Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cooks vs. Non-cooks

I’ve never understood why more people don’t cook. It’s a sure fire way to relax and expand your creativity, plus you can enjoy a good meal when your done. Cooking is easy, all that is required, besides the ingredients is that you read the recipe though and then follow the directions. The more you cook, the better a cook you become. What better way to show someone your love than by cooking a wonderful meal for them?
People seem to be divided into two types, cooks and non-cooks. The cooks are usually organized and creative problem solvers. They always know what’s for dinner and can be counted on to feed a crowd. Cooks take pride in a refrigerator and pantry that are full of possibilities. For that is how cooks view ingredients, as possibilties. For example, a cook can look at flour, salt, sugar and butter and see croissants, pie crusts, shortbread cookies and a variety of other things. Non cooks only see the food stuffs and feel panic at the thought of having to use them. The non-cooks never seem to give their next meal a thought until they are hungry. Dinner hour finds them driving around looking for possibilities, for that’s how non-cooks view restaurants, as possibilities. Just as cooks know their families names and their breakfast preferences, non-cooks are defined by their usual order at the local deli.
Cooks enjoy food. Their conversation involves food. What they are planning to cook, what they have cooked, what has worked and what hasn’t. Mc Donald’s or Burger King simply doesn’t exist for a cook. They are not an option. The Farmer’s Market, local food store and gourmet store are all places to spend time buying ingredients for their art.
Non-cooks spend their time driving to carryout restaurants, eating meals out, and generally multitasking while they eat. Because food isn’t important, they pay no attention to it. I once ask a friend why she never cooks dinner, she replied she forgets. Consequently they eat out everyday. Non-cooks end up eating sub standard food at above standard prices.
Cooks also know how to buy quality fresh food. A cook knows her butcher’s name, the best cheese store in town and can always find good bread with a crusty exterior and chewy center. She can whip together chocolate molten cakes in a flash as well as an omelet. Cooks can create a meal out of any leftover food. That’s a skill honed in France, consider the Hache Parmentier, duck, sautéed with onions, celery, raisins, port wine and touch of garlic, covered in mashed potatoes. Made with any left over meat and vegetables, it is so delicious, no one knows it’s made from leftovers.
Non-cooks however, knowing no better, buy their hors d'oeuvres frozen, their fruit bruised and their meat from the case at the local supermarket. The best they can offer is a steak on the grill and salad from the supermarket salad bar. The poor families of non-cooks.
I wrote this essay for my English class. It seemed perfect to share here.