It seemed a good idea at the time. I ordered Blue Apron — one of those home-delivered “fresh ingredients” services. I even wrote a blog post about it, bragging how I was cooking constantly (okay, twice a week) and being so erudite and adult and kitchen-literate. But truth be told, Blue Apron turned into a horror show for one huge, inescapable reason.
I hate cooking.
Damn. It’s hard when you come up against your limitations. The strange thing is I love watching culinary shows like Top Chef and even once in a while, Gordon Ramsey.
I enjoy those Facebook videos that let you view — in fast motion — the making of pineapple-upside-down cake or pesto or rosemary-infused chicken.
In this stressful, chaotic world, there’s something serene about many cooks that I envy. They have a love of fresh produce, are usually patient, kind and easy-going people. They like to share good wine.
But alas, I wasn’t up to the Blue Apron challenge. And I had to finally realize – I will never like to cook.
This is especially hard for a woman. We’re hard-wired to be nurturers and providers. You feel a little “less than” as a female if you don’t enjoy stirring things in pots, like there’s something flawed and ungenerous in your character.
Isn’t one of my greatest joys supposed to be the look of happiness on my family’s face while they dig into homemade chicken potpies?
(I console myself with the fact I don’t mind cleaning and making things pretty. I like putting flowers in vases. Thank God, I have some natural, female tendencies).
But, here’s what happened with Blue Apron…
Everything started out fine. One box a week arrived. Two dinners were contained inside. Ingredients were fresh and delicious-looking. The recipe sheets were beautiful with full-color pictures of the dishes.
The first few meals I cooked in a happy mood! My husband came out to watch (after all, this was an event). Wine was poured. Cool jazz played. Since I don’t have small children anymore who need food… every…damn…night, I figured I could do this. Without the pressure of providing daily ravioli and chicken fingers, this would be a breeze.
And what do you know? I made the first few meals like the best of them. I prepared Pork Chops with Apricot Sauce and Pesto Shrimp and Gnocchi and Thai Chicken Noodle Soup. They were good!
But because this is a subscription service, those boxes kept coming… and coming. And coming. Food started piling up in the fridge because I wasn’t always in the mood to cook on demand.
What became a fun diversion soon morphed into a living hell.
By the third week, I was stepping up to that stove, feeling like Marie Antoinette facing the guillotine. It was 5:00 p.m. I was tired and cranky. I wanted to put my feet up and have a wine spritzer.
Good God, I have to wash and chop produce… again? Didn’t I do that last night? I have to make my own Tzatziki sauce? Know what? I’m happy to buy some. I’m not proud.
It started annoying me how every meal involved 17 ingredients and 27 steps. Even if they were delicious, I didn’t want to work this hard. I didn’t have the energy. Our happy little kitchen times started morphing into me wild-eyed, chopping onions, swearing under my breath, “I hate *effing* cooking.”
My lucky husband and son tried slinking away, but I made them stay and help slice bok choy and pound garlic gloves. (Yes, everything was made with love).
Guess what? Shockingly, after five weeks, I cancelled Blue Apron. They wanted to know on their website why. I had only one word… incompetence. Instead of cooking bringing out my inner nurturer, it left me frazzled and snarky.
I’m sorry, cooking, but we’re through. As Gordon Lightfoot sang, … “I don’t know where we went wrong, but the feeling’s gone, and I just can ‘t get it back.”
So I’ve returned to my old, dysfunctional way of providing dinner – begging my more talented son Paul to cook (when he’s not tired out from his professional kitchen job), take-out, and the occasional, “go wild” turkey burger night.
Yes, I’ve realized we must accept who we are in life – the good and the bad.
With the help of Blue Apron, I’ve learned to stick to what comes naturally… cleaning and putting flowers in vases.
Do you like cooking? Have you tried one of those dinner ingredient delivery services? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share. Thank you.