I am what is known as a “Hobby Cook”.
This is the worst possible type of cook to be because I don’t really cook for any good reason, or maybe I should say, I don’t really need a good reason to cook. It is my dearest, most beloved hobby. I cook for the general enlargement of the surrounding populace, much to the chagrin of my husband who must eat all I prepare. It is the action I turn to when I am happy, stressed, lackadaisical, manic, in despair, enthusiastic or just Bored.
As much as I love it, I can’t claim that it is an addiction I would wish on any of my close friends since I often think I could have just as easily loved origami or horseshoes or anything that didn’t add so many calories to my already very full life. I love the process of cooking; the Lists and Scents and Tastes and Probable Reactions and Sauteing and the Eating that inevitably follows. It is the original consumable hobby – you can only knit so many sweaters before you have them stored in bags around the house, where a meal, a meal is here, fully enjoyed and then gone forever. Cooking is evanescent, gorgeously fragile and temporary in nature; we eat the meal and need to make another. You make the supply, you create the demand. Truly- you *must* eat to live- how many other hobbies can claim that life depends upon them? I am guaranteed an occupation tomorrow and until then, there is a room in the back of my mind that is continually devoted to thinking about what I am going to cook next, mixing and matching foods and tastes and distracting me from everything else until I am able to work it out in *real life*.
I love arguing with our elf of a stove with its crooked sense of humor. I feel smart and big and clever every time I am able to produce something edible with its slightly crippled assistance. I love watching my husband take the first bite, teased by the ever-present worry that he just *might* hate it, and then when he tries it and likes it and says, “Babe, how did you make this?” being able to say, “Oh just this and that….” knowing full well that I’ve been wrestling over it for a week or more.
It would do no good to undress the mystery at the table, food always tastes better when served beneath a veil of delicious tastes and aromas. The allure of such modest food is undeniable, and yet sometimes, for better or for worse, I have to go into great detail about the meal and plague him with explanations and reasonings and recipe alterations and he listens very patiently while finishing servings one and two and I am nearly ready to explode with triumph and accomplishment. It’s delightfully terrible for my rapidly expanding ego. Waistlines aren’t the only things in danger…..
I make soft noises of pity when he complains that his duty belt will get to be too small if he keeps eating so well, but we are all honest people here – we all know that I take that as lavish praise and further inducement to keep cooking.
I just don’t think that would happen with origami.