I have three kids, therefore I must cook. I am originally from India, which means even breakfast needs to be cooked. I love my father and husband who both love food so, I must also ‘love’ to cook. I have a mother and had a mother in law – both awesome cooks thus, woe to me, it is my duty to be a chef. I have a sister who loves Master Chef and this means I must be able to cook Master Chef style. I and my brother love to eat, he fortunately married someone who loves to cook – this makes me a closet ‘cookaphobiac’
What is a closet cookaphobiac
A person who must smile and pretend to love cooking but secretly knows they would give up their intelligence and good looks for not having to cook ever again. Some people (me) realized this after 18 years of marriage and having my leg in a cast.
Signs that you are a cookaphobiac
1. You love to eat out, at other people’s houses, at the lake, in the car, anywhere where pre-packaged/prepared food is available
2. You know the recipes to most foods, but never use them – for fear that you might make such a fantastic meal that people would ask you to cook again
3. You have tried food from all cultures and lived – anything in the name of tolerance and integration, and not having to cook yourself
4. You will eat anything cold, wet, half done, raw and you will have trained your kids to think this is gourmet to be eaten this way
5. You will do anything and everything in your power to avoid cooking – like breaking your ankle, tearing your Achilles’s tendon, not going grocery shopping
6. Pizza Hut and Subway will have your number on speed dial (#1) and will call you every meal to check if you want to order
How did I discover my very rare condition?
Through intense research and countless hours spent in libraries and on the net, I learned that this psychological debilitating condition affects only the most intelligent, creative, outgoing and sincere people. It actually begins to rule their life. They spend hours if not the entire day planning on how to avoid cooking. This time can be used more productively. They go to extreme lengths in order not to not have to cook, like I jumped off a boat and tore my tendon, broke my ankle – now my lovely friends send me food. (I told you these people are geniuses).
What can they do to help themselves?
Very simple, nothing. Just structure your day – spend the morning hour relaxing with a cuppa joe and figure out what strategy you will use today to avoid cooking. Do not let it take over your life, be intelligent about it. The internet offers many self help tools like graphic organizers to make life easier. Following are some tips that I have used and are fail safe.
1. Train your kids to eat fruit and raw veggies, this is lots of fiber and in the end they will be full. Plus an added advantage, these foods are healthful.
2. Cultivate friendships with people who love to cook, they will ‘help’ you out when in a fix.
3. When your kids are old enough, have them cooking simple meals – tell them it is good training for them. My son can make tea, coffee, pasta, heat left overs, and cook lentil. My daughter has dessert and smoothies covered.
4. A cast on your leg/arm goes a long way….
5. Make sure your kids tell their Dad how his cooking is so much better than Mom’s and could he cook at least two days a week and on the weekend.
A sample week’s menu
Monday: Leftover’s from Sunday’s meal that you ate out
Tuesday: Son makes pasta
Wednesday: Sandwich and veggie/fruit night
Thursday: Husband cooks
Friday: Detox – Smoothie night/Friend’s send you food
Saturday: Husband cooks
Sunday: Family night out
Enjoy your new found independence from this debilitating disease. Spread the awareness. Peace.