Thursday, October 16, 2014

Never Cooking Again

I read this blog post the other day entitled "An Argument for Never Cooking Again" and it very much resonated with me. Essentially, the author, Sarah Miller, argues that people only really like to cook for other people and they only really like to cook for other people so that they can feel loved and appreciated for doing so. This seems pretty accurate. I "love" baking, but I only "love" baking when I'm doing it for other people because they'll like it (and like me). I almost never bake for myself.  For one thing, I'm mostly lazy. And two, I would never not feel guilty about eating a pan of brownies by myself (that doesn't mean I haven't done that, though).

Cooking for one especially sucks. First of all, as that post suggests, despite my inflated ego, I don't feel motivated to spend that much time making food only for myself. Second of all, I am pretty much ALWAYS starving by the time I get home from work, so I want to eat something that takes less than 20 minutes to make. Third of all, and most unfortunately, it's not always cheaper to cook for yourself, despite popular belief. Don't get me wrong, I make most of my meals, but they almost always consist of beans and salsa and other things that cost less than a dollar and only need to be heated up. Whenever I want to eat something other than grains and legumes, it actually makes more sense to go out, which seems backwards, but it's not.

I made tacos the other night with meat -- a small step up from my typical beans and salsa -- and all things considered, the ingredients were at least $15. For tacos! Yes, I had leftovers, but that also means I had to eat the same thing many times in a row and that gets old quickly. I once made this delicious polenta casserole, but by the 3rd day of eating it, I wanted to kill myself. I am not being dramatic.

On the other hand, there is a restaurant near my office that has a pretty good beer selection and a half-priced menu from 4-6 every day. That means it's actually cheaper for me to go out and get a craft beer and an entire plate of nachos than it is to go to the grocery store and buy ingredients for a meal. Maybe not the healthiest choice, but YOLO, you guys.

And, since I live amidst Section 8 housing and broke college kids, there are countless options for very cheap food in my neighborhood. For instance, I can get a slice of pizza for $2 that is actually the size of 3 slices of pizza, so it literally feels like you won the lottery when you eat it. Literally.

When I'm not trying to get diabetes, I go to the Russian BAZAAR down the street from my apartment that has almost everything you'd ever need at half the price of a regular grocery store. Also, a whole fucking aisle of pickled items. A WHOLE AISLE. There are few things I dislike more than grocery shopping (humidity is high on the list) because almost everyone is an asshole at the grocery store. I worked at Shaws for 7 years of my life and every time I go into that store I have a mini panic attack and want to punch everyone around me. (Last time I was there, I yelled at a woman to "Get some awareness!" That is who I've become.) However, at the Bazaar, no one speaks English and/or has any interest in talking to another human being and it's wonderful. The only drawback is that almost every label is in Russian, so I don't necessarily know what I'm buying/eating, but that just keeps the adventure alive. I generally leave with a bag of fermented vegetables and cheese and go home and eat snacks for dinner. Someday I aspire to make an actual meal, but only if someone wants to help me do it. And/or just do it for me. What I mean is that someday I aspire to come home to dinner on the table.

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