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I Took a Five-Year Cooking Hiatus

From the Editor: Everything you missed in food news last week

An array of cookbooks

This post originally appeared on September 14, 2019, in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

In another life, I cooked. For weeknight dinners, for dinner parties, for holidays. I cooked out of cookbooks, clipped recipes from the paper, took notes while watching the Food Network. It was never a talent or passion of mine, but there were joys to be found.

I ended up with someone who is a very talented cook. I eventually took on the role of host and bartender, with him as chef at our dinner parties. While he made the lamb at Christmas, I did dessert.

When we had our first kid, someone told my husband in those first fuzzy weeks that my role was to feed the baby and his was to feed me. And something shifted in him. Cooking took on a new meaning.

And something shifted in me too. I shed cooking as a thing I felt I needed or wanted to do. It felt vaguely feminist to me, to completely cede all cooking duties to my husband. The division of labor in our household has only ossified as we added more years and another kid. Sometimes I’ll flip through a cookbook and dog-ear a page… for him. Sometimes he leaves for a work trip and worries about there not being enough food in the fridge, as if I can’t physically grocery shop or cook.

This week I saw a recipe I wanted so badly — end-of-summer corn soup! — I figured I would cook it myself. How hard could it be?

I didn’t finish the recipe. I got the corn off the cob, cooked it, blended it, arduously pushed it through a sieve… but then my free time for Sunday was up. I didn’t have time to make the accompanying pepper swirl for the soup (which was crucial, but involved about six other steps).

BUT! I felt very accomplished providing a dish for our Sunday dinner. And was reminded that your cooking skills don’t really atrophy if you take a long hiatus. And that if I do want to get back into cooking, I better choose recipes that actually fit my current life.

This has nothing to do with restaurants, but I figured if you’re reading this, you might be the type of person with an easy recipe to send my way.

On Eater

A busy lounge area with deep green tables and lush plants all over.
What is happening here?
Wonho Frank Lee

This week on the podcast

This week on Eater’s Digest, Daniel and I explore babies in bars: how to do it well, what not to do, why it’s a thing, and why it makes people so mad on the internet.

Off Eater

  • Saying orange wine is complex and sometimes an acquired taste and not always overtly delicious is a great take. But an “assault on pleasure”? [TNY]
  • I hate Ms. Monopoly and wish it weren’t real. [ComicBook]
  • Hrm. [@chrisecrowley]
  • Millennials, priced out of homes locally, are investing in homes online and acting as remote landlords. [Curbed]
  • The new editor-in-chief’s plans for Saveur. [NYM]