The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:55 am 
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I don't know where I'm going with this, but I thought I'd share, just for fun.

Anyone in the Dining forum here knows I love to cook, and I'm glad we have a few others who cook as well.

When I say I love to cook, though, I really mean it. Cooking, on a good day, is a stress-reliever, it's therapy. Stirring something for minutes on end is calming, it puts things in perspective.

I love cooking so much, when I'm making a meal, I'm already thinking about the next meal...or the next four meals. This morning, I was making waffles, and about halfway through, I started thinking about tomorrow's breakfast: "We haven't had soft-boiled eggs in awhile..."

I generally plan menus about four days at a time. When I wake up in the mornings, I don't think, "I've got to tackle that problem at work," or "We're going to the museum today." I invariably think, "I'm making meatballs today. Meatballs! Fuck yeah!"

I love cooking so much, I've started meals way too early in the day, just because I couldn't wait to get started. Cooking is one of the very few things I'll interrupt just about any other activity to do, and one of very few things I'll stop doing to do something else.

I cook things sometimes with no real intention of eating them. I just want to cook something, or to see if I can cook something. I watch cooking shows like other people watch reality shows. I even watch the reruns, "Oh! Oh! This is the one where Pepin debones an entire chicken in 40 seconds!"

I love cooking so much, I actually can get emotional over it. And no, the weird thing is, it isn't some transference, as in cooking represents family togetherness and happy memories, it's because I love taking eight ingredients and making something that's amazing. It's the act and the result.

I love cooking more than eating, and I fucking love eating.

OTOH, I hate cooking with other people. Can't do it. I can't even have other people in the kitchen with me, or talking to me while I'm cooking. It's why I hate open floor plans and prefer the older style of the kitchen being separated from the rest of the house. Don't socialize in my kitchen! Important shit is happening in here!

I also don't like cooking for other people. I'll cook for four, but's about my limit. I don't get off on other people eating my food. I don't get heart-warmed by performing the act of cooking for others. I love cooking for very selfish reasons.

Many years ago, more than 20, we had a restaurant we loved. The woman who owned it and did the majority of the cooking was German. It broke our hearts when she told us she was moving back to Germany and closing up.

We asked her, "Since you're leaving, can you recommend another place we might enjoy? Where do you like to eat out?"

Very bluntly, she replied, "I don't like to eat out. Everywhere I go, I find something wrong with the food, and I know I can do it better!" I'm not quite there yet, but I'm starting to feel that way. We eat at some pretty nice places, and I'll still find things amiss, and it's heart-breaking, both in the lack of quality or preparedness, and in the fact that someone in that kitchen thinks what they just did was ok.

I hate being called a foodie. It's almost an insult, because "foodie" to me means some pretentious twit who might know food trends, but that's really all they know. Most people I know who call themselves foodies don't even cook. They eat. I have an acquaintance who talks about food all the time, has spent a fortune on a kitchen full of Le Creuset and All-Clad portrays himself as the beginning and end of all things food...and does not cook. Yep, he's a foodie.

Anyway, enough from me. What's some of your random food/cooking thoughts? How did you get where you are with respect to cooking and enjoying food?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:30 am 
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I'm with Alicorn on this one, if it can't get cooked in 20 mins, or all chucked in one pot and has a minimal list of ingredients......then I'm not interested. I don't hate cooking, I don't enjoy cooking, I'm indifferent to it.

I get what you mean about 'foodies' though, interestingly most of the foodies I've met don't eat, let alone cook....they'll taste food but actually eat very little of it.

I hate all the ritual and pomp around food, Christmas dinner being a classic example of it.....all that prep, all that time just to produce some roast meat and veg (which is invariably mediocre), which is then hoovered up in a matter of minutes. I don't enjoy sitting at the table with a plate full of food in front of me which I'm then just working my way through.

I've got to the point where I've ceased to be 'blown away' by food, going out for dinner is something I don't particularly look forward to any more...It seems like an awful lot of effort and cost to have the type of food I've had a million times before. I rather feel I'm quite jaded with it all.

The wafer thin Mr LaT is more interested than me, he's already plotting Christmas lunch and frankly I'd be happy with some fish finger sarnies and a bottle of Prosecco while plonked on the sofa watching 'Where Eagles Dare'. But I know he'd be crestfallen if I suggested it.

Bizarrely though I like watching some food programmes like 'The Great British Bake Off' (even though it's not as good as when it was on the Beeb) and Masterchef, those kind of competition type progs. Other programmes though, the ones with chefs spending half and hour stuffing a mushroom, leave me cold.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:15 am 
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Quote:
I hate cooking with other people. Can't do it. I can't even have other people in the kitchen with me, or talking to me while I'm cooking. It's why I hate open floor plans and prefer the older style of the kitchen being separated from the rest of the house. Don't socialize in my kitchen!
I hate kitchen socialization. The person who is cooking has a job to do, and you, Kitchen Socializer or Control Freak, are in the goddamn way. If I ever have anyone over and I have to cook, I put out food in the living room to draw them away from the kitchen. I'm trying to prepare dinner, and I don't want everyone in the kitchen, playing a game of chess to be out of the way or trying to supervise me.

Whilst I hate the look of open floor plans, it does keep everyone out of the goddamn way. They can sit in the living room, and talk to the person doing the cooking without being underfoot. I think having the kitchen open to the rest of the house is incredibly gauche, but it's a necessity if you can't lock the kitchen door to keep the socializers and control-freaks out.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:22 pm 
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I love to eat. I love food. Food from childhood, new tastes, ordinary things wonderfully prepared, the sensation of food, the combinations of tastes and textures...
Cooking? Not so much. I only cook so as to achieve the food I want to eat. My bolognese spaghetti sauce is exactly how I love it. I use packets sent over from Austria to get the flavours I love. I adore pasta, but it's usually pretty awful and/or stupidly expensive in restaurants. The process of cooking does nothing for my, but I need to do it to get some of the food I love to eat.

Baking, on the other hand, is wonderful. I like the process of measuring and mixing and dolloping into appropriate baking trays. Sometimes I have a need to make a certain bread, or bagels, or to try a new kind of muffin. Madeleines and profiteroles are an urge. I love having different baking equipment, and the smell of things just at the point when you can tell it is done without testing it. i don't do the decorating bit beyond making things look presentable, and taste is much more important than appearance.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:52 pm 
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all that prep, all that time just to produce some roast meat and veg (which is invariably mediocre), which is then hoovered up in a matter of minutes.
I think you nailed why I like cooking more than eating. :)
Quote:
Food from childhood, new tastes, ordinary things wonderfully prepared, the sensation of food, the combinations of tastes and textures...


Same here. As much as I talk about food and finer dining, people are surprised to learn that I can get just as ga-ga over a fast food burger and fries. I've gotten into more than one virtual knock-down-drag-out on food forums defending the unique taste of a Big Mac or Long John Silvers' fish.

And about kitchen...I'm fascinated by kitchens. I don't get all excited about fake-perfect kitchens in some blockbuster movies, but when there are kitchens shown in more reality-based shows, especially from other countries, I'm all about that kitchen.

I love seeing how they're set up, what the appliances look like, that sort of thing. We went to Hampton Court in 2009 and I nearly bought a book that was all about the Tudor court kitchens.

Went back to London in 2017, and I insisted on going back out to the palace to see if they still had the book. They did, sort of. Instead of a little hardback, they'd glossed it up and dumbed it down, probably trying to attract the kiddies, because the earlier book was a bit scholarly in some places.

I bought it anyway. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:59 am 
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I love to cook but also want to be alone and out of the way. I clean as I go and try to get the kitchen clean before eating.

Potluck dinners and lunches are popular with both work and friends. I am not really into the potluck meal. I usually end up bringing fruit or vegetables. I have one friend who assigns people to bring specific items or ingredients. I like that idea better. We had taco night where the host provided the meat and utensils. I only had to bring sour cream and cheese.

The good thing about potlucks is that you might try something new. Last night someone brought an Italian cream cake. I am glad the bakery is a long way from my house. It was an amazing dessert.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:31 pm 
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I don't mind cooking if I had nothing else to do, but I hate doing it after working all day. Generally it's a bit more stressful and I'm usually very hungry when I do. It's not fun at that point. I just want to get it out. My exercise is usually right after I get home, so dinner isn't eaten until almost 8:30pm some nights. It's one more thing I have to do, so I do what I can minimally and in a large amount so that I can stretch a meal for a few days. That's why I don't like the idea of the meal delivery kits like Blue Apron because it means only 1 night of dinner. Which brings me to the next thing I hate, meal planning. If someone could do the meal planning with recipes that last 3 nights, it would make things easier. I quit posting in the what are you cooking because I repeat my menu quite a bit. I run out of creativity when it comes to cooking. I've spent most of it in my work.

When my husband was in China for 3 weeks, I did very little cooking. It took the pressure off and I felt very relaxed. It's not like he demands me to cook either, but I feel like I need to have healthy meals for us. Otherwise, he'd eat turkey in flour tortillas and maybe a bit of salad.

My kitchen is small, so I really don't like anyone in there while I'm cooking. It's really a 1 butt kitchen. My house is post WWII construction with each room well defined. I love and hate my kitchen because I'd like more space for storage. Sometimes I have to run to the basement to get pots or pans because I can't fit everything in my cupboards. I don't have a dishwasher nor will I ever have room for one.

On the flip side, I love baking. I don't want to or need to eat cakes, cookies, or bread, but the process of baking is so much more relaxing for me. I guess that's why I've gotten into brewing and winemaking. Unfortunately, it's just my husband and I, so I don't get to back as often as I'd like. There's no way we can be eating baked goods all the time.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:35 am 
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^^^ I'm lucky in that respect; I work from home three or four days a week, and on the day(s) that I don't, I'm home by 4:30PM, so I almost always have time to put something together.

Our preference is to be eating by 6:30PM. Neither of us really like to eat late, even if we're going out for a special occasion. Our yearly fancy-schmancy holiday supper club meal out, we make 6PM reservations, and they usually kind of laugh at us and tell us we don't need reservations that early. Even the older folks are getting there later than we do! :)

I generally like meal-planning, as long as I have time to do it. I usually do it on Saturday, so I can go to the grocery store early Sunday. I like thinking about the meals coming up, flipping through my go-to cookbooks, then writing my list. After trying about a dozen shopping list apps, I still hand-write my list. In the long run, it's faster, and less trouble.

My wife is like your husband, except her meals of choice when I'm gone are cereal and ice cream.

I've got the average American single-level house kitchen. Never enough counter space, though. Never. I wish I had an island workstation.

You should check out a show called The Little Paris Kitchen (also a book) with Rachael Khoo. She hosted dinners in her Paris apartment, making everything in a kitchen that's the size of my (small) bathroom. I don't really care for phony Food Network/Cooking Channel offerings, but I'm always fascinated by this one, just to watch how she does what she does in such a tiny, tiny space.

Baking...it's just an extension of cooking for me. I don't love it more or less, except to say I prefer a savory meal to a sweet dessert (not counting bread, which is essential), so I tend to bake less than some cooks, probably.

I brewed beer for quite a while. I didn't find it relaxing at all! It was an evening of anxiety, timing the boils and making sure the wort didn't cook over (you'll only do that once, I guarantee it), followed by a couple of weeks of nothing much, followed by another evening of frantic bottling, trying not to spill stuff, spray beer everywhere, etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:37 pm 
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Speaking of kitchens, I've been doing a lot of reading on kitchen layouts, work flows, organizing, and now I'm in the middle of revamping my whole kitchen experience.

I'm not remodeling, nothing like that, just reorganizing my cabinets, moving things around, things like that. The problem is, whenever you try to look up ideas for help with arranging/organizing your kitchen, you get back examples of high-end McMansion kitchens, with cathedral ceilings, dramatic lighting, and multipurpose islands, and the kitchens alone are 1,000sqft.

I don't have that kind of kitchen. I have the typical middle-income single family home rectangular kitchen, with all the cabinets and appliances built in an L-shape around two walls.

Well, anyway, my first small change: before, I did dishes left-to-right, with the clean dishes set to air-dry in a rack to the right of my double sink. The problem is, the very next thing is a corner, then a small amount of counter space, then the stove.

That left me with virtually no prep space next to the stove, which is where you want your prep space, as much as possible.

So...I moved the dishwashing flow to right-to-left. Problem solved. Now I have a good-sized prep area, including room for a small scale (which I use a lot), and my canisters, salt pig, and pepper grinder. I'm ready to go!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:37 pm 
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I should add that really it's just winemaking. The process of brewing beer seems to involve a lot more equipment and fussing in a shorter amount of time that I'm not sure I could handle. With wine it's a week of fussing including the prep, fermentation, and racking to the secondary. Then it sits for a month to clear, rack it, let it sit another month to clear, rack it if needed and let it sit for months until you feel like bottling it.

Before we remodeled the kitchen I had no prep space. One side of the counter held a microwave, and the other is where the dishes dried. I used to do it right on the stove sometimes until I bought a rolling island that really didn't fit anywhere in the kitchen. The fridge opened up into the wall and blocked the entry way to the dining room when it was open. I could never get it open enough to clean it decently. The stove sat next to the fridge. The guy at home depot redesigned the kitchen to give more counter space. The fridge got moved over by the sink. There's a counter on the other side of the sink that mainly holds dishes while drying, but can be used for prep when I put them all away. They put cabinets and counter next to the stove which makes much better sense. I can open the fridge all the way and actually clean it well. I'm much happier with my kitchen now. I can only do dishes in one direction. They tried to add a dishwasher, but that meant closing off access to the dining room or the hallway both of which are essential to get to the basement or outside to and from the kitchen. I decided I'd rather maintain the flow of the house than have some machine do my dishes. We do them daily, so it's not a big deal to wash by hand.


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