You Can Keep Your Home-Cooked Food
February 28th, 2012 by donuts4dinner

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 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?

pork butt

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?

Fix me!

9 Responses  
  • Cassie writes:
    February 28th, 201212:46 pmat

    You’re so cute. I’m one of those people who gets bored with eating out. It is all so salty to me. I don’t know what it is. Either way, I love to cook, as you know…so I don’t know what to tell you. You either do, or you don’t. I also like to know what all goes into my food. There’s too much cancer and freaky stuff going on out there with hormones and artificial this and that…it kind of freaks me out.

    Or maybe I’m just a freak.

  • Elliepie writes:
    February 28th, 201212:50 pmat

    See, I think most of the things I cook are better than restaurant food. But I live in a culinary wasteland … so … maybe things will change when you leave NYC?

  • kimz writes:
    February 28th, 201212:54 pmat

    Tee hee, you said “butt.”

  • kimz writes:
    February 28th, 20121:03 pmat

    On a serious note, though. You go to restaurants where the chefs have been cooking and perfecting their methods and techniques for years and years and years & you’re comparing that to something that, in this case, you’ve made all of once. I’m a huge fan of cooking at home because, like Cassie said, I know what goes into my food.

    Not to mention, it saves a crapload of money.

  • Jessica R. writes:
    February 28th, 20122:55 pmat

    This is so contrary to everything Cassie and I are doing! But it’s ok, I understand. Sometimes it’s just easier. Some nights we throw in the towel, look at each other and say, “Ok, where do you feel like picking up from.” But I still love home cooking.

  • Ash writes:
    February 28th, 20129:39 pmat

    The secret to everything is… MSG! Mwahahahhaha! >:) Seriously, my grandma used to hide little packets of MSG in the kitchen because my brother had banned her from using it for obvious reasons (although on the other hand I’ve read some articles about studies that suggest it has no long term effects on humans).

    Most of the time it really made the difference between a dish that tasted homemade and something that could be served at a restaurant. That being said, you’d probably never use it, and I swear I’ve never fed you anything that has it :P. Most fancy restaurants here probably don’t use it, but I’d bet there are some food carts that do!

    • Elliepie writes:
      February 29th, 201212:03 pmat

      My exes grandma used to dump large quantities of MSG in her food. And it was good. Isn’t old-school “meat tenderizer” just MSG?

      • Ash writes:
        February 29th, 20128:23 pmat

        Interesting, I didn’t know that! I only know of the Ajinomoto brand MSG. I just checked my meat tenderizer and the ingredients listed on it are “salt, dextrose and calcium silicate”, so I guess the newer ones don’t have MSG, unless they listed it as “salt”.

  • Mrs. Bachelor Girl writes:
    February 29th, 20121:24 pmat

    I fall directly in the middle. There are some dishes I actually enjoy cooking (pot roast, for example), and in fact, I feel I make those down-home classic Southern dishes (collard greens, cornbread, chicken spaghetti) better than any restaurant or chef ever could because I like MY way of doing it. It’s a familiarity thing. Plus, as others pointed out, eating at home is also cheaper and healthier.

    But The Guy and I LOVE eating out. LOVE it. And when we have the chance, we REALLY enjoy fine dining. We have absolutely no problem dropping a serious chunk of change on an exciting meal. And it’s all we can do to limit ourselves to eating out only two or three times a week. So I understand you, Katie Ett. I really do.

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