Friday, January 14, 2011

TGIF!

I’m pretty sure the first thing I ever learned how to cook was an egg. Maybe boiled, maybe scrambled…but I’m pretty sure it was an egg. My mother told me it was time I learned to prepare my own breakfast, and she taught me.

What does this have to do with the price of tea in China you ask? Nothing…just thought that was a good way to start today’s topic :-)

Being that there were nothing but women in my household growing up, cooking was pretty much a given. My mother cooked dinner every night…and it was almost always baked chicken, some sort of vegetable and some sort of starch – rice or noodles. Every once in a while she might shock us with a steak or a pork chop…the occasional spaghetti dish – but for the most part, she made chicken…and my sister and I watched and learned.

I could always cook, but never really “throw down!” My sister was a better cook than I was, but she didn’t become a GREAT cook until she met her husband. He’s the BOMB when it comes to cooking, and he taught her how to slice and dice and flavor food to perfection. He’s Moroccan, and has a slightly different palate than we have, so he taught her how to make his favorite foods, and now she’s awesome. Anything she makes is great, and her family is well fed.

I’m picking up some of her secrets, and my cooking is on a different level now. Although I may not cook every day, I CAN cook when I need to. Thanksgiving, Christmas, a date – I can “put my foot in it” if my little heart desires. I don’t think I have a specialty yet (perhaps my cheesecake…but that’s baking…not cooking), but I’m working on it!

Which brings me to the point…finally. I was having a conversation with Brian (of RTT Throwback fame) last night and he mentioned that women nowadays don’t know how to cook. Like…at all...can’t even boil water. He said I was a dying breed and even went so far as to say that he probably wouldn’t date a woman who can’t cook...something.

ME: “So you wouldn’t date me if I couldn’t cook?”

Brian: “We’d have to talk, work it out…you might need to take lessons or something.”

As sexy as I am, I knew he wouldn’t say no ;-)

Ahem…anyway…

Most men I know have held similar views when it comes to women and their ability, or inability, to burn in the kitchen. If she can’t fry up a steak, she can’t be wifey - PERIOD. Of course they’d make an exception for Beyonce (who has said she can’t cook…but Jigga doesn’t seem to mind) or Halle Berry…but the rest of us “common chicks” better step our cook game up if we want to bear his last name. Only a “real woman” can cook, right?

I often wonder how men would feel if women asked a man on a first date if he could change his oil...or a tire…or swing a hammer. If the answer is no, do we mysteriously stop calling because he can’t do a “manly” thing – like build a house from scratch? I’m just asking…sounds crazy right?

I love a handy man, but it’s not a deal breaker if he can’t change a light bulb. After all, I know how to change one, so we won’t be sitting in the dark or lighting candles. And my guess is a man won’t starve if he marries a woman who can’t cook. You were eating before you met me right? That won’t change if you meet a woman who can only make eggs.

And fellas, a man who can bang some pots and pans around is sexy as hell to a woman. I don’t understand why a man seems “evolved” if he can cook, while we are simply expected to be able to…like it’s in our DNA and whatnot…but I digress. We like to be fed too, so if you can burn, maybe we’ll “feed you” in other ways. Jus' sayin'!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m playing devil’s advocate here because I actually like to cook for my man when I’m in a relationship. I don’t cook every day because it’s just me in the crib, so there’s no need to dirty up my kitchen if there’s no man sitting at the dining room table. Most women I know have a “get him meal” that they can prepare expertly for when he comes over - but other than that, we’re ordering Chinese.

Sometimes we just don’t have time, we’re tired (hell…I work 10 hour days just like you do man), or we don’t feel it’s important to cook until we have a family to take care of. Some women were never taught to cook by their mothers…no family recipes handed down...so they don't know where to begin. Some women don’t trust their cooking abilities enough to feed their man for fear of killing him, and some women want their man to cook for her.

So now…my question: How important is it to you that your potential/future mate know how to cook? Do you think a woman’s refusal to enter the kitchen would hurt her chances at finding love and/or marriage? Would you be fine if your mate could ONLY boil water for Oodles o’ Noodles, or do you prefer that your mate be an EXCELLENT cook? Is it a woman thing? Or should both sexes know how to cook equally well?

Bonus: Name 5 things EVERY person should know how to cook?

Go!

-b

24 comments:

AH said...

First....snitches.....

Stef said...

WHO IS AH!? LOL!

Anyway, I hate it when men act like women NEED to learn how to cook. He NEEDS to learn how too! Why is it okay for a man to order out every night, but when he meets a woman, all of a sudden he needs a "home cooked meal" or else?! Man please.

I can cook, but I"m not Rachel Ray. If he wants a woman like that, then I can't help him. He won't starve with me, but it won't be gourmet unless he's taking us out to dinner.

AH said...

LOL! I'm Brooke's favorite Lurker!!! *I know she just laughed*

As a woman, I believe EVERY GENDER should know how to cook. I'm not saying the whole Thanksgiving dinner (it's a plus) but it's called survival...to me...in my opinion. It IS a deal breaker for me when I 1-know you can't cook and 2-know you have no plans to learn....especially when you think 3-it's the "woman's place".

I have no problems cooking. I can do a lil sumthin' sumthin' in the kitchen....but in a mate, I want to know that when I'm sick, getting home late from work, etc that you can hook it up. I'm a bit disappointed by how many my female friends can't make pancakes....I mean like...Hungry Jack Complete...where all you have to add is water. Let alone a steak (which is by FAR the easiest to make) or rice (read the directions Boo)....so forget the fried chicken or collards.

My bonuses....people should know how to make baked ziti (the easier version of lasagna), mac n cheese, baked chicken, rice and fresh collards (harder to clean than to cook).

Annamaria said...

I'm about to sound like a totally different little PR girl...

I confess I live in the 1950's and I think women should know how to cook. I can cook & I can cook really well. I love cooking for my family & friends.

I will also admit that since I had Sophia and got 19 jobs that I don't do it as much as I used to BUT the intention is always in my head.. LOL

Brooke said...

Yes, I DID laugh when I saw you were first :-) LOL! I KNEW Stef wouldn't approve, LOL!

I agree, both men and women should know how to cook - but I must be honest and admit that I'm always a little surprised when I meet women who can't cook anything at all. So I guess if I'm surprised a little, a man must be FLOORED!

I think all people should be able to make breakfast - eggs at least - not cereal. Baked chicken, spaghetti, rice, steamed or boiled veggies and some sort of dessert - even if it's just baked cookies.

Or at least know how to buy bagged Bertolli meals and let them sautee in a pan for 9 minutes :-)

Oh, and even though I don't really drink, I think ALL men should know how to make a kickass cocktail :)

Annamaria said...

LET THE RECORDS SHOW THAT I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON THEREFORE THE ONLY THING YOU WILL GET OUT OF ME BEFORE 11AM IS SOME COFFEE..I DON'T CARE IF ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ADD WATER I AIN'T DOING IT..LMAO..
Powerz usually handles breakfast on the weekends.

Jay said...

Wow, I was just having this converstaion the other day with my mother. I told her that women don't cook nowadays and she said today's woman is different than how she was growing up. I agree.

Most women are the breadwinners now, are single mothers, are CEO's, or have 2 jobs, and hold everything down. Adding cooking to the mix just can be asking too much sometimes. I get it.

But I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't care if my woman could cook or not. Sometimes you get tired of eating out or ordering in. You want a home cooked meal sometimes, and not just because you want to save money.

Men are big babies, period. We want to feel taken care of. That home cooked meal makes us feel special. It makes us feel loved. It means you took the time to put love into preparing a meal just for us. We feel like a king in our home. It's not fair, but it's true.

I'm sure women feel just as special when a man cooks for them, which is why I love feeding my woman whenever I have one and as often as I can. All in all, I believe both men AND women should be able to do this for each other.

5 Foods?

bacon and eggs
chicken
make a salad
pasta
hot dogs :)

Annamaria said...

Just gonna throw this out there because I've seen one too many episodes of Snapped....

@Jay...Does it still make men feel loved if that home cooked meal is laced with arsenic??? :) Just sayin..LOL
Not saying I would ever do that BUT just make sure you're being nice to the person you're asking to cook for you! LOL

Jay said...

@Annamaria,

Hopefull I'd be able to recognize BEFORE she cooks for me if she's CRAZY or not :) I don't need a woman to cook for me on the first date, or the second, or third. Hopefully after a few dates, I'd be able to see the "crazy."

And I'm a good guy, I won't do anything to my woman to make her want to kill me :)

Annamaria said...

LMAO... just checking....

And remember she doesn't need to be CRAZY to poison you.. She just needs to SNAP..LMAO

Serena W. said...

This is a topic of discussion that always makes me laugh. Why...because I can cook but limited on the skills. I'm learning and proud of what I can make (which is a few dishes). But when I say limited I'm just saying I'm no Barefoot Contessa or Paula Dean. LOL!

I learned how to really cook in college by men! Isn't that something! I love making chicken and fish. Fish cam be tricky, I learned how to make fried cat fish and I was happy!

I will say this year I have recipes that I always wanted to try and will do it! It's time to really burn...I want to build a family and now I'm very interested in cooking a lot more. I do like baking (cakes, brownies, cookies). Yummy!

But since I live alone (like Brookey) I don't like being in the kitchen everyday (heck it's just me in there).

I find it hella sexy if a man knows how to work the kitchen even if he is limited (meaning he can cook, but he's no Food Network chef).

Everyone should know how to cook to some level, period.

Also know how to make 1 cocktail, I don't care if it's rum and coke. Just have it under the belt in case your man or woman likes a spiffy cocktail after a hard day.

5 things:

Eggs
Pancakes
Pasta (just spaghetti and sauce for Christ sakes) I met a couple of women that messed that up!
Veggies (boiled and steamed)
Grilled Cheese (get creative like I do and add tomatoes and turkey to it)...yummy! Also don't just used sliced cheese like Kraft. But shredded or some cracker barrel! Extra yummy!

Latinegro said...

Before I say that I think all women need to know how to cook I will say this... we all need to know how. It basic survival. If one day you become a single parent and have a child to raise...then the importance of cooking becomes apparent.

Now, my mother could not cook well, but my dad is a master at it, so I guess it could work.

It may be a deal breaker to me in the sense that any woman would get eaten alive by my family if she couldn't cook. There is a definite connection with culture and food for Latinos.

I love to cook and can do it well. I just don't since it is really just me.

5 Things anyone should know:

-toast (i am serious)
-eggs
-pasta
-instant mashed potato
-ground meat

Serena W. said...

Ant I was going to put toast because I have smelled the burnt toast aroma in my apartment complex and I'm like...What the...who messes up toast!

Apparently someone!

Courtney said...

I can cook, and cook well, but sometimes even THAT isn't enough. Let me explain since Latinegro brought up culture.

I once dated a Jamaican dude who didn't consider "my kind" of cooking "real" cooking. His mother made curried this and that, jerk this and that, salt fish, plantains, etc. I can cook "soul food" for the most part, which he didn't like. He said that unless I took lessons from his mother, we couldnt' be together. So I stopped seeing him.

His only complaint about me was my inability to cook west indian food, and that was stupid to me. AND he couldn't teach me because he couldn't cook AT ALL! Meanwhile, he'd say to me that he's not "supposed" to know how to cook. All that sexist stuff was a turn off and I left.

Cooking should not be a deal breaker if the person is great in every othe way. And I don't want to hear any of that "well, I need to know that she can feed our kids" crap either because BOTH parents need to know how to do that. As long as a woman can break open a bag of salad and make a grilled cheese or some nuggets (not from Mickey D's), have some fruit and cereal and yogurt around, the kid will live :)

1. eggs and toast
2. spagetti
3. chicken
4. salad and veggies
5. rice

The Cable Guy said...

I wouldn't tell Brooke's sexy ass no either if she couldn't cook! :)

It's not a deal breaker, but it's a plus if she can. Like Jay said, we want to know our women can cook for us if we'd like her too. It's the "full feeling" we get, not just from the food. Hard to explain.

I can cook, always could, but moreso now I see it necessary since I have my son. I'd like any woman I met to marry to be able to cook for my son if the need arose. Otherwise, I could feed myself.

Foods:

1. Eggs (really...women burn toast?)
2. Rice a Roni (easier than regular rice :)
3. Vegetables
4. some kind of meat
5. baked potato

Michael Davis-Dallas Progress said...

Sorry, but I can't seriously date you if you can't cook.

I can cook (ask Brooke about the Facebook photo album LOL). Most of my homies can cook, some better than me. I believe everyone should know how to cook. The woman I'm with will know how to some extent.
Why? Eating out all of the time is expensive. Takeout is full of sodium, and high consumption of takeout should cease once you leave your twenties.

Every man in my family can cook. My Grandmother (RIP) said that every man should know how to cook and she taught us. Mom did too. Pops can burn. I rediscovered my love for cooking a year or so ago. But as I date, when a woman says "cook for me" and she can't at all? Well...*HARD.SIGH*

You don't have to be a chef, but know your way around the kitchen. I don't mind SHARING the cooking duties, but I'm not doing it all.
I'm glad you brought up this topic.

Brooke said...

Somehow I just KNEW Mike would chime in ;)

And yes ladies, his skills seem to be on point judging by his FB FOOD Album, my mouth waters every time I see it!

But Michael, a woman might be intimidated by a man like you who can cook better than she can. What do you think of that? Believe it or not, cooking for a man for some women can be stressful because they know/think you're judging them, or evaluating them, or comparing her to your mother in your head :) Would you be willing to teach a woman how to cook if she couldn't?

K said...

I too can cook but it wasn't something that I learned at my mom's foot. I wanted to know how to be a better cook so when i was on my own I learned by cooking more.

I think BOTH people should know how to cook. If i come home from work and I'm hungry I want a hot meal also. We're both working so let's both makes this meal thing happen. Plus my Dad was cooking for my siblings and I when we went to visit, so in my head i grew up thinking a man on his own should know how to cook for himself. He doesn't have to be a chef but he should know how to make some things.

I think if she REFUSED to enter the kitchen then yeah... she may have a problem finding a man. Cause I damn sure don't want him refusing to enter the kitchen to whip something up for me.

5 things: pancakes, eggs, rice, vegetables and pasta.

Michael Davis-Dallas Progress said...

No, Brooke, I don't think she should be intimidated in the kitchen. I'm not that kind of guy. And comparing a woman our age to Moms just isn't fair, so I don't do that sort of thing.

I don't know if I'm a good teacher or not, but cooking is mostly visual so I could probably do it.

By the way..do you know how much fun can be had cooking together in the kitchen? Lots! So they're blowing that part too.

and Brooke - I wouldn't tell you No either (which is easy to say now that you get down in the kitchen).

Brooke said...

LOL! Good, I'm glad no one would tell me "no" if I couldn't cook - but then again...y'all COULD just be saying that since you know I know my way around a kitchen :)

GOOD cooking takes practice, time and patience...some things that some women (and men) just don't have these days. I don't think most of us expect to marry a gourmet chef, but it sure would be nice :)

I'm trying to figure out if I'd prefer a man that can cook his ass off, or one that can fix my car.




...the car...definitely.

Ca88andra said...

I would love to be in a relationship with someone who could cook! I made sure I taught my boys how to cook and they can now fend for themselves - although they dont really want to!

Xavier Johnson said...

Well, this is my first posting, I had to comment on this.

I pride myself on being able to cook, growing up, my dad and then my step-dad did ALL of the cooking, not that my mom couldnt cook, she just didnt have to.

I approach cooking like a chemist and I am passionate about cooking for my woman.

However, I think there are two key points missing here. First, everyone wants to be pampered, including men.

Secondly, dating is a big audition, and many of the criteria we look for in a mate still remain old school. The woman is thinking "can this man provide for me and the family? Can he handle the finances if I choose to stay home and raise the kids? Similarly, the man is thinking when I am out slaying dragons and keeping the ship afloat not simply can she feed me, but CAN SHE FEED THE KIDS.

Progress is great, but new isnt always better.

Anonymous said...

I'm a guy and I pride myself on my ability to cook...at least as well as restaurants in my area, and NOT the fastfood types, yo.

That being said, I remember a meeting before which a few pizzas had arrived, thus the beginnings of this story. The guys began talking about their favorite dishes and how THEY make them.

As if to serve as the perpetual stick-in-the-mud to anything that guys do, a notoriously proud, uber-self-possessed woman quite arrogantly proclaimed, "I don't cook." Crickets chirping.

Bragging about cooking being beneath one's station in life does NOT find an appreciative audience in men...who can cook.

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