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July 17, 2010 / tyandolivia

You can’t eat ‘nunchuku’ skills

Olivia: In case anyone has noticed, I’ve been rather chatty on the blog here. What a shock. So I decided to let Ty entertain you with his thoughts on cooking. Enjoy.

Ty: Why Cook?

The short answer… I like it.

The longer answer… In my opinion, cooking, lies at a point where art, science and survival meet. It’s primal and it’s modern all at the same time. There is so much to know and so much to learn and just when you think you’ve mastered a skill, you learn about something that you had never heard about.

Humans have always gone to great lengths to find new foods and ways to prepare them, even in the biblical account of the very first people on earth, some of the first information God gives is not when to pray but what there is to eat. A few chapters, after exiting the ark, there’s no mention of Noah building a city or even a house, he PLANTS A VINEYARD and starts making wine. Food is part of being human, it reminds us of our mortality; food represents a physical need and desire that is consistently with us, even when satisfied. There’s no time to scratch the surface of the spiritual implications of food, but the best brief example is the consistant Judeo-Christian theme of heaven being a huge dinner party, hosted by God himself (My guess, he’s a pretty good cook).

Plus, you can’t eat ‘nunchuku’ skills

But, returning to the small picture. When I was growing up, my family didn’t have much money, we didn’t get to eat out often, so usually my mom would spend time making meals at home. She was a very resourceful lady, which was fortunate, because she had to feed my dad, my three younger brothers, me and usually one or two of the kids from the neighborhood. When finances were good, there was a big meal of beef stew or homemade pizza, or my dad’s chicken wings and baked macaroni and cheese. When things weren’t so good, we would have the more economical huge pot of spaghetti or chili that would last a couple of days. But no matter what the food was, preparing good meals for us was the way my parents showed us love – not in an eating disorder sort of way, but in a heart-shaped pancake way. From a very young age I wanted to learn to show people love like that; there was also something that seemed really grown-up about being able to walk into a grocery store and assemble a meal.

One more thing that drives me to cook is a lack of “skills”. I think Jon Heder said it best, in his immortal role as the great Napoleon Dynamite, “I don’t even have any good skills…You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills… Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills”. I myself am a very average musician, artist, dancer, athlete and all of the other things that make guys attractive to girls. However, when we were dating, I wowed Olivia with my kitchen skills. Now, if she ever wants chocolate mousse for desert or needs a piña-colada after a hard day, I can take care of it. She may have married me if I couldn’t make a proper crêpe, but I wouldn’t bet money on it. So, what I’m saying is it helped me pick up chicks.

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