“Women are the ones who should be in the kitchen…”
Says those with the traditional mindset.
Not anymore. I think it’s really imperative for both men & women to learn how to cook these days. I’ve witnessed one too many occasions where one’s ability to cook being scrutinized behind their backs, and sometimes, right in your face. With the rise of cooking shows and competitions, you can’t ignore the fact that food & the art of making food is a big part of your life. Because no matter how much one might despise cooking, one always loves to eat a good meal.
I read in a GQ magazine I picked up once, in this article that says ‘girls are more likely to sleep with men who can cook a perfect risotto’. And that got me thinking.
So, I might not be one of those girls who will sleep with a man for the sake of some good risotto (I can cook a pretty good one myself) but that article itself has just shown me how the world has come to a turn around. Back in the old days (my mother’s time, not mine), it is said that men are more likely to marry a woman if she can cook, because after all, as the saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. While that still stands true to a certain degree, I guess the new-age saying should go, the way into a girl’s pants is through a man’s cooking skills.
That said, despite the ever-changing culture of the modern age, I honestly believe that one of the few useful skills one could ever learn in life is to cook. Especially a man who cooks, that’s really quite sexy. My boyfriend, who doesn’t cook often, made me a simple and yet delicious meal of my favorite Swedish meatballs, salad and potatoes for my birthday last year. There’s just something about the labour of love that goes into a meal that warms me up. 🙂
So why should one learn to cook? I’ve added points to each reason, just for the fun of it. Think of this like in that game The Sims, where each new skill acquired raises your life points.
SURVIVAL 101 (+9 points)
Cooking is an essential survival skill. Though the odds of you being stranded on an island is close to zero, you’ll never know when you might need to whip out these survival skills. Perhaps your car broke down and you can’t drive to a restaurant? Or you get snowed in and can’t get out at all. Your phone’s dead and you can’t call for delivery? Either way, just accept that these are possible scenarios and that itself makes you stranded in your homey island with nothing to eat but raw materials. Then again, maybe not that even.
HEALTHY EATERS (+6 points)
Most people I know, who gym & eat healthy are at least at cooking level one. You can’t be a healthy eater unless you have a general knowledge about food and what you’re putting into your body. So generally, people who want to eat good, make their own meals and know something about food. For health’s sake, cooking skills are pretty much useful.
PICKY LITTLE EATERS (+4 points)
If you’re a picky eater, you definitely need some cooking skills. From being vegan to lactose intolerance, and everything else listed on the chart above; you face food dilemmas almost every step of the way. Except for the time you eat at grandma’s or maybe your parents’ place, not many people would even possibly cater to your needs. If you can’t cook, then there’s probably quite a number of things that you can’t even get in regular restaurants and you might end up having to settle for something like a sandwich. Being able to make your own meal though, that would make your prospects look better.
SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES (+5 points)
If you’re one for social gatherings and making friends, you gotta cook. People in general love free food, so if you’re hosting, what better way to glue the bond better than personal homemade dishes from grandma’s family recipes? Catered food just shows that you have a lot of money, which doesn’t really do much good for you except attract gold-digging friends. Homemade meals shows heart, and warms friendships. Things that you don’t see but essentially feel. But if you have over 30 friends, please cater.
SELF-ESTEEM JACKER (+6 points)
No better way to boost your self-esteem than being able to make something that tastes amazing – and listen to the praises from friends, families, colleagues, etc. Of course, magic doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of failed attempts (which you should either throw, or eat it on your own) before you reach the peak of acceptance. So practice, and throw a small gathering for close friends when you’ve neared the peak – it’ll be worth it.
IMPRESSIVE DATE (+5 points)
Be the guy who cooks for his date. Be the girl who cooks for her date (but only after 2 successful dates and when you’re sure he’s not a serial killer). Nothing says impressive than someone who can cook. People like that feeling of being cared for, and a good meal is one of those feelings. Good home-cooked meals are out of the ordinary restaurant setting, that could be an exciting change for your date, which earns your brownie points. It also proves to make someone feel a lot more comfortable with you. Provided you’ve practiced enough to serve up a decent meal.
MONEY SAVER (+8 points)
Eating out is always more expensive, and more unhealthy than eating in (nope, delivery doesn’t count). You spend extra money to save on time. But if you’re really frugal with money, you’ll find that if you spend more time to save money, you not only have more money, but also a commendable cooking skill which raises your desirability by a couple of points. Maybe you need to eat out some time, but if you could make lunch boxes for those office days, you might not only save money, but time tat could be used for finishing up your work so that you can leave on the dot.
FOOD EDUCATION (+7 points)
I’ve noticed that those who eat and don’t cook, don’t know as much about food as they think they do. Can’t understand a macaron unless you’ve tried making it, otherwise it’ll just be another type of sweet dessert to you, when it’s more than just that. Having had my failed attempts at making macarons, I understand the technical skills and precision needed to make a good one. Most people just wolf down their meals, not knowing the culture and methods used to make each dish, or even the herbs used to bring out certain flavors. I was appalled when once, someone told me that thyme was a type of chicken. Thyme chicken is not a type or chicken. It is just chicken, seasoned in thyme herbs. See what I mean? Being educated in food in the kitchen helps you not make a fool out of yourself.
That’s about it, in general. I was once a person who has zero knowledge on cooking, afraid to touch a frying pan even. I started learning on my own (with some help from my mom) in 2011, and I’ve never looked back since. Cooking is a joy, despite the tedious washing up. Still, I get a sense of joy making food for my loved ones, and a great deal of self-esteem boosted.
The vital part is the learning experience that you get. I have learnt quite a lot from watching Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. The sight of Gordon Ramsey screaming at contestants because of their raw chicken and his displeasure of how their risotto moves on his plate is enough to teach me a thing or two about people’s expectations. Thus, experimenting with new food and techniques have lead to all my delicious recipes posted here for all to try. Try I say, you have nothing to lose except get maybe a few nicks, cuts and burns.