My problem with baking is that baking is a science, requiring precision I’ve always lacked. (I was the girl in advanced Chem who had to ask for extra credit assignments because my labs always exploded.)
I’ve tried baking on — like sweaters, like formal dresses — and just as quickly I’ve flung it over the dressing room door, screaming about it being too tight, too scratchy. I never had any shoes to go with it. And then there is this: I have always been doubtful of anything that turns its nose at my adding an extra pinch of salt.
Slow cookers, though – they let me add anything.
My Sundays lately have been reserved just for this: shopping for carrots, chopping onions as that space behind my eyeballs screams at me (I inevitably end up the opposite of Sylvia Plath, sticking my head in the freezer to clear the tears), tossing raw chicken into slow cookers and topping all of it with spices. So many ingredients that used to be foreign to me, cumin and nutmeg, fresh parsley and cilantro; there’s one soup I make that calls for salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaf, and together they make a gorgeous, muted rainbow that makes me feel like a real chef.
You can make fun of food pics on Instagram, but I like them. I see the pride in between the leaves of lettuce. I’m not a builder of anything physical; my hands are soft and well-lotioned. So I like to look at something I’ve cooked, something I’ve created, even if it’s only a stew and a crock pot did most of the work, and see a success. Something accomplished on a Sunday.