Saturday, January 02, 2010

That Mouth Gets Me In Trouble Again

I had said it, and now I had to do it. And now inspiration had left me and I was sitting alone at my computer, polishing off my Scotch.

"I'm thinking about cooking dinner," I had said lightly, just an hour ago. "Would you be interested?"

"Sure," he said. "I'm eating now but I'll be hungry at 8 or so."

So I had a little time, but suddenly it wasn't enough. I had been advising my friend T on this very topic just a few days ago, and I knew what she had made and I knew I could make that easily, and I knew I liked it. And I was going to be resorting to that--not that it was a bad dish at all, simply seemed too easy--if I couldn't think fast enough.

I looked at the contents of my cupboards. I flipped through a cookbook or two. Amanda Hesser says, describing her anxiety on cooking for her then-boyfriend, "The first meal you cook for someone is intimate. Not just if it's for a date. And not just because no one cooks anymore--it really has nothing to do with whether you are a good cook or not. It's an entry into the way you think, what you've seen and know, the way you treat others, how you perceive pleasure."

So true. It's not the food quality that's at stake: It's you, as the cook. This is why people are loathe to let on that they, say, actually like Kraft cheese singles wrapped in plastic, or Spaghetti-Os. You can like it and eat it in secret all you want, but you don't want OTHER people to know your low-brow tastes. Similar story here. Dishes that seemed perfectly tasty to me were suddenly, no longer good enough--what if he didn't like them? What if he started questioning not only my cooking skills but my tastebuds, and then my very palate? My opinion on what made life bearable? What if he and I clashed so directly on cooking that this would be our LAST DATE?

Possible disaster was looming. Suddenly I was apathetic towards cooking and food in general. My Pandora station annoyed me. The next station was no better. I had to pee. The Cooks Illustrated website stopped working. I drank some more Scotch and decided to go with what I had advised T on and made, several times before. After all: it was pleasurable. And it involved bacon.

1 comment:

Jupiter Family said...

Happy New Year !!!

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