Staring at full stove top or at a cabinet full of different types of pots and pans can be a daunting sight for a night when dad’s cooking. If there is anything that keeps dads from taking a step into the kitchen, it’s fear. We hide behind machismo and bravado, but the reality is for many men cooking is a scary prospect.
Which burner do we use? The big one or the little one? Should I use a cast iron skillet to cook the pork chop or the one with the non-stick coating? What’s the difference between imitation vanilla and pure vanilla extract? What makes us fear cooking?
We Like Control
Men like to be in control, and when we’re pressed into a situation that we’re unfamiliar with, then we can lose that control. With a million pots on the stove and million different ingredients and a million different cooking utensils, control easily gets thrown out the window. You end up with a frazzled dad trying to flip pancakes with a pair tongs and stirring eggs with a spatula. Even with a cook book or a recipe, cooking is a very fluid process. Not every piece of meat cooks the same and not every ingredient does what it’s supposed to do. This can be very hard for some men to deal with.
Many of us grew up in a traditional home where the mom did the majority of the cooking and we hardly ever cooked anything. So when we became adults, we weren’t prepared for the vast world of cooking. It’s only through experience that you recognize what goes with what and which utensil works with what foods. You develop short cuts to make things easier and when something goes wrong, you can take care of it. Without that experience, a fully stocked kitchen can look like a mad scientist’s laboratory. Sometimes it’s easier to just shut down, then try something new.
Getting Over Your Fear
When it comes right down to it, there is only one way to get over a fear of cooking. Do it. The two biggest reasons we fear cooking will go away if you keep working at it. If you crave control, then you’ll learn by doing. There may be disasters, but we learn from every mistake. You’ll learn control by getting experience in the kitchen. It’s never too late.
For more helpful tips about cooking, visit www.dadsthatcook.com.