A man cooking is a sight to behold, as is the mess left after. I’m not talking about chefs, I’m talking about normal men trying to cook proper food. You know from cook books and stuff.
I’ve always thought that following the instructions in a cook book is an easy task and was mystified by some people’s apparent inability to cook. But now I’ve had a flash of understanding. When a man uses a cook book there is a paradox created, all men generally want to get things done without reading an instruction manual.
In situations where a man has a natural and innate understanding of the task this isn’t such a big deal. Digging a hole, throwing a rock or taking things apart are all tasks that are well undertaken by a standard man. Cooking, cleaning and showing emotion however have typically remained the domain of women. I’m not being sexist, just stereotyping.
In an attempt to navigate this naturally occurring paradox men will try and get through by roughly following the recipe.
Case in point, I was cooking a lasagna. My parents have some very old scales – proper mechanical ones, weights on one side and ingredients on the other. Being largely ignorant of empirical weights (whereas feet and miles I don’t have a problem with) I occasionally quizzed my parents on conversion as they were doing the crossword. I had just come to the sauce making section of the recipe and was getting slightly flustered to try and get it done and in the oven so that everything would be ready together.
‘How much is 40g?’ I demanded
‘About one and a half ounces’ Replied my dad.
That is not a lot of weight, picking up the one ounce weight I was disgusted – this barely weighs anything. It certainly didn’t seem like enough weight to warrant getting the scales out of the cupboard and muddling about with them. But I did have to get roughly the right amount of butter to start the sauce.
In the end a resolve was reached with a rather ridiculous image of me with a one ounce weight in one hand a a spoon of butter in the other, literally weighing them up to guess how much to put in.
To this day I have no idea if I was even close, but I do know that I made a cracking cheese sauce and the lasagna was rather nice. Even if I only used half of the recommended amount of pasta. As is the case when any man tries ‘real’ cooking, there was a heck of a mess to clean up after. It was worth it in my opinion.