There are few things in life that get me really stressed.
One of which is driving – I love the idea of it, sat behind a wheel and screaming round a race track, tyres burning and gears revving, but in the real world of roundabouts and parking fines I struggle to enjoy the everyday commute behind the wheel of my pillarbox red Mini.
Another regular stress occurs when I run out of time on less than important things. Most recently, this involved more than mild panic when my recent holiday seemed to approach faster and faster, until I was a few days away and with no idea of what to pack or take. Luckily, a good old shopping trip and a few To Do lists later and all was fine.
But my biggest fear, my biggest stress, the one reason that causes me to give up and run away screaming is the art of cooking.
“Everything tastes better when cooked by someone else.” ― Marillyn Taylor Klam
I am a failure of a woman. I will forever be a terrible wife. The ultimate dream of being able to create beautiful and perfect meals for future Mr Becky and an abundance of family and friends lie in tatters at the bottom of the baking tray – I absolutely cannot cook.
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child
The weekly hour I had to sit through ‘Food Tech’ classes during secondary school failed to teach me anything except that you cannot cook anything of purpose within the 30 minutes oven time you were individually allocated. Building pies and pastries using shop bought Jus Roll goodness did nothing to prepare me for the art of dining, with my only memorable masterpiece being a pineapple stir-fry that I was marked down on because it didn’t include any meat – regardless of the fact I was a vegetarian.
“Standing back and staring blankly at the glass, he realized he had no idea what it meant to preheat. Obviously he heated it prior to something, but to what?”
I struggle to empathise with cooking. I don’t particularly enjoy food and prefer meals out due to the social element more than the experience of Michelin Stars. When I’m in my element whilst working at home, I barely find time in an evening to stop and warm up a pizza, let alone prepare a meal from scratch, and as such the modern alternatives to home-cooked goodness appeal more.
“I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and say to myself “well, that’s not going to happen” ― Rita Rudner
I don’t tend to eat a lot of meat either, so my knowledge of how to prepare chicken without giving everyone salmonella is low in quantity. While my friend’s favourite dish consists of frying your own meat upon a slab of molten slate, the pressure that this state of control adds to a relaxing meal out simply fills me with horror to the point of ordering a boring margherita pizza instead to avoid all unintentional illness.
Please don’t think of me as lazy – simply that I have absolutely no idea where to begin. I don’t know how to make a white sauce, I can’t differentiate between various types of pastries, I couldn’t tell you the best cuts of meat – to me, it’s a whole other world that I simply don’t have the time or the tastebuds to bother researching.
“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.” ― Thomas Wolfe
So think me uneducated, judge me for picking cheeseburgers over chateaubriand, mock me for my macaroni cheese addiction, but sometimes, my desire for a oven baked pizza or a simple portion of beans on toast is more than enough to satisfy my cravings.
The Future Mr Becky, perhaps, not so much.