It’s no secret that I will never be a contestant on Master Chef Canada. I don’t enjoy cooking. I have so many things I would rather do than shop for fresh ingredients and spend hours in my kitchen fussing over chopping and mixing. It’s not that I cannot cook; it’s that I don’t want to.

I understand the value of a home cooked meal, I really do, I just don’t have the desire to cook it. Sure, I make dinners, but that’s only because I have to. I ensure they have the required food groups, but I certainly don’t present meals like they are fine art. Our repertoire is more grub than gastronomy (unless that is a clever word for gas). Besides, my kids are just going to put ketchup on whatever I make any way.

It’s amazing the judgement I get from people when I openly declare that I’m not interested in culinary pursuits. It’s like I have failed at some test I didn’t know I was taking. My Instagram page isn’t full of images of my fabulous food triumphs. I prefer to document the adventures I am having because I am not in the kitchen.

Every one of my close friends enjoys cooking. They seek out new recipes and spend hours in their kitchens every week batch cooking meals and baking treats. They carve time out of their schedules to cook. Grocery stores excite them. They have spice racks with actual spices in them. I am baffled by this. Because they know I don’t like to cook, they like to stir me up by bragging about their culinary prowess. They send me photos of their culinary masterpieces and report on the praise their creative dishes receive from their family and foodie friends. (Picture me applauding in slow motion). They offer to send me recipes. Eye roll. I love these friends dearly, but I don’t always like them.

But, I admit I am envious of their passion for something I don’t understand. I am curious. There must be something I am missing with the joy of cooking thing.

Every now and again I surprise my friends by declaring my own succulent successes. I can actually cook. I can read and follow a recipe, when I have time and am in the mood. However, for this to happen, the moon and stars must align. The weather outside should be unpleasant, preventing me from going anywhere more fun than my kitchen. I don’t like interruptions, so everyone in my family needs to be elsewhere. I need my fat pants, my favourite T-shirt, my hair in a ponytail and a spotless counter top. But critical to the entire event is good music. I need the right tunes at an appropriate volume to get my groove on. Then, I swear, culinary miracles happen.

Like hamburger soup, a recipe shared with me by a friend (thanks M) on her social media page one cold, grey rainy day. I saw it and thought it looked doable and, best of all, affordable. I rolled up my sleeves and cranked the tunes full blast and crafted a delicious creation with enough portions to feed my family, and still put some in the freezer for the future. Because, for the record, I am that good.

The Carpenter loved it. My parents did too. The kids couldn’t put ketchup on it. Nobody died. Score one for Kelly. Good thing there is some left over, because that’s my annual cook-off complete.

Slurp that, foodie friends.


Kelly Waterhouse