Friday, January 14, 2011
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 ;-)
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?