Back to the Beginning: Are You Giving Up Cooking? (posted Aug. 21, 2010)

My neighbor asked looking at the Belgique cookware I had at our yard sale yesterday. My humorous and truthful reply, “Well, I hadn’t actually started!” I’m not sure if she was told those were mine, or, if that’s just the general assumption. Woman = Cook.

I had wanted to learn how to cook, so much so I voiced the desire to a ex co-worker and she bought me some of the Belgique ware Christmas in 2002. Yes, you read that right, 2002! I’d used it very little over the years, but had the grandest of intentions! I respect everything I own so take really good care of things, the set is pristine. We had it priced at $50 with 25% off. She looked at it once, went home, came back and bought the set saying if she can’t use it, the girls can (her daughter-in-law and granddaughter)…we gave them an additional discount, ‘the neighbor discount!’

I think I’m in the category my friend is in, he said he’s here to eat-to-live, not live-to-eat. I don’t go ga-ga about any great meal, and for the most part don’t crave any foods. I’ve often said if eating wasn’t necessary I wouldn’t do it at all.

This is one of the reasons I like to juice – put all the fruit and veggies in a juicer and voila, a meal! And, as strange as it may sound, I don’t really remember what I ate when I lived in Bremerton! That’s one of the goofiest things I’ve found post-injury is I may *think* I’ll remember, but do not whatsoever. A change of scenery, a new life, and poof, the recall is hazy at best.

I wish, in hindsight, I’d taken a picture of my pantry, fridge and freezer. I know I did eat (!), I just don’t remember what. Must have been simple things like burritos, protein shakes, and frozen meals. Now when asked what I want to eat, my answer to Richard is, “I don’t know.”

On a scale of enjoyable to I’d rather have a root canal, cooking is farther on the painful scale. Part of it was my history, another is I want to cook healthy AND have it taste good. Cooking burns my brain bucks and energy in a split second and if it doesn’t go well, I’m significantly hosed because we’re back to square one with no meal, and no energy to fix it. Cereal and a lot of recovery time, anyone?

I did learn how to bake growing up so that is easier although something I will only rarely do. I quickly learned post-injury just because it was something I spent my previous life doing that didn’t mean a thing now. I got out the old recipes, picked one out, got everything out and ready, made it all, only after all the prep, baking and cleaning I learned left out an ingredient. Oh my gosh! I had never done that before, it was ruined! What a waste of resources.

My last meal was attempting a Copy Cat recipe of chicken tenders from a restaurant. I marinated the chicken with all the ingredients except lime juice since we had none, I had to ‘wing’ it (terrible pun, I know!) I’m not a cooking person, when someone says ‘braise’ my first thought is ‘brays’ as in donkeys! I had no idea what that meant so just cooked them on the cast iron griddle. No letters from Martha Stewart, please!

There must be reasons women like me opted-out of Home Ec in school! Being a tom-boy, playing sports, hiking and biking outside, having a horse, that was my deal. Sorry to disappoint the world that since I am a woman this does not automatically mean I have the gift of planning, preparing, then cooking, serving meals and pleasing everyone!

This whole thread reminds me what I thought when I went to a family function recently. Because I was the only other female there, I was asked to help my Dad’s elderly wife in the kitchen while the men sat on their asses watching football. Resentment? Who me? I would not say it then, but it became my mantra, “I have a vagina, therefore I must help in the kitchen!” I wasn’t doing anything the men couldn’t do…bleck. Gender stereotypes where small people try to make others even smaller than they are! Where is the sense of help, family, community, we’re all in this together mentality? Wow.

Oh, and Richard’s comments on the cooking attempts? “You make REALLY great ice water!”

Nice.  Anyone thirsty?!

About Resilient Heart

TBI x3, that's me! If you had a Traumatic Brain Injury (or Injuries!) and knew you might not remember dates, events, people, etc., would you live each day differently? Would you give more, forgive more, heal more? I am. The statistics for me developing Dementia or Alzheimer's is a high possibility - one, because of the TBIs, and two - because I'm genetically predisposed. Come with me as this present moment is all we know we have... Wishing you all the best - today & always. Blessings, Love & Peace, RH
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