As a general rule, I don’t cook. Not only do I live in the food capital of the U.S. (and arguably the world), but my boyfriend weirdly doesn’t like to eat food not cooked by either his mom or some complete stranger in a restaurant. There are 343 restaurants that deliver to his apartment for free and 87 that deliver to mine on Seamless.com alone, so we have no shortage of new and interesting, non-home-cooked foods to try.
Except bánh mì. There is no bánh mì.
But I bought a slow-cooker recently. As a person who has an inkling of desire to cook but is supremely lazy, the appeal of the one-pot meal is immense. And morally, I’m very much in favor of home cooking. Not only am I learning a new skill, but I’m getting closer to my food. I know exactly what went into the dish I made and also where those ingredients came from. I took a seven-pound pork butt that was covered in fat and skin and hair (hair!) and labored over it and let it nourish me. It’s kind of romantic, right?
The thing is–as righteous as I feel about cooking for myself and as well as I think my pork butt turned out, it still didn’t satisfy me the way a non-home-cooked meal would’ve. It filled me but didn’t fulfill me, you know? And that has to be a social construct, right? I know a lot of people say they don’t even like eating out. That they get sick of it. That they think their home-cooked food tastes better. But I never have. I see nasty, greasy, fatty, salty, not-even-made-with-natural-ingredients food as a treat. I guess because I was raised on my family farm’s own beef and pork and the vegetables from our garden. And also because nasty, greasy, fatty, salty, not-even-made-with-natural-ingredients food is meant to be addictive, and I am a weak, weak person.
I loved my mom’s cooking, sure, and I look forward to holidays with my family where I get to eat those special once-a-year dishes my stepmom, aunts, and grandmother make. But for the most part, I don’t want to eat your home cooking. I appreciate your inviting me over to your house and taking your time to cook for me, but . . . can we just order Pizza Hut instead?