For many years, I have had such an aversion towards cooking, but simultaneously, I was also a foodie. This was one of the many contradictions that I had created for myself. The reason why I was not keen on cooking was mainly what I thought it had represented. There is this ideology that cooking is associated with domesticity. With the new wave of feminist attitudes, progressive women gradually have veered off of the cooking path.
Growing up, I had always seen my mom in the kitchen cooking up one of her best concoctions. Since I was a food-lover, I would find myself in the kitchen most times taking in the aroma of my mom’s cooking. My entire early life, I was definitely spoiled, because unlike many kids during those times, I always had my mother’s undivided attention. Since she did not work during the first part of her life, she did everything she could to keep me happy and fed. Although she seemed happy with this life, my mom always told me to focus on my education so that I could earn enough money to hire my own personal chef. This does not mean she never let me do chores; it just means that she always kept me out of her kitchen. I was constantly reminded of how cooking was just a domestic work.
Since cooking at home, which is a domestic chore, uses non-labor time, there is no way to quantify its economic importance. We do not generally pay for someone who cooks for us at home; we just expect it. This is how I was taught to think at first, and I did for a long time. In recent, this perspective has changed as I have developed my own satisfaction for cooking and baking.
This transition occurred when I started to adopt a healthier lifestyle. At first, it seemed impossible especially because of the high carbohydrate foods in Indian cooking. Instead of unfairly asking my mother to make two different meals, I decided to take on this challenge on my own. I started to look at various health food YouTube channels like “Domestic Geek” and some of the healthier recipes from “Laura in the Kitchen”. The latter channel also helped me through the cheat days and inspired me to cook more for my family. I also used to watch cooking shows as a way to manage my temptation, and this eventually became my source of operant conditioning. Every time I thought about food, I would turn to Laura Vitale’s recipes. Although at face value this seems more like a torture mechanism for food lovers, it also introduced me to a world of various cooking techniques.
Eventually, the girl who once thought that cooking was unnecessary eventually understood its benefits. There may not be a way to quantify its importance, but there is great pride in something that you make. There is also a greater sensibility of everything important that is nutritiously necessary for the body. It also helps with understanding how to budget food.
Cooking is both a resourceful skill and an artistic liberty. Domestic or not, this is an especially crucial part of “adult-ing” if you love to eat.