The clock finally strikes 5 p.m. and you’re more than ready to leave the office. After a grueling day that includes a crowded subway commute home, you unlock your apartment door and face-plant onto the couch. The last thing you feel like doing is making dinner – and you’re not alone. 43 percent of Canadians don’t make cooking a part of their lives, according to a 2014 poll by nutritionists. It’s no wonder you don’t feel like turning on your oven at the end of each workday: cooking can be tiring, tedious, and just plain hard, especially if you’re not a culinary wizard. But you know that at a certain point, a girl can’t live on take-out pizza and frozen dinners alone, so you force yourself to actually buy some groceries and use your stove. Here are 11 thoughts you have when you hate cooking.
11 I’m Going to be so Healthy now
It’s pretty obvious that making a home-cooked meal is about a million times healthier than ordering take-out. Even so, there are still stats to back that up: at the very least, you’ll eat less when you make your own dinner rather than eating in a restaurant. When you decide to cook even though you hate it, you immediately pat yourself on the back for making such a healthy choice. You’re suddenly committed to living a healthy lifestyle. You’re even going to start going to that yoga class your BFF has been raving about. It’ll be a whole new you.
10 This Recipe is Super Long
Of course you need to follow a recipe. You don’t want to mess up. But then you start wondering why this recipe has so many ingredients. Are they all really necessary? Do you have to stir chili with onions and garlic, or can you just throw the ground beef in the pan? How many spices are really crucial here? You start getting a headache, wondering if this was such a good idea. You keep reading and re-reading the recipe, wishing it would magically get shorter, but nope. No such luck. Shouldn’t this be easier? You’re not the only one who takes a super long time to make a single recipe: readers of Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals cookbook swore that the meals took much, much longer.
9 I Hope I don’t Injure Myself
Okay. You’re holding a knife. And you’re completely terrified. You say a little prayer and hope you don’t kill yourself. This doesn’t seem like a knife, it seems like a weapon. It turns out that cutting yourself instead of the food doesn’t only happen to people that absolutely hate cooking: knife injuries are also pretty common for experienced chefs. You remember that even Jessica Seinfeld cut herself with a knife last Thanksgiving. She’s a culinary goddess and the author of three cookbooks. You have zero hope, you think as you take a deep breath and start to tackle the recipe.
8 That Wasn’t so bad
At this point, you’re smiling and even enjoying yourself a little bit. You got through the first part of the recipe and didn’t cut your fingers off (hallelujah). This isn’t so bad, you think. Why do people complain about cooking so much? Why did I used to whine so much? You start having visions in your head of making every single meal. You’re going to whip up oatmeal from scratch every single morning. You’re going to make homemade pasta on the weekends and impress all your coworkers with your own pasta sauce recipe on Monday mornings. Your life is going to change.
7 Was This Supposed to Happen?
Your chili is boiling and the water is going all over the stove. You peek through your oven window and see that your chicken and vegetables look like they’re burning. Stay calm, you tell yourself. Maybe it’s supposed to look like that. Suddenly you’re full of questions, wondering if this was supposed to happen. There are so many ways to mess up in the kitchen when you’re not a confident cook. It’s easy to forget a step of the recipe that was the key to the entire thing or to get lazy about measuring. You can’t imagine ever getting the hang of this.
6 People do This as a Career?
By this point in your evening, you’ve cleaned up the mess in your kitchen and attempted to save the recipe. There’s still 15 minutes to go, according to your fancy cookbook, and so you take a seat at your kitchen table with a glass of wine, trying to calm your nerves. You start wondering how chefs do this all the time. Cooking can’t possibly be a career – it’s way too scary. There are so many things that can go wrong. If it’s this hard to make yourself dinner in your tiny apartment kitchen, it must be so much worse in a professional restaurant kitchen. You’re shaking with fear just picturing it.
5 Your Kitchen is a Disaster Zone
Onion peels litter your marble counter. Your stove has stains all over that you don’t even recognize. Let’s not even talk about the floor. By this point you’re way too exhausted to even think about cleaning up, but there’s five minutes left before your oven timer goes off, so you better do it now. This definitely doesn’t happen on The Food Network. Those chefs are perfectly calm the entire time and they never, ever make a mess. What’s wrong with you that you can’t even keep your work station clean? No wonder you never cook. Besides your hatred of stirring and sautéing, you hate cleaning, too.
4 This Doesn’t Look Like the Picture
It’s a hard life for an inexperienced girl who hates to cook. Everyone else is Instagramming beautifully lit photos of their gourmet chicken dinners. Even celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow are publishing gorgeous cookbooks that prove their culinary skills. When it’s time for the moment of truth and your meal is finally ready, you remove your dish from the oven or take your chili pot off the stove… and realize that you seriously messed up. This meal definitely doesn’t look like the picture in the cookbook or magazine you were using. But that’s okay, maybe it still tastes good.
3 Okay, That Definitely wasn’t Supposed to Happen
Nope. It doesn’t taste good at all. It tastes terrible. At this point in the evening, you know for a fact that you’re terrible at cooking. If they gave out a medal for The Worst Cook In The World, it would be yours. There’s so much to learn and so many rules: don’t turn your stove up to the highest heat, don’t eat your meat immediately after it’s done, etc. Why is this happening to you? Why didn’t anyone tell you how hard it would be to cook a simple dinner?
2 Chefs are Total Gods
You take back anything you ever said about people who actually enjoy cooking. Now, chefs are your heros. You are in total and complete awe of the fact that people go to culinary school, study for years, and then spend their days and nights prepping and chopping ingredients and then cooking those ingredients for paying customers. You can’t imagine doing this all the time, let alone for even a single second longer. Why did you think this was a good idea? Who said you could cook? This is a total disaster.
1 I’m Ordering Pizza
You throw your hands up and surrender. You knew you hated to cook for a reason. It’s just way too much work and you’re completely exhausted. How can other people do this on a regular basis? You throw the food out and power up your Macbook, ready to do what you do best: order pizza. It’s fast, it’s delicious, and you don’t have to read a recipe or risk cutting yourself with a knife. Sounds perfect. As you wait for your cheesy bliss to be delivered, you glance at the ruined meal in your garbage can, feeling a bit guilty. But then the doorbell rings and you’re eating pizza, and you feel like yourself again. You are never, ever cooking again.