10 Reasons Cooking Makes Me Nervous

I don’t cook. Unless you count microwaving as cooking, which I’m told most people don’t. Part of this is due to laziness. There are so many things I’d rather be doing than slaving away in a hot kitchen over a meal. More so though, I’m just bad at it. I can DIY with the best of ‘em, but when it comes to measuring and mixing ingredients, I’m hopeless. Here are ten reasons why cooking makes me nervous and half my paycheck goes to GrubHub.

1. I Own No Ingredients

I currently have two items in my fridge: ketchup and beer. I rarely have food in my kitchen and I only cook when forced to for a social gathering. Luckily, most of my friends know better, but if some poor sap assigns me a dish for their potluck, I need to start from scratch ingredients-wise. I spend all kinds of cash on spices that I will never use again and excess produce that will soon go bad. It’s such a hassle and a total waste. Not to mention that I ALWAYS forget something and have to go back.

2. I Don’t Understand Portions

If I’m cooking for one, I end up with too much. If I’m cooking for twenty, I end up with too little. I double recipes I should be halving and halve recipes I should be doubling. I have no concept of how many people 4 cups of pasta will serve and Google is super indecisive.

3. Knives

4. “Medium” Is Not A Standard Unit of Measurement

I hate recipes. They toss around words like “medium” like they’re universally agreed upon units of measurement. I own one saucepan. Is it a medium saucepan? Apparently not, because when I used it for a mac & cheese recipe that called for a “medium saucepan,” I ended up with a cheddar-covered kitchen. And don’t even get me started on “pinches” or “fistfulls”. These aren’t forms of measurement! Give it to me in terms of tea spoons or cups!

5. Kitchen Appliances Are Terrifying

I’ve taken a gas oven fireball to the face, caught my finger in an electric mixer and blown up a microwave using an As Seen on TV egg cooker. I’m sure with practice I could learn how to properly use these appliances (except the Egg Wave which was just a piece of junk), but I’m fearful of the pain and destruction I would cause in the process.

6. I Don’t Know When Things Are Done

“Microwave 3.5 minutes on medium-high.” These are instructions I can handle. “Bake until edges are golden brown.” NOPE. The edges look sort of brown, but how brown is golden brown and what constitutes “edge”? Is it the whole edge or just the very edge? Which leads me to my next point…

7. I’m Super Scared of Burning Stuff

If I’ve put in all the time and effort of gathering ingredients and making something, I don’t want to drop the ball at the finish line by burning it. So, I usually pull up a chair and watch it cook. Opening the oven or pot every few minutes to make sure it isn’t overcooking. Then, I take it out too early. Almost everything I make is undercooked. In my head, undercooked is somehow better than burnt, but in actuality it isn’t. At all.

8. Having To Serve My Mess To Other People

Once I’ve completely ruined whatever it is I’ve attempted to make, there’s that last minute decision between throwing it away or bringing it to an event for others to consume. If I show up with nothing, it looks like I didn’t try, but if I show up with an inedible disaster, people will feel obligated to try it. The only plus to the latter is that people will usually be polite and compliment my dish, but they will never ask me to cook for them again. Win/Win!

9. Food Poisoning

As I’ve stated above, I have a history of undercooking and typically only cook when I’m obligated for a social event. These two things combine to form a massive fear of giving people food poisoning. It’s one of my biggest fears to bring food to a party and get everyone sick, though. I surround myself with people who don’t ever let things go, I’d be hearing about it for the rest of my life.

10. Cleaning Dishes

This isn’t so much something that makes me nervous as much as something that I hate and dread. I suppose for people who enjoy the cooking this is just a small consequence to an otherwise enjoyable experience. To me, it’s like torture after imprisonment. I’ve gone through the hell of buying ingredients, chopping them, measuring them, mixing them, seasoning them and cooking them… now I’ve got to wash all this crap? Ugh. Torture.

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