Love it or hate it: Cooking

by David Holub

Love it

For me, cooking has very little to do with eating.

It’s all about the process and the idea of a meal. I love asking myself the question: If I could eat anything right now, what would it be? With a little cooking prowess, time and desire, we have it within ourselves to eat anything we can imagine.

Instead of full recipes, I like to see what I have on hand already and Google recipes that require those specific ingredients. Or maybe I just take a look into my fridge or pantry, think about things that would complement one another and just get creative. I made fried chicken the other night and used crushed organic frosted flakes for the breading. Marinated in buttermilk and mixed with some spicy spices, the chicken was a wonder-ride of tastiness that would be hard to find anywhere.

I love knowing where all my ingredients came from, hand-selecting each one to align with my taste and ethical standards. I love the soulfulness of the process, the meditative nature of chopping and mincing and how you can set your brain free of everyday nuisances to let your mind wander to those invigorating, safe, creative places. I love planning and timing a meal to all come together at the same moment. I love the communal possibilities cooking provides. One of my favorite activities in the world is to be in the company of someone special, cracking open some beer or wine, and cooking. I love to cook with people and for people, the energy and love put into a meal, talking and stirring, discussing and dicing, mutually creating and anticipating the meal we’re about to enjoy.

Stop by for a meal sometime. I’d love that.

— David Holub

Hate it

In order to cook something, you need to have every necessary ingredient on hand. I’m perpetually forgetting items when I shop, so I rarely have everything I need. Even when you do remember to buy plenty of great, fresh ingredients, you have to consume them immediately or else they go bad. The brief shelf life of fresh food is frankly unacceptable.

I don’t especially like handling raw ingredients. It’s kind of gross. The texture and smell of many unprepared food products is unsavory. You might as well eat something that’s just good cold, like cereal. It’s both delicious and nutritious. (I know, it’s not nutritious.)

My biggest issue with cooking is the time it takes. You might spend one or two hours preparing a meal that you then gobble down in 15 minutes, like the voracious glutton you are. Sure, if you make enough, you can live off the leftovers for days. But if you’re going to make more, that means the initial prep/cook time extends, too. It also requires you to use a larger amount of the ingredients (which I probably forgot to buy enough of). There are endless other things I’d rather be doing than slaving away in the kitchen: Netflix, reading, writing, hiking. Ultimately, cooking is a necessary evil. But it’s an evil nonetheless.

Anya Jaremko-Greenwold


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