Are you a “Cooking Animal?”

Did anyone else read Michael Pollan’s article in the New York Times Magazine, “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch”?  

I just finished it last night (– I love that magazine so I like to make it last.)  To summarize it briefly: it details how people in our country, despite being obsessed with channels like The Food Network, are cooking less and less.  Let’s say I found it not a little depressing, but also totally the opposite of my reality.  

I am cooking more and more.  I love to cook– actually cook, not thaw or reheat (though I do those things as well.) I love farmer’s markets, my own little vegetable garden, and, once I’m actually there, I usually find more than one thing at the grocery store that I’m really excited about.  Yes, I read about food and cooking– in books and blogs– and I enjoy all the competitive cooking shows.  But I mostly find them inspiring.  They’re certainly entertaining, but they also make me want to go cook.  I recently stopped eating wheat gluten.  Yes, it can be a drag, but its also been fun learning how to bake without reaching for the regular flour.  

I am surrounded by people who love to cook.  We can talk on end about various kinds of ingredients with most of our old and new friends.  I just spent the weekend with my teenage cousins from Atlanta who both happily received cooking-related presents, of which they both put to use within hours.  (The cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the Worldand a sweet mechanical pastry bag, if you’re wondering.) Another cousin is a vegan personal chef.  My family’s idea of a good time is cooking up a storm and then sitting around a large table to enjoy it.   The majority of the children I watched as a babysitter in New York, loved to cook– and knew how!

So.  While apparently, not indicative of the nation as a whole, being excited by cooking and real food is definitely a trend in my life.  And certainly one I plan on passing down to my (eventual) children.  It cannot be a lost art– to go the way of “horseback riding,” or “…sewing or darning socks.”  Please, Mister Pollan, cheer up.  There must be others like me out there.




A funny aside: After I finished the article I flipped through it again filled with despair and sinking feelings.  Then this photo illustration by Erwin Olaf caught my eye.  

Isn’t that kitchen AMAZING?  The counter space alone still makes me faint…just needs a little cleaning.

4 Responses to “Are you a “Cooking Animal?””

  1. pegfussell Says:

    I am most firmly in your camp, Gaia!! I was recently horrified by a friend’s description of the ideal vacation..”we didn’t have to cook, it was all included” GASP! For me the best part of a vacation is having MORE TIME to cook! Scouting out local ingredients, trying out a new kitchen, getting everyone involved. Maybe I am odd, but so be it.

  2. andothersuchthings Says:

    That’s so funny! But I totally agree..!

  3. Lila Says:

    I’m with you 🙂 My repertoire is somewhat limited, but it does grow and i love to cook for myself. 🙂 so i didn’t read this article. Do you get the Times Mag weekly now?

  4. andothersuchthings Says:

    We do! Its very exciting. Gerald got it for us as an anniversary present. aw. Don’t bother reading the article; it was pretty depressing.

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