As much as foodies complain about their friends on fad diets ("It's nothing but hay and chocolate milk! I've been on it for three hours and I feel fabulous!"), they have an enormous blind spot when it comes to cooking at home.
Specifically, foodies don't understand that not everyone likes too cook, that, in fact, some people hate cooking.
There is the wonder that anyone would serve chicken nuggets to their children (because the kid will eat it without an argument), that they eat fast food (fast, cheap, filling, pushes all the sugar-salt-fat buttons in the brain), that a cooking show based around pre-made everything can be popular (isn't that better than fast food?).
One brave woman has come forth to explain why she doesn't cook, and never will:
"I undercook the chicken, burn the casseroles, and lose interest within five minutes of starting."
That's Jen, from Cake Wrecks. Who hasn't been reading Cake Wrecks since nearly the beginning? It's part of my Friday mornings: Cute Overload, e-mail, check the to-do list, do something, resist reading Cake Wrecks, finally give in. It makes every amateur baker feel like a pro. My cheese cake cracked, but I have never baked and decorated anything that looks like a penis.
And, as interesting as she finds wrecked cakes, and for all the hours she can devote to culling photographs and writing pithy captions, actual cooking is boring.
The pro foodie world seems to continuously discuss how to get people who don't cook to want to cook. Theories abound, ranging from the cardinal sins of the foodie world (loving junk food), to not knowing better, to no time or money. (I have big problem with this discussion being held by people who have the time, skills and interest in devoting a good chunk of their day to cooking. Much like anyone else would have a problem with my theories on why most people don't like math. I love math; I cannot understand why people don't like it.)
My own answers have been rather sarcastic.
Not liking to cook is not a sin, and it does not make you a bad person, no matter what two professional food writers on assignment say to a New York Times reporter.
Everyone should eat healthy food every day, and home-cooked food can be healthier. Of course, there are lots of things everyone should do, every day, and no one does everything they should. Life is pain, princess — no, wait, life is choices and compromises. Some people choose not to cook. Instead, they choose to blog or exercise or spend time with their children or even sit on the couch and watch TV.
And that's OK.
Jen, thank you, for reminding us foodies that some people just don't like to cook. (You should read the rest of Jen's Epbot site. She has a passion for steampunk, and has completed lots of really great projects.)