Monday, January 30, 2012

The Whole Cooking vs. Eating Out Debate

I'm not sure this is a topic I've really discussed here. You might think "She lives in NYC & works in entertainment. Surely she's eating out ALL THE TIME." I mean, look at Sex & the City where Carrie even talks about how she can't cook in one episode. I've not seen it in ages & in no way do I have an encyclopedic knowledge of that show but I do own all the seasons on DVD & saw both of the movies with that former friend who tried ruining my sister's wedding.

Perhaps that's a reason I've not seen it recently: it's tainted for me b/c of that former friend. Another good reason is if I'm writing something with even remote similarity to something I've seen, I don't want to be unduly influenced by it while in the writing process. There's inspiration & then there's copying; I want to avoid copying.

Anyway, one important Southern stereotype that actually isn't inaccurate when you're talking about me is that I can cook. I may not be a master chef but it's sort of a cultural expectation where I grew up that if you're female you learn some cooking skills since eventually, you're going to have a husband and kids to take care of & it's irresponsible to have them live off fast food. One of those "making you more marketable as a wife" deals.

Cooking in many circles of women is like sports for men. There's different cuisines, different interests & styles but it's something many of us can actually talk about & make attempts at. Plenty of women would look down on a woman who couldn't even boil water or thinks TV dinners are good for you 7 days a week.

I actually didn't get to do full cooking until I went to law school. I do much more of it now since I'm married, have more income to buy things, a kitchen with an oven, stove, appliances, etc. & just can't eat certain things anymore because they mess up my stomach. I also like knowing what's in my food & if I cook it, I'll know.

Part of my interest in cooking came from eating something at a restaurant & feeling I could make it better (usually less greasy but also less fatty or without something the restaurant had in it that I hated). My mom also did more cooking when we were younger & we helped out on that. I even took Home Ec in middle school & tried taking this Foods & Nutrition class in high school.

However, the high school class was taught by this mega-bitch who demanded you to eat whatever was prepared even if you: had an allergy, didn't like it, had a small stomach (you didn't get to pick your portion size) or was nervous about someone's sanitation practices. This woman even checked the garbage so if you didn't want something & wanted to leave, you had to sneak the food out & throw it away elsewhere (far more than the simple taste). I ended up doing that once when we had this absolutely disgusting dessert in the class. I transferred out b/c of it though I had some entertaining classmates & got to sit with a table of older kids (including a guy who was our class clown/troublemaker).

I found out later she had cancer but I didn't (and still don't) think that made her behavior okay.

Another great thing about cooking for yourself? You never have to deal with the BS of restaurant wait times. I have to agree with this woman's sentiments. I don't consider myself to have some weird food tasting issue (I'm not a non-taster); I just don't have that kind of time in my life & lack patience for long lines.

This is not just a trendy restaurant issue; The Cheesecake Factory & other chain restaurants suffer from this as well on Saturday & Friday evenings.

Plus, my food will probably come out better anyway & be the way I want it, not how YOU want to serve it to me. I absolutely, without a doubt, despise any restaurant that dictates to me how my food is going to be. If I ask for "no onions" on my food, I expect to get it.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not some high maintenance bitch but at the same time, if I'm paying for it I'll have it my way or you can shove it up your butt. You want to serve it to me YOUR way??? Don't charge me for it! Better yet, why not pay me to be your food taster? Otherwise, don't expect me to spend money for gunk I won't eat & don't expect to have that many paying customers.

Luckily, my husband is also picky & loves my cooking so he'll generally opt for that over any restaurant's food.

Yet another reason home cooking is better? It's much cheaper. This article is a bunch of crap for many reasons:

1. Any smart person knows you shop for sales or find the best deal on something based on a quality/price calculation. Buying from the NYC Fresh Express isn't going to cut it. Try a grocery store with lots of sales & quality goods or even the farmer's market.

2. The serving sizes here are inaccurate as commenters to the story pointed out.

3. They left out the tax & tip. Are they trying to tell people to stiff servers? I'm sure that's going to go over well.

4. Let's also consider the future medical costs when you get a heart attack, diabetes or whatever bad health condition that arises from excess grease, fat, etc. Using a copycat recipe & making it at home is a lot better. Plus, you'll likely eat less at home.

5. Finally, there's those darn restaurant wait times. Some are so long that by the time you've gotten your food, you could have made it yourself & already eaten it ages ago.

At the end of the day, my food doesn't make anyone sick so we'll stick with it. I think eating out should be done in moderation like for special occasions. I couldn't handle eating restaurant food everyday & would not want to. You shouldn't want to either, unless maybe no one in your family can cook. Then I just pity you.

Or, you could go to a restaurant that offers a theme like Hooters or even this one in South Korea.

Now, why has this kind of restaurant not opened nationwide in America? Don't we believe in equal opportunity for exploitation? Shouldn't men have the right to use their looks for the service industry just as women have? Wouldn't gay men & straight women really like this concept? I've been saying for years this sort of thing should be more equal opportunity.

Oh, and I should point out that I'm not one of those women who'd freak out if my significant other went to Hooters or who'd get jealous of a Hooters girl. After all, most people would think I'm pretty enough to work there & I know my husband's only got eyes for me. Years ago, I applied for a job at one in my hometown when I was trying to find a job after college (ideally, it was going to supplement this job I applied for & allow me to earn money to move to NYC even quicker); I think I must have failed the intelligence & pushover requirements to work there because I spoke to the manager and I think he was irked about me using it for this supplemental purpose.

I heard later on about Hooters workers who were quite unhappy with extra hours & general management nastiness (I don't remember anything about that location but I heard about it as a general corporate practice).

Vampire Boy even went to Hooters once with friends (I wasn't there) & I'm still somewhat amused by that considering he WAS Vampire Boy (no sparkles or movie star looks, though) + conventionally pretty women did nothing for him. It would be like the biggest redneck you know going to a wine tasting.

The most significant thing he came away with? He thought the food was horrible. Since then, I've heard more people say this about the food.

My husband also isn't the Hooters type & would get pissed if you didn't have good food or were rude to me or him. Flirting in my presence would probably make me amused at best since I know that chick would have no chance in any lifetime. I'd probably also tell her she could do better; my husband's certainly had enough people shocked at my looks & the fact that I'M married to him so it would probably be true.

Anyhow, you're better off learning to cook & eating at home where it's more comfy, you don't have to deal with screaming children (unless they're yours) or lazy parents & can have it YOUR way.

No comments:

Post a Comment