sudden? I have a theory-it’s hereditary. Like a disease. I’ve been spoiled my entire life by two parents who could probably teach their own culinary arts class. Sunday lunches at my house were to die for, and I was never forced to fend for myself when it came to getting tasty food.

While other friends of mine ate poorly-made mac and cheese with hot dogs cut up in it, my parents were making seafood lasagna complete with fresh scallops and crab meat. My best friend probably tried more interesting foods eating over at my house than she will in the rest of her life. To me, though, that was completely normal.

My parents own literally hundreds, possibly thousands, of cookbooks. I could probably take one every time I came home and they wouldn’t notice for another 300 years.

I ventured out and bought a ground beef cookbook this year. I’ve made about three things out of it, each one turning out better than the last. It gives me a certain Betty Crocker feeling, being able to cook for myself.

I’m sure it will come to me over time, as my mom assures me. And I’m a little afraid of that. I’m enjoying being young and irresponsible, and I somehow feel my ability to cook will go hand-in-hand with maturity and moving on with my life.

Maybe someday. But for now I’ll stick with my take-out.

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