It’s true, I hate cooking. I know, I know – shocking! Scandalous! I feel like I stand alone in my entire social circle because I do not like to cook – everyone else does it, happily, willingly, and discusses favorite recipes ad infinitum. But I just can’t get into it.
I like to eat, and I love the concept of whole, sustainable, locally-grown, seasonal vegetarian meals. In my fantasy world, I actually go to farmers’ markets and buy fresh, local eggs and veggies and fruits and breads and cook with that all week. In this fantasy world, I eat very healthy, and treat myself to homemade ice cream, or black bean brownies, or something. I mean, I read the research on health and nutrition, I read my food labels, and I try not to buy foods made with palm oil and other sustainable products. I know what proper nutrition looks like, I understand that food is fuel for my sport and that what I put inside me affects what is on the outside of me, and I never, ever crave M&Ms. However… in my reality world, I’d much rather sew, or read, or bike somewhere, or blog. I simply resent the time it takes me to make anything more complex than pasta, and then there’s all those dishes and the clean up.
But over the Fourth of July weekend, I cooked, not once, but twice! Technically, I cooked once and baked once, but the baking was very involved and actually took three days. I made potato salad for the Fourth (a fairly healthy recipe), but I spent the rest of the weekend making sourdough bread.
Sourdough is not for the faint-of-heart, I discovered. I had to make the starter – after mixing up the starter, warm water, and flour, it had to sit for 8-12 hours. Then divide that and add more flour and water, then let it sit for another 2-4 hours. Then repeat, with another 2-4 hours. Really?! When it was time to finally start the bread, that had to sit for 90 minutes before you could shape the loaf, then that had to sit and rise before you could even put it in the oven!
The two loaves turned out just fine, although I didn’t think about the fact that sourdough bread shouldn’t be made with whole wheat flour, oops. It tastes fine, just not as tangy as my dad’s sourdough bread is. I’m sure I’ll get there, since this is an ongoing science experiment for the refrigerator and something of a new challenge. There are plenty of things make out of sourdough, waffles and French rolls among them. The starter is supposed to be used (“fed”) frequently, but my mentor said that it will be fine if it’s not used weekly as directed (thanks Dad!). I think I can aim for fresh bread once a month, at least.
I don’t think this will make me learn to love cooking, and sadly, I don’t think it will transform me into a sudden food/nutrition purist. The Mechanic and I will continue to pick up our locally prepared fresh Diet to Go meals twice a week, visit favorite local restaurants on the weekends, and do spontaneous runs to the grocery store for cheese and crackers, my favorite lazy dinner. I’m trying to come to term with the fact that I do not like to cook, even though I feel like I should. Maybe fresh bread will be enough for now.