to be annoyed by grown adults who say they can't cook?

(205 Posts)
Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 14:47:25

I don't think I am.

It just makes me think that the person saying as much is a little bit useless.

insancerre Sun 18-Nov-12 14:49:27

of course you are
what difference does it make to you?
I can't drive or swim, does that annoy you?
I can cook though, but know plenty of people that can't

Trills Sun 18-Nov-12 14:50:01

It makes me wonder how they have got the idea that cooking is hard.

If you can read you can follow a recipe.

Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 14:50:55

Its not essential to drive or swim though, but eating is a necessity.

ninah Sun 18-Nov-12 14:51:13

you wouldn't want dinner here, mintyy

JackThePumpkinKing Sun 18-Nov-12 14:51:39

I can cook, but I can't cook everything.

I do wonder about people who say they can't cook pasta or jacket potatoes though. So much of cooking is just heating something up, surely grin

ninah Sun 18-Nov-12 14:51:46

yes eating is a necessity
not cooking though

FutTheShuckUp Sun 18-Nov-12 14:52:44

Its not essential to drive or swim though

Depends if you end up in a canal really....

naturalbaby Sun 18-Nov-12 14:53:01

I don't get it - what do you eat if you can't/won't cook?

When I can't be bothered it costs me a fortune, much as I would love to eat microwave dinners every night!

TidyDancer Sun 18-Nov-12 14:53:46

YABU, of course you are.

What does it matter to you if someone can cook or not?!

I'm sure there are things you are good at and not so good at.

JackThePumpkinKing Sun 18-Nov-12 14:53:57

Nice comment on my other thread mintyy - I was only asking for advice. No need to be so nasty.

ninah Sun 18-Nov-12 14:54:25

slow cooker
heating up on an epic scale

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 14:55:10

I don't really think that you are reasonable to be annoyed about it since it doesn't affect you at all.

However, it does utterly perplex me. I just don't see how it's possible to not be able to cook.

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 14:57:04

I can cook so far as i dont kill anybody but i really cant cook that great and tbh i am not that convinced that I have the enthusiasm to learn how to cook I always end up in a tizz if i try and follow a recipe ,

ninah Sun 18-Nov-12 14:59:50

can cook as far as I don't kill anyone grin mrs jay, me too!
let's have a dinner party

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 15:02:53

ok i will make my lasangne it does sort of plop out on the plate in a mush but tastes alright grin

we dont eat many ping meals though it is just limited to what we eat blush

freddiefrog Sun 18-Nov-12 15:03:39

Depends what you consider to be cooking.

I can cook, I cook and bake most things from scratch because I enjoy it.

DH can re-heat quite well (jacket potatoes, pizza and oven chips) and simple stuff like Spag Bol with a jar of Ragu, but can't cook cook - ie, make the sauce rather than buy it, make a pizza from scratch, but he can do enough not to starve

ninah Sun 18-Nov-12 15:04:03

oooh you'd like my sausage casserole
shall we get some wine glass charms? wink

TwitchyTail Sun 18-Nov-12 15:04:30

There is no problem with not being able/willing to cook, as long as you don't expect someone else to do it for you grin It wouldn't annoy me unless I was the person's partner, or mother.

nokidshere Sun 18-Nov-12 15:05:20

But you dont need to be able to cook - you can eat perfectly healthily without ever using a cooker!

Figgygal Sun 18-Nov-12 15:05:25

I can't cook won't cook to the extent the last full "meal" I cooked was mince and tatties about 6 years ago it took about 3 hours!! I don't think I'd even touched raw meat until earlier this year and I'm 31 blush oh and I can even burn pizza!!

I blame my mother (who can cook and even was a cook for 10 yrs) and school for their pathetic home ed classes where we baked (pineapple upside down cake - mine fell apart) and occasionally made a Waldorf salad.

Thank god my dh cooks and would prefer to cook than sit down to my substandard fare and the mess that comes with it!!

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 15:06:18

oh i make my own spag bol sauce <smug>

yes glass charms be all posh like grin

justmyview Sun 18-Nov-12 15:06:55

Anyone can cook if they are interested enough to learn, but some people aren't. That's their choice and if they're happy to eat pizza and tinned soup etc, that's OK by me.

However, I don't like it when grown men put on the "Silly me I'm just a man" act to get out of it

Lia87 Sun 18-Nov-12 15:08:12

if they're willing to try, and everything just turns out as a disaster, then fair enough, as my dad was always like this, even beans on toast would usually somehow burn/be cold! but people who dont try and just use it as an excuse do annoy me

Tee2072 Sun 18-Nov-12 15:08:22

YABU to be annoyed, what do you care?

Some people are good at some things and others are good at other things. You don't have to cook to be able to eat.

I can cook, BTW, I just don't care if others can or not.

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 15:08:33

Silly me I'm just a man" act to get out of it

<nods> or even worse when a woman says oh hes a man what do you expect angry

The thing is, plenty of people have never been taught to cook - they grew up on ready meals and takeaways, or had family who cooked but didn't teach them. And schools aren't much use at teaching people to actually cook on a day-to-day basis. So there are plenty of people who don't have the confidence to try it out.

And also people who don't feel they can afford to splash out on lots of separate ingredients when the end result might not get eaten, so they fall back on something ready made or a jar of sauce instead of buying separate ingredients.

1605 Sun 18-Nov-12 15:10:54

I can't cook.

I can assemble meals from packaged components if pressed, but starting from scratch with random ingredients would utterly defeat me. I have lots of cook books, I understand the theory, but in practice I get into a tizz and the end result never justifies the time and stress it required.

I can run a business that generates a seven figure turnover in a recession, employs 8 people and pays for me to have domestic help however, so I'm not quite "useless." Or underfed.

MyLittleMiracles Sun 18-Nov-12 15:15:05

I dont think its a case of anyone not being able to cook when they say i cant cook its more not knowing how to or not having practiced enough! Personally, its something that can get learnt

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CAN'T still echoes in my ears....... thank you kind riding instructress!!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 18-Nov-12 15:16:39

I don't mind if people admit they're crap at something, it's when they trumpet the failing as an attribute I have a problem. Those proudly declaring that they can't do ordinary things like cook, drive or do maths etc. often give the impression that they're far too good for such menial stuff...

zukiecat Sun 18-Nov-12 15:18:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sun 18-Nov-12 15:20:24

I'm not great at cooking, I can cook simple meals like chilli or garlic chicken etc.

Great at baking though, does that count? grin

NettoSpookerstar Sun 18-Nov-12 15:22:15

I can cook, however I'm a terrible baker, no idea what I do wrong, and I do keep trying.

Everlong Sun 18-Nov-12 15:23:03


I just knew this would be you.

Yes yabu.

My oldest friend who is older than me has never cooked a roast in her life.

She thinks I'm frigging Nigella because we have a roast every Sunday.

LucieMay Sun 18-Nov-12 15:25:23

Would you say the same to someone with literacy or numeracy problems? We're not all wired the same way and don't all find the same things easy or even possible.

expatinscotland Sun 18-Nov-12 15:25:55


QuickLookBusy Sun 18-Nov-12 15:26:25

When I first left home I couldn't cook a thing. I really thought it was hard but I just bought a basic cook book and got stuck in.

I'm now a great cook and I've made sure both my dc have helped with the cooking from a young age. I didn't want them thinking cooking was difficult.

When people say "I can't cook" I just think "You just haven't tried hard enough"

NettoSpookerstar Sun 18-Nov-12 15:27:05

Schro, we should teach each other if you can bake and I can cook!

MustStopOutingSelf Sun 18-Nov-12 15:28:33

I'm a pretty bad cook < shrugs > obviously I'm useless.

I get paranoid about things being cooked well enough so they tend to end up very overdone. Epecially things like chicken, I dont want to poison anyone so I tend to cut it in half when I think it's done, just to be sure. My plates sure don't look pretty!

The thing is, cooking is boooring! Really really boring and dull. So sue me.

DH is an excellent cook and enjoys it.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 18-Nov-12 15:29:44

I like cooking and baking, most of our meals are from scratch but I don't look down on people who say they can't cook. I can't drive I've failed my test a couple of times and it just seems a waste of money to keep on trying so I fully understand why people don't want to waste money buying expensive ingredients and not have a decent meal at the end of it.

MummytoKatie Sun 18-Nov-12 15:30:34

I always say that I can't cook but Ican prepare meals. Cooking in my view is creating a restaurant standard meal out of a load of random ingredients. Preparing meals is wrapping bacon around the chicken breast, sticking it in the oven and boiling some potatoes and carrots.

I am very good at meal-planning so I will always have the chicken, bacon, potatoes and carrots in the fridge when I need them.

1605 Sun 18-Nov-12 15:32:02

QuickLook I'm not interested in trying harder. There are other more enjoyable and more lucrative ways of spending my time.

I'm full of admiration for my friends who can cook, but I don't think their skills in one arena somehow trump mine in another, to the extent that some MNetters can announce that women like me are "useless".

hermioneweasley Sun 18-Nov-12 15:37:58

Being able to cook, drive and swim to a reasonable standard are all important life skills.

However my SIL is the worst cook I know. I would suggest she at least shouldn't cook. Also, she's not so much with the driving - she has a scrape every few months.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this.

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 15:40:59

I don't care whether other people can cook or not but I get irritated by people who wear it as some kind of badge of honour.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 18-Nov-12 15:41:37

Driving is not a life skill, being able to get on a bus and get off where you need to is a life skill.

ChaoticismyLife Sun 18-Nov-12 15:41:37

I've tried following a recipe in the past. If I'm lucky it's edible, if not then it's a disaster <shrugs>

AllYoursBabooshka Sun 18-Nov-12 15:41:53

DH can't cook.

He tries and can make basic things like toasties but give him a recipe and his mind boggles. He can build an website no problem, but he can't roast a chicken.

He also takes cooking instructions very seriously and would stand there watching something burning and say "but it said 35 minutes!".

I just let him get on with it.

Oh and YABU.

Everlong Sun 18-Nov-12 15:44:59

I'd argue that driving was a life skill.

BinksToEnlightenment Sun 18-Nov-12 15:45:08

I try my best but I used to just say I couldn't cook.

My great grandmother died when my grandmother was a baby. My grandmother grew up with her father until she was thirteen when she went to live with an aunt. She married early. She had my mum and was unable to teach her how to cook very much. They managed but it was basic; my grandmother can burn a salad. My mum got married and moved away from all of her family. My dad tried to teach her to cook but he was away a lot and they got divorced when I was two. My mum tried to teach me to cook but it was very basic; she was poor and did not have a natural talent for it. I left home at fifteen. I moved away from all my family. I could not cook rice or pasta or homemade chips and I certainly could not and have never attempted a roast dinner.

Now I have money and the internet, I can have a go at teaching myself. But the ability to cook is so reliant on history. What did my great grandmother have to teach me, given the chance?

Or maybe she was a shit cook too and that's where we all got it from.

Eitherway, park your judgement. It's Sunday. I'm sure you have some culinary masterpiece that you're just dying to whip up.

smugmumofboys Sun 18-Nov-12 15:45:15

YANBU. It's the ones who inform you of their culinary ineptitude with a tinge of pride in their voice who make me disproportionately cross.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 18-Nov-12 15:47:27

I take my dc to school, go to work, vist friends and relatives and go on holiday all without driving. Ok waiting on a bus stop in the cold isn't nice but it's not a real problem. Not driving doesn't stop me doing anything.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 18-Nov-12 15:48:03

Actually it would be better if no one drived the world would be a cleaner place.

LucieMay Sun 18-Nov-12 15:48:11

If driving was a life skill, why I do have a perfectly normal life (work, school, social activities) without being able to drive?

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 15:49:14

Driving is a life skill not an essential life skill.

Cooking is a life skill, not an essential life skill. Sourcing food is an essential life skill.

Everlong Sun 18-Nov-12 15:52:43

My life would be screwed if I didn't drive to a degree. Getting ds to school for just one example would be a major major pain if I didn't drive not to mention, food shopping and visiting people.

Driving makes your life easier now and when you're older too.

chummymummy Sun 18-Nov-12 15:53:22

I remember spending a lot of evenings in the kitchen with my mum n sisters wen we were younger. I hated it at the time and thought it really unfair. However I am so grateful now. I think this is true of a lot of asian families.

I am doing the same with my kids now. I see it as a life skill. like if you were dropped in the middle of a jungle would you be able to take care of yourself? I know it sounds silly but I think I would be able to kill it, cook it n eat it!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 18-Nov-12 15:56:06

What on earth is a 'grown adult'... and what the dickens does their ability to cook have to do with you, OP?

You're being ridiculous to get annoyed. Do you normally overreact to things?

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 18-Nov-12 15:58:34

Driving might make your life easier but it is not essential and is not a life skill. Your life might be more awkward not driving but it wouldn't be impossible to live without it. It is quite possible to be independent and not drive as I demonstrate every day.

diddl Sun 18-Nov-12 15:59:55

I can cook-but my God I loathe it!

Loobylou222 Sun 18-Nov-12 16:05:16

Silly me I'm just a man"

My oh cooks pretty much everything from scratch, he was taught by jus grandma, it was a part of every day life.

I hate cooking.

He Is teaching me, but I find it very boring, and he bashes me do the shut jobs like chop the chicken!
It's the timings I can't get the hang of, I always overdo chicken as I worry it won't be cooked properly.

Loobylou222 Sun 18-Nov-12 16:06:44

Wow that totally didn't make sence! He does not bash me!
He gives me the shit jobs!

Cooking keeps me sane. I suppose I feel a bit for people who can't but nobody can do everything - and if they think they can they're fools! I can't sew or knit or making greetings card and I wouldn't expect to be negatively judged on that particular lack of talent.

carabos Sun 18-Nov-12 16:19:54

I think it's worse when people claim to be really good cooks and then turn out to be rubbish. It's a talent IMO. Yes if you can read you can follow a recipe, but there is another dimension to it I believe.

I can make tasty meals from scratch and bake but I would never describe myself as a good cook.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 16:21:43

I once really upset a friend who said "look, I have cooked dinner from scratch today" and then showed me her stir fry covered in a gelatinous jar-sauce.

Apparently "that's not from scratch" isn't a nice thing to say. I was only 19 at the time, I would just go "mm, yummy" now.

Nothing wrong with sauce from the jar I'm lying, sauce from a jar is disgusting but it's not cooking from scratch.

Trills Sun 18-Nov-12 16:28:42

Once you are an adult you can choose to learn or choose not to bother to learn. Even if your parents have taught you nothing about cooking.

Esme - you're right. There really is nothing more disgusting than sauce from a jar and I do tend to judge people who think that's ok. It's not. A few minutes spent looking at the ingredients would tell anyone that surely?

LucieMay Sun 18-Nov-12 16:31:15

Everlong if I drove I still wouldn't drive to work because the bus is so frequent and parking as a pain, it just wouldn't be worth it. I also wouldn't bother driving him to school as the traffic gets so bad it's usually just easier to walk. So if I did have a car, it would just be sitting there at least five days a week.

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 16:37:00

I dont drive cant cook and didnt even get my swim certificate I am a complete failure in everything grin

I think making sure you and your family eat is different from getting pleasure out of cooking I really wish i did have that creative thing in me but i dont I cook so we dont starve or live off takeaways where as i have a friend who is an amazing cook and has a huge cook book collection and enjoys reading them i think it is her porn grin

BananaBubbles Sun 18-Nov-12 16:37:38

Does that apply to pasta sauce? I'm looking at the jar of sauce I use reguarly,and I can't see anything that'd make me go eew,on the ingredients list.

Tomatoes (60%),Tomato Purée ,Garlic Purée ,Parsley ,Sunflower Oil ,Sugar ,Extra Virgin Olive Oil ,Red Chilli ,Sea Salt ,Concentrated Lemon Juice ,Dried Red Chillies

I cannot imagine giving a toss about people using jars personally.

Everlong Sun 18-Nov-12 16:39:23

I'm just using myself as an example lucie for me if I didn't drive ds wouldn't be able to attend the school he does, older ds wouldn't be able to stay behind at school to do his music. Not end of the world stuff but it would be a shame.

Driving just gives me more time to do things as opposed to waiting around for buses and trains.

sarahseashell Sun 18-Nov-12 16:40:37

YABU - there are lots of jars of organic stuff/ ready made things which are healthy enough. Some people just detest cooking and are crap at it, get very flustered and stressed by it etc

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 16:43:04

Why do people buy jars of carbonara sauce, that baffles me. It's only egg and parmesan and a couple of other ingredients.

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 16:43:16

I tried to make my own tomato sauce for meatballs once god it was rank yet when i make bolgnaise using just about the same ingredients it tastes nice, I also cant get a cheese sauce right sometimes it works and other times it splits I have no clue what im doing wrong

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 16:44:13

It's weird, isn't it squoosh ? If people can't be arsed with the faff, why not just buy a ready meal? It's the same thing.

Then, I can't drive, so maybe I'm not allowed an opinion.

TheSmallPrint Sun 18-Nov-12 16:44:23

I can't cook. What I mean by that is that I rarely have the time to cook 'properly' and so often if I try it doesn't end up anything like the recipe and often tastes horrible or slightly over /under cooked, seasoned wrong etc. some people are naturally skilled at certain things and others aren't. I can draw beautifully and do it for a living, if you can hold a pencil why can't you draw like a professional? That's how I would compare it anyway. <shrugs>

As long as there are ready meals I won't starve.

forevergreek Sun 18-Nov-12 16:45:19

i do agree with you. everyone can cook if they try. a recipe can be found in a book or online in minutes. follow it, surely not that much can go wrong following a recipe

(fyi, my parents never cooked and we lived of ready made/ out of a tin options. when i left home, i sat down, looked a few things up and tried. im still not perfect by any means but i can make anything from scratch if i can get a recipe)

sarahseashell Sun 18-Nov-12 16:45:51

squoosh they buy it because it tastes better than their own probably and they don't have time to make it or don't want to- nowt wrong with that surely. Much like we don't have to wash everything buy hand/darn socks etc. People don't all have the time or inclination to spend ages chopping up ingredients for a sauce which if they were like me they'd probably burn or it would just somehow taste shit smile

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 16:47:55

I but bechamel sauce <shrug>

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 16:48:05


squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 16:48:55

But my point about carbonara sauce us that there isn't any chopping, it's literally stirring some egg and parmesan together with some salt and pepper.

nulgirl Sun 18-Nov-12 16:50:04

I can't cook - can reheat and make simple thing like baked potatoes, beans on toast. I have never learnt and to be honest it doesn't bother me. My dh is a chef and is very good at what he does. He does all the cooking, housework and DIY. I take the lead with the kids and wash all the clothes. I know I've got the easier deal but am not going to protest. We both work fulltime and my life is too busy to learn new skills that I don't enjoy.

Couldn't care less if anyone judges me.

nulgirl Sun 18-Nov-12 16:50:09

I can't cook - can reheat and make simple thing like baked potatoes, beans on toast. I have never learnt and to be honest it doesn't bother me. My dh is a chef and is very good at what he does. He does all the cooking, housework and DIY. I take the lead with the kids and wash all the clothes. I know I've got the easier deal but am not going to protest. We both work fulltime and my life is too busy to learn new skills that I don't enjoy.

Couldn't care less if anyone judges me.

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 16:50:26

It doesn't bother me, it just perplexes me.

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 16:50:26

last time i made cabronara I had cheesey scrambled egg

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 16:53:38

Nothing wrong with a bit of texture MrsJay! grin

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 16:54:46

Nothing wrong with a bit of texture MrsJay!

I was looking for a bit of toast to go with it grin

I can't cook - in fact, part of the reason I get DLA is because I cannot cook safely blush; I have burnt/cut myself, set my hair on fire, set my clothing on fire and left the cooker on enough times to know that cooking and me really don't mix grin.

Can reasonably do some stuff under supervision but generally stick to sandwiches/microwave.. It isn't a completely necessary life skill, it's handy but you can live on cold stuff/soup!

And it certainly does not make me useless. I have other skills and aptitudes that make me "useful" , if I say so myself!

RooneyMara Sun 18-Nov-12 17:00:42

Minty I don't think that's very fair tbh.

I'm a rubbish cook, really rubbish, I used to make proper iced cakes when I was about 12, really into it, and helped with cooking and so on at home, but somewhere along the line I developed a mental block, and just lost the knack.

I think it's something you can 'do' or you can have a real feel for. Or you cannot do it to save your life. Especially tryingto use a recipe - that makes my head explode, and you never have everything you need, or something doesn't make sense, or you can read the words but the meaning is lost on you (like how do you blanch something, how fine do you chop something, etc etc)

It is an ART if you like

I can paint portraits, I can tile a bathroom by myself and do a fucking good job of it...I can also drive, ride motorcycles, lay a floor, build flat pack furniture really well.

I'm certainly not 'useless'. And I wish I could cook, but it's just something I'm crap at for whatever reason, AND I don't enjoy trying.

So yes, YABU with big old knobs on smile

And I have been taught, did home ec for years and my parents are both fully trained head chefs. Even had OT round to the house to try and teach me how to cook - but still can't get to a decent enough level!

RooneyMara Sun 18-Nov-12 17:05:42

'But my point about carbonara sauce us that there isn't any chopping, it's literally stirring some egg and parmesan together with some salt and pepper. '

Just a good example there (if you don't mind, Squoosh!)...'some' means how much? Is my egg large or medium, if it's medium, do I need two? What's it supposed to look like when it's cooking?

and how much salt and pepper?

I'm guessing a lot of you would know these things purely by experience and instinct. And a lot of us wouldn't have a clue. Like, you might not know how much grout is about right, where to put the first tiles, which way up to put the bookcase you're building so it goes together best....Oh yes it came with instructions but reading and understanding are two different things.

KatyPeril Sun 18-Nov-12 17:09:40

YABU. And a bit of a twat. Hope that helps.

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 17:16:20

Carbonara sauce is such a magical thing that it can take as much parmesan cheese as my greed decides to throw at it. And you don't cook it, you just coat the cooked pasta in it off the heat (to avoid scrambled egg scenarios). I don't go in for measuring and weighing (unless I'm baking), you don't really need to to with savoury dishes.

I'm no amazing cook by the way. I wish I was one of those people who can look inside the cupboard and come up with 20 recipes off the bat.

AmandaCooper Sun 18-Nov-12 17:26:18

Cooking requires good organisational skills, patience, a degree of tolerance for working under pressure, coordination and attention to detail. For people with that skill set, it can be straightforward, even pleasurable. If you're not strong in one of those areas, you can work harder at it to compensate, but it's not going to be as pleasurable, and the results may not be as consistent or satisfying. It also helps to have a nice kitchen, good quality pans and implements, money for ingredients and plenty of time.

Tee2072 Sun 18-Nov-12 17:28:27

"Cooking requires good organisational skills, patience, a degree of tolerance for working under pressure, coordination and attention to detail. "

Nah. Cooking requires 5 minutes, some food and a stove. Unless you are working in a pro kitchen. Then you need all of the above.

NoraGainesborough Sun 18-Nov-12 17:29:41

I can cook but I don't.

AmandaCooper Sun 18-Nov-12 17:29:42

Cooking as opposed to "preparing meals" as distinguished above.

I love to cook and bake and do most meals from scratch. DH can reheat and do pasta and jarred sauce meals etc. He has tried many times but it just defeats him. He will and does clean and tidy though which I don't smile

ZZZenAgain Sun 18-Nov-12 17:45:23

I think yabu, too much fuss is made of cooking IMO and there is not really much point in it. You can eat healthy food without cooking at all or hardly at all. I think too many people make a real fetish out of it and plainer and less cooked food would be better all round.

As you can tell, I was not born to live in France!

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 18-Nov-12 17:48:57

Since when does something have to directly affect you to be annoying??
LOADS of things annoy me about people which don't actually affect MY life. Same as most people.

OP, I am going to say YANBU, because I have been watching Loose Women (I was ill!) and they go on and on, with evident pride, about how they can't cook at all.
They are in their 50's! I have been shouting "fucking learn then" at the telly.
I am not talking about fancy shmancy stuff, but surely every adult should be able to take some meat, and some veg, and fashion a stew or something.
Its not hard!
What if all you non-cookers went to live in a country which only sold foodstuff in their basic state. Would you starve because there are no M and S ready meals?
I won't accept "I can't cook" from a grown man, so I don't see why grown women should be any different.

sarahseashell Sun 18-Nov-12 17:56:06

'fashion a stew' hmm

It is hard for people who find it hard. If I went to live in that hypothetical country (which I wouldn't) I'd eat toast wink or do they not even have bread there ?

AmandaCooper Sun 18-Nov-12 17:57:29

What happens if you "don't accept" it? Anything we should be concerned about?

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 17:59:37

you just coat the cooked pasta in it off the heat (to avoid scrambled egg scenarios)

OH I SEE OK blush will try that next time thank you grin

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 18:01:48

What if all you non-cookers went to live in a country which only sold foodstuff in their basic state.

I dont use ready meals often we would survive it would be spag bol and eggy cabronara though grin

RooneyMara Sun 18-Nov-12 18:04:21

Well it ain't hard for you, clearly, but for me it's a nightmare.

I deal well with exact and certain things...I like things to be predictable, followable, static if you like.

So I'm great with maps, with instructions (talking about DIY stuff here, not recipes which DO involve artistic license usually) and copying things, from real life.

I can do an ace portrait but cannot draw from my imagination or make up a story. I can do super neat and accurate stuff but not stuff that requires 'flair' or flamboyance or personal judgment, so much.

I cannot just 'throw things in' till it looks right, that idea scares me.

I mean for me, a lot ofthings are easy, that others might find terrifying, but the stuff other people are great at is terrifying to me.

It's called being different to other people and I don't get what is wrong with it. If we could all cook as well as each other, tile as well as each other, play music as well as each would be so dull.

PlantsDieArid Sun 18-Nov-12 18:04:41

Smugmum, exactly! I have two friends who 'can't' cook. One still feeds her family really healthy assembled stuff and is always trying to learn. She made her first adorably wonky and slightly burned chicken pie with ready pastry and cooked chicken a few weeks ago and we all teared up like it was the X-factor.

The other? Badge of honour I'm a princess isn't it cute thing. I find it annoying and affected.

RooneyMara Sun 18-Nov-12 18:08:16

I don't do that, Plants. I'm ashamed of it rather than proud of it. I had a thread on here once about asking for help with basic cookery. Most people were really, really decent and kind and helped me out big time.

I still find it very hard but I can do a few very simple things, I can boil pasta, roast a chicken (well once a year) and make mashed potato, do sausages and so on in the oven, most of the things we eat though are pretty much ready made or ready to cook.

I hate being in the kitchen.

spotsdots Sun 18-Nov-12 18:19:25

YABU and mannerless to call anyone useless just because they can't cook unless they are expecting you to cook for them.

There are million reasons why some people can't or won't cook. I don't see how someone else's inability to do something should bother you unless their inability impacts on your life? confused

Everlong Sun 18-Nov-12 18:21:20

Where's mintyy?

Cooking I reckon wink

Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 18:23:46

grin. No dh is cooking tonight. Roast chicken, chipolatas, roast potatoes, parsnips, broccoli, carrots, peas and gravy and a shop-bought apple tart for pudding. Yum.

StuntGirl Sun 18-Nov-12 18:24:44

Everyone can cook. It just depends how complex the thing you're cooking is.

Sometimes I make my own pesto for example, sometimes I don't. Whatever's easiest/affordable at the time.

RooneyMara Sun 18-Nov-12 18:25:34

Well I could cook something like that. I thought you meant proper cooking.

Bumblequeen Sun 18-Nov-12 18:27:19

I find it odd that an adult (male or female) cannot cook. Do they live on ready meals and take aways?

I was not interested in learning to cook as a teenager. I watched my dm and thought there must be more to life. I just wanted to party and dress up!

Once I moved out in my early 20's I started to cook full meals which friends and family enjoyed.

It is nice when people appreciate your meals. Dh also cooks well. I will definitely encourage my dc to cook.

StuntGirl Sun 18-Nov-12 18:28:44

I count that stuff as proper cooking mara!

Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 18:30:51

What do you mean "proper cooking"?

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 18:32:38

I count that as proper cooking too!

I agree that cooking has been fetishised to a silly level in the past few years. People try to score points with their food knowledge. I just like good food.

RooneyMara Sun 18-Nov-12 18:33:53

Well I thought you meant intuitive cooking, or cooking that involves more (sorry) skill - not just peeling some veg and putting it in the oven, sort of thing.

If you asked me to roast some things like that, I could do it. But confront me with a demand for lasagne or a stew or something, and it all becomes much more, er, variable iyswim. I don't understand the principles involved.

I suppose it's different for everyone but I can do 'oven' stuff, not anything that requires mixing or preparation or judgment. Peeling and putting in oven is not beyond me smile

PlantsDieArid Sun 18-Nov-12 18:35:11

Rooney, that sounds like cooking to me!

RooneyMara Sun 18-Nov-12 18:37:16

Ohh....well maybe I can cook then! But only a bit. I didn't mean to diss your H, Minty. As I said it's only once a year I'll bother to do cooking like that, as I hate being in the kitchen full stop.

and it sounds nice.

But most of the time it's just so much effort - and also, the kids would get fed up with roast stuff every day. They need a micorwave rice sachet every other day once in a while.

StuntGirl Sun 18-Nov-12 18:37:36

Me too. I keep jars of pasta sauce and pesto in the cupboard for the days when there's no energy to do anything more complex. And I wolf it down just as greedily as home cooked pie or pasta or roast or whatever grin

RooneyMara Sun 18-Nov-12 18:38:54

and now I sound arrogant like it's just too boring, but that's not it - roasting stuff is just one thing, there are so many things I genuinely cannot cook, I wouldn't know where to begin.

Recipes really scare me.

GrendelsMum Sun 18-Nov-12 18:38:57

I think the vast majority of people could learn to cook well enough to feed their families on the budget available, if they felt they needed to.

Take my DH for example. He had never cooked anything in his life when he moved to a country which did not have ready meals available to buy in the supermarkets. Afer a while, he got tired of eating takeaways twice a day - and he learnt to cook. Started small - now he can cater a three course meal for 40 people.

But in the UK, people on the whole don't need to, so they have the option not to bother.

diddl Sun 18-Nov-12 18:40:05

People who look down on jars of sauce-what do you use for a bolognese base for example?

I use tinned tomatoes-surely a jar of sauce isn´t so far from that?

Can't cook. Can't drive. I can swim though.

To paraphrase Meatloaf, one outta three ain't bad. grin

PickledFanjoCat Sun 18-Nov-12 18:42:26

I call that cooking. None of this Heston nonsense with his giant eggs and mud and shit!

And shop bought jars come in handy sometimes. When you are dog tired.

GrendelsMum Sun 18-Nov-12 18:43:46

Haha - right at the moment we have home-made tinned tomatoes!

(Courtesy of a tomato glut in the greenhouse)

PickledFanjoCat Sun 18-Nov-12 18:44:13

Ha ha! There's always one innit!

Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 18:46:02

At a loss as to why you think I meant restaurant-style cooking in my op? I would be unreasonable to be annoyed by people who can't or won't do that.

diddl Sun 18-Nov-12 18:49:24

Well I sometimes wonder when people talk about "cooking from scratch"-how "from scratch" are you talking?

I mean I don´t find lasagne/bolognese that hard to make as I don´t do the tomatoes myself!

With a roast what I find most difficult is the timings.

But that´s because I find cooking boring & wander off to do other stuff!

E320 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:49:59

I just think it is sad that people do not value their bodies and try to keep them healthy. I wouldn't put 2-stroke in my car, so I wouldn't put rubbish into my body.
You can eat very healthily without needing to be "able" to cook, cooking just makes things more varied and exciting.

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 18:50:33

If someone told me they 'can't cook' I'd assume they meant 'restaurant-style cooking'.
So by 'can't cook' what did you/they mean, Mintyy? Surely couldn't have meant unable to heat pasta/veg/boil and egg/etc?
(That said, I did tell someone I can't cook the other day - meant light heartedly and that my cooking is limited, I'm no Escoffier, etc. He seemed to take it to mean that I literally can't make a meal. confused)

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 18:51:00

I have no time for anyone who is incapable of whipping up a simple meal such as a ballotine of chicken, celeriac pureé, blanched fennell and a beurre noisette foam.

It's just laziness.

StuntGirl Sun 18-Nov-12 18:51:51

Probably because many people think cooking is far more complex than it is and so assume "cooking" means restaurant style stuff.

If you can read you can follow a recipe.

This is not always true. There are many cook books out there which assume that all their readers have a basic knowledge, which actually isn't true for quite a few people. Celeb chefs are the worst offenders.

As an example, it took me many years to work out how to cook something so basic as an omelette. As my mum is crap at coooking I've had to teach myself, but cook book after cook book left basic information out of a simple recipe for an omelette. I eventually discovered, from a Delia book, that the simple trick is to keep the heat high. But all the other books assumed people know this. I didn't and so my omelettes kept ending up more like scambled eggs.

I can cook quite well now, DP is soooo basic that he leaves it to me, but he's great at so many other things (especially the ironing grin) that I'm not bothered.

Do they live on ready meals and take always?

Pretty much. 10 minutes ago my efforts to microwave two baking potatos with baked beans ended with rock hard potatoes and funny tasting beans. confused

Co-op pizza is now in the oven. smile

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 18:55:38

If you can read you can follow a recipe.

So following a recipe = being able to cook? (I mean like really cook.) I think not!

littlewhitebag Sun 18-Nov-12 19:07:55

On of my best friends can't cook at all. But she is a consultant doctor and can save lives like no-one else i know! I know what skill i would rather she honed!

GrendelsMum Sun 18-Nov-12 19:08:48

Pumpkin, re your potatoes and beans.

Microwaves can be quite tricky to use, because they don't heat in the same way that ovens do, so it's not really surprising it didn't cook in the time you gave it.

Potatoes are large solid objects, and are going to take a comparatively long time to cook in the microwave, compared to small soft objects like baded beans. So you can't put them in all at the same time and expect them to come out nicely.

If I wanted to cook a really nice baked potato, I would begin by pricking a few holes in it with a fork, and then cooking it in the microwave for around 5 mins. I'd check to see if it was just soft, and if it wasn't, I'd give it another minute, and then another minute, until it was just soft in the centre but not unpleasantly squidgy. It might take between 8 and 10 mins to do one potato. Then I would put it in the oven, pre-heated to about 200 degrees c, for around 10 mins to crisp up the skin. If I felt like it, I might dribble a teaspoon of olive oil on the top and rub it over before it went into the oven, and put a few grains of salt on top. You don't need to do them in the oven at the end, but I think it's much nicer.

You were doing two potatoes - two potatoes in a microwave need more time than one potato, so I'd probably up it to about 8 mins for the initial cooking time, and then check repeatedly at minute intervals.

I've not done baked beans in the microwave because I find them easier to judge done on a pan on top of the stove. But I'd put them into a bowl and give them about 1.5 mins, stir thoroughly, and then give them another 1.5 mins, and then check to see if they were heated through.

Does that help a bit?

whois Sun 18-Nov-12 19:14:11

When I went to uni I would say I 'couldn't cook'. I mean, i could make pasta and follow a few set recipes but I hadn't ever done much cooking off-plan.

For several years my mum got a phone call often at tea "I made x yesterday, can I reheat it?" "I've got veg y, how long do they need to be cooked for" and so on. Used to really annoy me when she would reply "a few mins then test" :-)

Now I would say I am an excellent cook. I like eating, I like cooking, I am good at thinking what to make, good at the fridge invention test, can cook rice, pasts, grains, veg etc without referring to the packet (a few mins then test) because after a while you just 'know'.

But I can totally see how people who don't like eating much, mainly eat ready meals, don't have anyone to ask, are afraid of going wrong (I had a few food disasters along the way!) and so on don't learn how to cook.

nokidshere Sun 18-Nov-12 19:23:15

I cook "from scratch" everyday. Good, healthy food that everyone enjoys.

But I hate cooking - I find it a complete chore. If I lived alone I would eat only food that doesn't need cooking or tesco finest dauphoniose potatoes with a steak!

Just because I can do it doesn't mean I would if I didn't have to!

Nagoo Sun 18-Nov-12 19:30:16

I think that the convenience food industry is set up with the specific aim of making people think that easy things are hard.

Cake mix. Fucking cake mix.

If you never made a cake, you might think, shit, I'll buy cake mix.

Carbonara. You don't know that if you melt down some dairylea stick some cream in the pan with the frying bacon and onions, crack in a couple of egg yolks and a shit load of parmesan then you'd buy some.

I think you have to be brave and try. But it's hard. A lot of times ingredients cost more than the jar. But not fucking cake mix And people might not have the money to make mistakes.

For me it was gravy. I had no idea how to make gravy. Granules make it so far from what it started out as, you can't even guess how to make it. Then you need a person to tell you. If you didn't grow up with that person, it's hard work.

Grendlesmum. I didnt put them in at the same time! grin I did as you suggested for the beans but potatoes only got six minutes (which might explain their rock hardness!) I've always put potatoes in the oven in the past but for quickness decided to try the microwave. Not something I'll be doing again. Thanks for the suggestions.

This is why I love Delia. Her recipes have precise measurements and timings, and "as you go" photos too sometimes. She is a bit patronising but takes nothing for granted.

We had her Lancashire Hotpot tonight. IMHO it is "chop stuff, put it in a pot in the right order, put in oven, come back when oven beeps" but DH thinks it is Cooking.

GrendelsMum Sun 18-Nov-12 19:57:24

smile Just in case you try it again in the microwave, six minutes would have been good if you'd had one smallish potato, but for two pots, you have to think about potentially doubling the cooking time. But I agree with you, ovens are easier to use!

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 18-Nov-12 19:58:21

Right now I am fashioning a chickpea and aubergine curry grin
I am using Pataks curry paste-not freshly ground spices of my own making, and a carton of passata.
It's still cooking, as I am using fresh aubergine, onions, spinach and coriander.
I couldnt cook until I was 16, and my dad made me learn, by calling me every time he was cooking, and talking me thru what he was doing. I am nowhere near as a good a cook as he was, but I can make tasty and cheap stuff pretty quickly, as anyone can.
It's not a talent-some people are better at it than other naturally, but if you like eating it's a massive shame not to learn, because you save quids, and don't feel helpless in the face of raw ingredients.
Just learning a few basic techniques e.g how to make proper rice, how to marinate and sear meat,how to prepare veg, how long to simmer a casserole; these are basic skills, not rocket science.
I do like to eat tho, and maybe if you are not that bothered about food you never learn.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 18-Nov-12 19:59:57

In fact, the few times I have tried to do a ready meal, it has taken AGES and been more hassle than just cobbling together a spanish ommelette.

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 20:04:26

Patak's pastes are brilliant.

pouffepants Sun 18-Nov-12 20:08:59

I always buy carbonara because I have no idea what it's made of, just no it tastes nice.

And then people on here just say 'oh, just get some parmesan!!' well what the hell is that, and where do I get it? That's just as confusing a word as carbonara

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 20:12:39

well it seems i can cook according to some grin i scoffed steak pie for dinner made from scratch well with bisto and shop bought pastry but i did the rest

PlantsDieArid Sun 18-Nov-12 20:16:11

I agree that a certain native greed is an excellent motivator!

One reason I cook from scratch is that I really want my dcs to take for granted that cooking your own food is natural, healthy and cheap and I've always tricked got them to chop/stir/taste.

It makes my blood boil that we have failed a whole generation (possibly two?) by axing school cooking lessons, which is both a health time bomb and a whole other thread.

Mind you, I busted the sods came home unexpectedly on Friday night and found them all waiting with glee for the sainsbury pizza to cook, the lovingly home made steak pie shoved in the freezer

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 20:17:16

you need a person to tell you. If you didn't grow up with that person, it's hard work.

That is so true, Nagoo!

Surely everyone can prepare food which is edible, nutritious and reasonably cheap if they want to (or have to)? But being 'able to cook' is kind of a sliding scale and depends quite a bit on confidence (and how much you enjoy being in a kitchen working). A lot of 'good cooking' depends on having tricks up your sleeve that either come from someone else's wisdom (friend, family, partner...) or trial and error.

Carbonara's dead easy, pouffe. Several ways to do it, Google it...

Mrsjay Sun 18-Nov-12 20:19:06

by axing school cooking lessons, which is both a health time bomb and a whole other thread.

MY dd takes cooking at school but it is of course optional she just passed her mock last week and got a B grin she is on dinners from now on, she is a better baker than cook though

GrendelsMum Sun 18-Nov-12 20:19:13

I think that carbonara's quite hard, myself - getting the sauce to the right consistency.

To make carbonara, you cook some bacon, and cut the bacon up into little bits. Then you take two whole eggs, and two extra egg yolks, and put them into a bowl, and mix in 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese. Then put in the bacon. Then stir in 4 tablespoons of cream. This is going to be your sauce.

Now you cook some spaghetti, and when it's cooked, you drain all the water out, and put the spaghetti back in the pan. Don't put the pan back on the hob - you don't need to. The pan's still hot, and the spaghetti's hot. Straight away, put the sauce onto the spaghetti and start stirring it till all the spaghetti is coated in sauce. The sauce cooks because the pasta and the pan is hot. It should take about 2-3 mins before the sauce is cooked. If you think it's not cooking, then give it about a minute on a low heat on the hob.

Parmesan is a sort of Italian hard cheese, and you can find it in the cheese section of supermarkets, either ready-grated or in solid blocks. It's quite expensive, so ironically you may find it cheaper to buy ready made carbonara.

Stangirl Sun 18-Nov-12 20:20:20

I can cook but I absolutely hate hate hate doing so. I always feel like an absolute drudge doing it and take absolutely no pride in being able to do it. My DP leant long ago that he must never compliment me on anything I prepare as it makes me angry.

It is the only truly bad thing about becoming a parent in that I now have to do more cooking (as does my DP). I watch in horror programmes like I Can Cook.

edam Sun 18-Nov-12 20:22:07

Parmesan is a kind of very hard cheese that's good with pasta. You find it in the cheese section of your supermarket - often called Parmesan Reggiano or sometimes just Reggiano. You'll need a cheese grater btw, don't try cutting it with a knife, the slices will be too thick to cook with. Carbonara is the name for the sauce - it's a confusing word because it's Italian because the dish is Italian.

Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 20:25:37

There is no way I can say this without getting someone's back up but I'm going to say it anyway: if I come across a phrase or word I haven't heard before I google it. Tis one of the great pleasures of living in the age of the internet.

Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 20:27:19

Within a couple of seconds I found this on on parmesan

PlantsDieArid Sun 18-Nov-12 20:28:16

Mrsjay, I am delighted to hear it, and well done to her!

Fishwife1980 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:29:33

I dont really mind just feel a little sorry for children who eat breaded type food all the time because parents cant cook

I saw a lady putting in frozen microwave jacket potoes into her trolly i did think sad the kids were asking for jackets but come on

Kafri Sun 18-Nov-12 20:30:47

I will openly hold my hands up and say that i am not the best cook in the world. I can get by on simple meals but my idea of hell would be standing in the kitchen slaving over a full 3 course meal. It doesnt bother me, nor does it bother me that other people are the complete opposite and love experimenting and spending time in their kitchen so why should it bother the OP that its not my idea of fun.

I also think my school played a part in this tbh - by the time i got to secondary school my Home Ec lessons had become food technology and in them i was no longer taught to cook like my bro was a few years earlier - i was taught to separate out bloody muesli! useful, i know!!

Bunbaker Sun 18-Nov-12 20:31:33

I don't think people can't cook. I think they just aren't interested in cooking or they are too lazy. If you really want to cook all you need is a really good, basic recipe book that explains everything properly.

I cook because I like to eat well and I can't afford to eat out all the time. Also I like to eat a wide variety of cuisines and we live in a bit of a foodie desert here. So if I want to eat Indonesian or Vietnamese food I have to cook it myself.

Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 20:33:33

Kafri - WHERE in my op did I say anything about spending hours on three course meals?

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 20:36:18

I don't think people can't cook. I think they just aren't interested in cooking or they are too lazy.

Agree, Bun - would add that perhaps they lack confidence, too.

Would also say, though, WRT people claiming to be 'unable' to cook, that perhaps they're just protecting themselves? Never say you're good at something you don't enjoy doing, and all.

Fishwife1980 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:40:12

I think that might be more of it some people just feel unconfident my. Oh eats up everything i make evan if its not nice hes very good aout it but not every ones family is like that and some people feel likey they rather not face a back lash

I had precisely one cooking/home ec lesson in my school career: in Reception we made jam sandwiches and I was put on the Naughty Table for licking the knife.

I cook reasonably well now - in fact I placed second in a small competition on Friday - but I don't have a great range.

Carbonara sauce from a jar is nothing like "from scratch" carbonara. It is basically white sauce with bacon and cheese and pepper. The texture is much thicker. It is a totally different experience.

I'm very tolerant of people cooking using more than one step - although opening a packet doesn't count as a step! Chopping an onion, frying it with some mince, adding a jar and heating it through definitely counts as Cooking From Scratch for a learner, even if it wouldn't to more practised cooks.

Groovee Sun 18-Nov-12 20:46:21

beans on toast, simple sandwiches is all dh can manage. Yet he can do loads more things which I can. I don't think it's something to get enraged about.

Fakebook Sun 18-Nov-12 20:48:20

We have stomachs. We get hungry. We eat. Cooking should be in our nature, and if someone claims they can't cook, well then they're not human IMO. I hate people who say they don't do hard is it to follow a recipe? Just shows the world is getting lazier and lazier.

Notcontent Sun 18-Nov-12 20:53:29

Mintyy - I sooooo agree with you.
This makes me so mad. It's such a basic skill.
What makes me just as annoyed is people who claim they don't have time to cook because they work full time. I have always worked long hours and have always managed to cook fresh food, even if it's something really simple when I get home.

Bunbaker Sun 18-Nov-12 20:58:25

"What makes me just as annoyed is people who claim they don't have time to cook because they work full time. I have always worked long hours and have always managed to cook fresh food, even if it's something really simple when I get home."

I think that comes from being a confident, intuitive cook. If you have a very limited repertoire, you get home at say 5.30 and have to get children out to activities by 6 and all you know how to cook is mince and dumplings or sausages and mash it is far easier to bung something in the microwave.

If we are in a hurry we tend to have a filled pasta - tortellini or ravioli with pesto and salad - none of which I make from scratch (apart from the salad).

Notcontent Sun 18-Nov-12 21:04:17

Bunbaker - I don't think pasta plus salad is that bad.
But you could also make a big batch of something on the weekend or late in the evening and freeze?

tigerdriverII Sun 18-Nov-12 21:12:45

It amazes me that people can't cook. But having had some horrors of meals at pals' houses, I know it's true. Cooking is the easiest thing to do and get right and also wheat T F do you eat yourself if you are a self professed rotten cook.

Disclaimer - didn't read most of the Fred.

tigerdriverII Sun 18-Nov-12 21:14:15

Wheat the fuck? That's what the fuck!

Fakebook Sun 18-Nov-12 21:19:09

Tiger, I thought you were talking about some kind of cooking for coeliacs!

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 21:19:50

I hate people who say they don't do hard is it to follow a recipe?

So how do you feel about those of us who don't do cooking because we don't enjoy it - but live with someone who does?
Are we lazy? Should we be whipping up wholesome and original meals for all to save our souls?

I can cook. I can cook quite well, if I cook occasionally, but don't describe myself as any sort of a 'cook' because it's really not something i enjoy on a regular basis, not something I want to do every day, not seomthing I've developed much expertise in.

TBH I get more annoyed with people who describe themselves as good cooks when their cooking ain't all that.

And I get annoyed by this 'eating is necessary, therefore cooking should be a joy and a chance for creativity' thing. Wearing clothes is also necessary, I love to look at beautiful things, I don't see it as everyone's duty to dress well. (Although I do have to set eyes on people. I don't, on the other hand, have to eat the food they prepare...)

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 18-Nov-12 21:22:54

The worst thing about cooking properly is the dishes after urgh whether it's hand washing up or dishwasher I hate doing it. makes me want to live on beige oven food

Mintyy Sun 18-Nov-12 21:26:15

I don't particularly enjoy cooking either LastMango, you will find mumsnet littered with my posts whingeing about it. I am also not enraged Groovee, just a bit annoyed. Two completely different things.

PurpleGentian Sun 18-Nov-12 21:39:05

I get annoyed at people who say they can't cook as if it's something to be proud of.

But YABU if you're getting annoyed at other people who can't cook, and calling them useless. It can take a fair amount of time, patience and money to get the hang of it if you've never done it.

I didn't start learning how to cook until I moved out of home to go to university. My parents aren't keen on cooking, so mostly gave us ready meals. I didn't even know how to toast a slice of bread without a toaster at first. I spent 6 months living on supernoodles before I couldn't stomach another packet of supernoodles and bought a very cheap cookbook.

And now, after much practice, I can cook quite a wide range of things that I like to eat. Not a boiled egg, though. I've never tried cooking those, as I hate them. It really annoys me when people go on about boiling an egg, as if being unable to do that means you can't cook anything at all.

Fakebook Sun 18-Nov-12 21:46:08

Who enjoys cooking everyday? I bloody don't. I have a dh who does half the cooking during the week. The thing is, cooking is a necessity. In this day and age when everyone is crying about the economy, I feel it's pretty important to know how to eat healthily and economically. I'm glad you can afford to eat out or buy in food everyday, but most people can't.

GinGirl Sun 18-Nov-12 21:48:28

Hmm, it is the saying it as a badge of honour that winds me up too. Have had it said to me by another woman in a 'and it makes me more emancipated and therefore better than you' kind of way. Wanted to take the plate with my beautiful banana loaf on it back off her.

PlantsDieArid Sun 18-Nov-12 21:58:31

My parents aren't keen on cooking, so mostly gave us ready meals. I didn't even know how to toast a slice of bread without a toaster at first. I spent 6 months living on supernoodles before I couldn't stomach another packet of supernoodles and bought a very cheap cookbook.

Purple, forgive ne if this sounds like I'm judging or looking down on your dps, I am really not, I just think this sums up exactly why we should show our kids how to cook, especially now.

As already mentioned, economics alone should get everyone trying to master the basics. It is incredibly expensive to only eat pre prepared food, notwithstanding the health risks.

I also agree with whoever said earlier that it tasted completely different. I think it's as important to teach kids to cook as it is yo potty train them.

I know not everyone's such a food nazi tho

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 18-Nov-12 22:14:00

I can't cook. Not at all

I am not useless or lazy or inhuman. What I am is severely disabled

It's not true that everyone could cook if they tried

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:19:27

i can cook but most of the time i cant stand cooking.

now and again i have a cooking bug and do lovely homemade things, but the rest of the time i will use jars of sauces and bulk it out with veg.

MyLittleFireBird Sun 18-Nov-12 22:54:46

OP, I take it you get equally annoyed by people who don't know how to make their own clothes? smile

diddl Mon 19-Nov-12 06:56:13

I would say I can´t cook-but I suppose what I really mean is that I make as little effort as possible & use short cuts.

But certainly that doesn´t mean ready meals.

Just a lot of easy stuff like chilli, lasagne, carbonara...

DD is now 12 and about once a fortnight she's coooking dinner. I'm getting her to choose something, and we are looking at good but cheap recipes as I want her to be able to budget as well.

She's just completed this year's block of cookery lessons at school, and luckily her school have focused on cheap basic recipes that are more concerned with techniques. For example a macaroni cheese with the emphasis on learning about basic sauces, and things like roux and what it's for/how to do it.

DS is aged 8 and he's getting started on some basic stuff too.

LisasCat Mon 19-Nov-12 11:10:26

I describe myself as being 'unable to cook'. I have several recipe books, and given the right ingredients and plenty of time can produce something pretty fantastic. But when I walk in from work, have half an hour to feed the family, and open the cupboards to a mixed bag of ingredients, I simply have no idea where to start, so opt for something from the freezer straight into the oven. Similarly, if one ingredient of a recipe is missing, I can't predict the effect that will have on the outcome, or what I could use instead.

DP, on the other hand, just knows what herbs and spices work with what meat, how to rustle up a sauce from a random selection of ingedients, can create a meal appropriate to the time available, and can swap in different things to alter a staple classic.

My mother was the queen of the microwave and we always had a freezer bulging with convenience foods, so it wasn't never part of my upbringing. I've tried working my way through Delia's 'How to Cook', to learn the basics, but when maternity leave ended and I went back to work, that half hour time slot in the evenings just isn't enough to continue learning.

WildWorld2004 Mon 19-Nov-12 13:27:34

I dont like cooking so i dont cook. I just shove something in the oven. I probably could cook if i tried but i hate it. Dont think i should be judged for that.

Bunbaker Mon 19-Nov-12 19:33:53

LisasCat. You can cook. Perhaps you aren't an intuitive cook, but you can follow a recipe.

LessMissAbs Mon 19-Nov-12 20:00:01

YANBU OP. You need to get out of the kitchen and start living life!

Proudnscary Mon 19-Nov-12 20:09:30

I fucking HATE cooking.

My dh loves it and is a genius cook.

I say 'I can't cook' not because I am thick and can't follow a recipe but because I enjoy it so little that I rush it/burn it/ruin it/mush it and therefore my meals are revolting so the whole family say 'Mum can't cook'.

I don't eat processed food nor do my kids save for the odd takeaway/pizza etc.

We eat out loads, dh cooks or I make them brown bread sandwiches with eggs or chicken or cheese and shove some cucumber, carrots and fruit on the plate. Perfectly wholesome and filling.

kerala Mon 19-Nov-12 20:14:33

I agree OP but only if I find the person abit annoying anyway. FIL claims he "cant cook" reality is wont cook as MIL flits around practically waiting on him makes me shudder. He shovels in her lovely food without comment which really pisses me off on her behalf. What gets me is the wont cook male brigade who have no idea of the effort it can take to produce a meal and dont appreciate it.

GrendelsMum Mon 19-Nov-12 20:37:56

Do you want to know a cracking example? BiL 'can't' cook - so last time that I was there, helping out with DN one day because my DSiL was ill, BiL expected ME to cook him his meals! I looked at him absolutely gobsmacked.

CharlieCoCo Mon 19-Nov-12 22:08:33

I so agree about the whole boiling an egg-good cook.

I consider myself a good cook, can do a range of home made food and even indian food after working for an indian family. I cant boil an egg to save my life! It just wont go hard, i even forgot about it once, it was boiling for 20 mins it should have been solid and it still had a bit of drippy white.
I was so proud when at the grand age of 29 i made my first poached egg and fried egg and my dad was like really, you have gone 29 years without being able to do thatshock well maybe if i ws allowed to cook as a teen instead of banned "in case i burn the house down" i would be able to, instead i had to self-teach when i became a nanny and children relied on me to feed them!

mamamibbo Mon 19-Nov-12 22:15:38

i make everything, all meals, bread, cakes etc for my family (thats how i feed 6 on £70 a week) apart from yorkshire puddings, despite actually being from yorkshire i annot make them, ive never made a proper one, they rise like buns

Aren't Yorkshires supposed to rise? Isn't that the whole point?

I make mine in a bun tin.

<has missed something>

Frizzbonce Mon 19-Nov-12 23:05:16

Kerala Absolutely! I've known several men who say they 'can't' cook or they do it but deliberately mess it up because 'you do it so much better'. And yes, you need someone to enable them to behave in this twattish manner but it's one of my bugbears too. My dad would have starved in a well equipped kitchen. Just after mum was recovering from cancer dad phoned me because he was making her beans on toast in the kitchen of the home he had lived in for forty years and rang ME because being a woman I'd just know by ovarian satnav where the kitcheny stuff was. I didn't know so he shouted 'Mary! Where's the beans!' up the stairs to my cancer striken mum. She shouted back down where it was. Two minute later he was shouting up the stairs: 'Where's the bread?'

But I know men of our generation who think cooking has nothing to do with them as well. I know one bloke who put ginger into spaghetti bolognaise for fuck sake. Spag bog is practically the first thing you learn to cook - it's not POSSIBLE to fuck it up but he managed. I ask my friend: 'He can read - why can't he follow a recipe?' And she says: 'Oh he'd manage to ruin it ho ho ho.'

One of the things I love about my DP is that he cooks. Not as a Big Favour but because we're partners and I'm not his mother and he's not a child.

whois Mon 19-Nov-12 23:34:58

My mum is a really good cook. BUT she can't cook Yorkshire pudding! Always tuned out like pancakes...

kdiddy Mon 19-Nov-12 23:56:28

I firmly believe that, given time and motivation, anyone could learn a basic handful of recipes that they could then cook on rotation. It is not difficult but it does take practice. Thing is though, if you don't enjoy cooking, that's just not going to happen. It's a life skill, and it takes time to learn, so as an adult, if you can't cook well, it's going to take a fair bit of time and effort to learn and you just might not be arsed. In the same way I know I should learn some basic car maintenance, but find it shit boring, so I'm not going to bother.

This is why I totally agree it is ideal for children to learn the basics whilst they're young though - so they always know enough to look after themselves, and can build on that if they develop an interest in cooking.

FWIW I love cooking and am obsessed with buying cookbooks - but they all assume differing level of basic knowledge and competence so a novice cook could get put off if they pick up the wrong one. I've always found Jamie Oliver recipes simple, easy and really tasty (except 30 minute meals which I actually think you need a decent level of competence to start with)

AudrinaAdare Tue 20-Nov-12 00:12:03

My DD is in year eight and has another 18 months before cooking lessons are over unless she takes it for GCSE and ALL she has made is puddings. Oh, and a french bread pizza hmm

Given the economic climate and future health issues it is more important than ever that the next generation know how to put together a basic balanced meal. I do agree that cookery has been poncerised as well.

Frizzbonce shock at your Dad. Your poor Mum sad

Monty27 Tue 20-Nov-12 00:58:34

I can't be assed to cook.

Nobody starves in here, but gourmet it is not. grin

brighthair Tue 20-Nov-12 01:52:23

I'd love to teach people how to cook blush
That probably sounds weird but I've helped a few friends and seeing how much they enjoyed it and found it easier than they thought made me happy
I'm not great, I learnt from my Mum and growing up in pubs. I can follow a recipe and make things without recipes. Not good with unfamiliar ingredients but I will give it a go grin

I can follow a recipe. But I don't consider that "being able to cook", that's just following instructions, it's hardly difficult!

Being able to cook, to me, means being like my mum - being able to just look at a cupboard of ingredients and go "I can make this, this and that". And then do it without recipes or any sort of outside help.
The only thing I can make like that is pancakes grin And even then it's hit and miss! So I don't think I can cook, really.

Bonsoir Tue 20-Nov-12 08:15:47

YADNBU. Cooking (or rather catering - meal planning, shopping, cooking, serving) is, frankly, a basic life skill that all adults ought to grasp.

justmyview Tue 20-Nov-12 13:01:25

For Yorkshire puddings - you need to heat up fat in the muffin tray for 5 minutes until it's really hot, fill up the tray fast (so it doesn't cool down) and don't open the oven once they're cooking. If you do, they'll sink.

You can freeze them and then reheat from frozen another time. Good to make them in advance in case they don't work!

squoosh Tue 20-Nov-12 13:03:25

Yorkshire pudding = Food of the Gods.

GrendelsMum Tue 20-Nov-12 14:30:47

Yorkshire pudding with syrup and cream = truly excellent pudding

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