Then, there are those of us who cannot cook and must simply depend on others for sustenance.
Don’t get me wrong, I know my way around a kitchen. The refrigerator is that big box in the corner, and the oven is the thingamabob with the hot gizmos on top.
It was simple to avoid mastering gastronomic skills. I left it to those who find it creative, even fun. They, being codependent, allowed me to make it this far without learning which end of a spatula to hold.
My mother was good at cooking and did not allow me to try. As a “Leave it to Beaver” mom, she believed I would eventually find someone to care for my nutrition. She was right.
In college, I chose my roommates based on their ability to put food on the table. One college roommate was an outstanding chef whose social life nearly forced me into culinary school.
They chose their roommate on his ability to clean and tolerate sleep deprivation. As part of the bargain, I mastered the art of loading the dishwasher and scouring pots.
My spouse was not chosen on her ability to cook, but the fact that she can take low-cost ingredients and create cuisine is a real plus. Besides, I love her.
My contribution to mealtime has been the ability to be both hungry and grateful.
It could be an exaggeration to say that I cannot cook. While I do not know how to barbecue or how the oven works, I am well-versed in omelets and Top Ramen.
The microwave was created for folks like me, and we embraced this new technology despite the early requirement of wearing lead shorts to use it.
Not being able to cook does not, however, keep people like me out of supermarkets. In fact, many of us are drawn to them.
Aside from the fact that we have no idea what to do with many of the ingredients, we can walk the aisles like Alice perusing Wonderland. We marvel and are amazed at such miracles as flour and Swiss chard, items we note on our way to the deli or to the racks of canned tuna.
While people who actually cook soon lose their admiration for open-and-heat frozen dinners, those folks who cannot or will not cook accept all sorts of burned offerings without question or comment. We think of ourselves as open-minded.
Besides, we do our part as consumers. If not for us, the whole restaurant industry might have long ago gone away.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4201 or emailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.