We are so angry all the time - why not just chill? Cook something?
Sun, 4 November, 2018
People get very worked up these days, ranting and trolling while calling it protesting; obsessing while calling it being passionate. There is no amiable disagreement anymore; if you beg to differ about any old thing you get passive aggression in the best case. Interpretation is God; context is dead.
I won’t mention politics or current affairs; it’s one of the promises I made to myself regarding CF. Food is contentious as it is anyway. Cultural appropriation, anyone? Vegans vs. butchers, dish names; what’s instagrammable and what’s edible; nutrients and what’s good for us – good heavens. A can of worms and not at all tasty.
As I get older (and older, and older…) contrary to common expectations I get less judgemental or militant and more tolerant and chilled. People close to me profess the superiority of gluten free? I’d have been up in arms in days gone by; now I just shrug (shrugging helps SO much) and say ‘whatever works’. Allergies proven to be exacerbated by overprotection from the potential allergen? I’d have been gloating to the point of a heart attack. Now I - you guessed – shrug and don’t even say ‘I told you so’. If calorie counting should be announced as a sad but true sole means to losing weight, I’ll just smile beatifically. There is too little time* to waste it on losing your rag, hitting rooves and having kittens. Just chill, is what I say currently.
So you discover no amount of food colouring is going to turn buttercream black, so what? You end up with a large amount of dirty grey buttercream: freeze it and it’ll be just the thing when you need to bake a depressing birthday cake (I’ve had a couple of those, birthdays not cakes). Cursing and wailing isn’t going to change anything; you just have to abandon this particular (infantile anyway) Halloween post project. Maybe the depressed cake will be a viral hit.
paint it black?
Or it turns out that your genius idea of a turtle-shell shaped bread ends up in more of a roadkill than a handsome turtle? If it’s edible, it’s a result.
Overcooked beef roast? Blame the cow. Jam too runny? It’ll be great over pancakes. ‘Chunky’ doesn’t work for a fishcake mix? Better luck next time.
The only fail that makes me tetchy is when it means people go hungry – and so rightly it should. And even then for God’s sake there’s always something else to be found and the likes of me eat too much anyway. Wasting food by the fussy and privileged – that’s the only right reason to fume.
Cooking is and should be therapeutic. I’m not talking about professional chefs in super high-turnover restaurants, of course they’re stressed up to their eyeballs (thank God for the drugs) (just joking). But we, ordinary cooks in the kitchens, should enjoy cooking for people: it’s the best gift.
*on second thoughts I don’t know where that ‘life’s too short to separate eggs, etc.’ myth comes from; what’s so tremendously interesting that all those people who say that do in their lives? Cooking and so possibly separating eggs is what is involved in one of life’s fundamental pleasures.