|I actually own some cookbooks and have a couple of my mother's recipe boxes.|
It’s messy and there’s the whole stove thing.
I don’t cook because cleaning up during and afterwards brings out my contamination and cleaning obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms.
No matter how careful I am, I sometimes spill food onto the kitchen counter when I mix together ingredients. Or I put down a bowl that held one of the ingredients and it leaves behind a ring of sauce, milk or whatever.
If I have to use the can opener, then I have to carefully wipe that off after I finish using it.
I worry that in cleaning off the counter, I may miss a spot and then ants or bugs might come around.
I don’t cook because a lot of cooking requires the stove. I can turn on the stove OK, but turning it off brings checking behavior with it. Is the stove really off, or do I just think it is? If I leave it on, a fire could start, or my husband might lay his hand on the stovetop, not knowing it was on, and burn himself. So goes my thinking.
Pans on the stovetop can also lead to food on the stovetop, leaving another surface to carefully clean and worry about.
I have all this anxiety even though I’ve come a long way in my contamination and checking OCD symptoms.
I used to wipe the counter over and over, leaning down to view the countertop from different angles to make sure every bit was covered with cleaner. Then I’d clean it again. And again.
I used to check the stove for literally hours, staring at the on/off button, turning it on and off again and again, trying to get to the place where it felt “right” that the stove was off.
I no longer take so much time cleaning and checking the stove. I don’t follow through with all my compulsive urges. I can actually clean fairly quickly and turn off the stove in one attempt.
But the obsessions about cooking are still there, and it’s hard to face them every time I want something to eat.
So I avoid cooking.
Oh, I’ll put something in the microwave. But it’s rare that I mix ingredients and cook them on a conventional stove.
When I do cook, it’s a burden. There are so many things to worry about.
And I just don’t like to cook. I don’t read recipes with the same enthusiasm as my mother, who was a wonderful cook when she was still able to do it, and many friends, who discuss cooking like I would discuss a good book or movie.
I wonder if my dislike of cooking is directly related to my fear of cooking. I would guess that there’s at least a partial connection.
So how do we eat?
Breakfast is easy enough with oatmeal or grits cooked in the microwave, cold cereal, fruit or yogurt. I can eat sandwiches or snacks for lunch. My husband and I eat out for lunch sometimes, for dinner a lot.
We fix a couple of meals at home each week, usually using the microwave. We usually cook things separately, since I’m a vegetarian and Larry is not.
Sometimes my husband fixes spaghetti, with one pot of meat sauce and one pot of meatless sauce for me.
I want to cook
I want to cook more. I want to make food so we eat at home more often than we eat out. Cooking would result in healthier meals for me and for my husband. It would save money.
I want to enjoy cooking, because I feel like I’m missing out on something. I even recently bought a new vegetarian cookbook.
And I want to stop avoiding cooking. I want to stop giving in to the OCD and just push through and cook.
Do you have any suggestions on how to do that? Do you like to cook? What about cooking do you enjoy? How did you get to that place of enjoying cooking?