17 Seemingly Ordinary Things Only Terrible Cooks Will Understand

Things terrible cooks will understand
Being a cook is no child's play to you. Those who are horrible at cooking, whether man or woman, know that sustenance does not come easy. Nor cheap. You cannot feed yourself, let alone feed others, your wacky, inedible creations. It's sometimes humiliating, but only people marooned on this unholy ground will empathize here.
Being one of those people who have never expressed any desire to be associated with the kitchen since childhood, you realize in adulthood how important cooking is. Especially if you find yourself suddenly living by yourself. There is no one to rely on, and you miss mum's cooking. So you set out on an adventure to teach yourself to cook.

You look up online manuals, you call all your friends and relatives for guidance. Even though they have their bosses screaming the house down for attending your "urgent" call in the middle of a meeting. You make mistakes and try to eat whatever you've made. But then you have to throw it because it makes you puke. Several weeks of this practice makes you realize that you're not such a hotshot at cooking. You're horrible at it, and what's worse, you don't even come close to the people who can boil an egg right. And that is when the struggle begins. It's you vs the world in an endless battle of "hey you can't cook but you can still pour the wine well" jokes.
You still have no Idea how to Haggle for Veggies
Larder infested with Mice
You like to go to Whole Foods, or any mall with fixed pricing, since you've never really perfected the art of haggling for veggies and calculating the weight for the quantity you want at the local market. Sometimes, the veggies you buy rot in your refrigerator because you never bring yourself to actually cook them, and people think you have a corpse hidden in there. Organic foods, thus, have no place in your tummy. Just sometimes, when someone decides to take pity on you...
You Burn Everything
Man burning barbeque with people watching
Whenever you cook anything new, you have to burn it at least 50 times before you can make it edible. (Edible does not mean that it tastes good at this point). You realize you will go hungry and usually dump the 51st attempt in the bin even before it has finished cooking, and rush to the nearest Chinese place around the corner.
Local Restaurant Owners know You by Name
They are literally your saviors and best friends, and frequently drop by at your place because you practically finance their restaurant and send their children to school. You bless them each time they come to your rescue by sending you free home delivery whenever you burn your dinner, which really is every other day.
Your Culinary Repertoire is the Same as a 4-Year-Old's
Young child cooking
Your culinary skills are pushed to the limits when you are asked by a well-meaning guest to add solid carrots to the ready-to-eat noodles you're making for them. You are so used to making food in one way that you have no idea how to make additions, alterations or deletions. Oh, and you're limited to "cooking" eggs, tea/coffee and instant noodles for impromptu guests. Not impressive.
You Defend Yourself a bit too much
Whenever anyone asks you whether you can cook, you reply with the much-abused answer of "you know, cooking isn't a skill that everyone needs to possess. I know enough to not let myself go hungry. It's not necessary to be a star chef in your own kitchen." They're internally rolling their eyes at your ignorance, but who cares, right?
Your Family Cringes each time You Wish to Cook
Witch brewing potion in a cauldron
Whenever you are inspired by a good dish you see on TV, you know that you have to make it. What you don't know is that your family is hoping that you burn the food so that they don't have to eat it. Your friends prefer inviting you to their homes rather than coming to yours and "insist that you don't take the trouble to make anything". Contrariwise, when people come over, you tend to order out and tell them that it's more "convenient" than cooking.
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You think Recipes are Rocket Science
Lady learning to cook using recipe book
You have no idea how to follow the clear, concise instructions that are listed out, and you have no idea why they are written in such weird language. You cannot measure anything out, let alone add cumin as per your taste. Even if you do measure everything, which you always do, something always and inevitably goes wrong. The weirdest thing is that you cannot understand how people can just make adjustments mid-recipe off the top of their heads. It's like a superhuman power to you.
You've lost Weight
That's what everyone tells you two months after you've moved out and are living solo. Half the time you end up hungry, and the other half you spend trying to learn and try recipes that are going out the window, so you end up frustrated sometimes and not order anything though you're hungry. You later gain the weight back with all those takeouts anyway.
Free Food is a Blessing
Healthy, delicious, home-cooked Thanksgiving meal on a table
Whenever someone invites you for an impromptu night out, or forces you to stay back at their place just a little longer for an impromptu dinner, you know that you're going to be counting them among your "bestest" friends and send a prayer to the good Lord for all the food he suddenly sent your way without you moving a muscle or spending a dollar.
The Microwave Test
Spotlessly clean modern kitchen and dining room
The true test of a bad cook is to check their microwave. If it's used as storage space or simply looks good as new (including the packaging), it just screams HORRIBLE Cook. Because everyone knows bad cooks use microwaves for everything they eat. Whether to heat leftovers, cook instant noodles, make tea, microwave dinners or pizza, a bad cook will indulge in the pleasures that the microwave has to offer. However, a worse cook will never touch anything in his kitchen, including the microwave.
You Still Count As a Foodie
Foodie sampling different food from a table
When people just assume that you cannot be a foodie if you do not know anything about cooking, you're the first one to set them right. You absolutely adore food and if you could marry pasta, you would. Since that wasn't a sane choice, you chose your husband/wife. Though you cannot cook or identify what goes into your pizza, you can still eat and appreciate the juvenile flavors. Caviar was not made for your unsophisticated taste buds.
Finished Product vs Recipe Image
What you expect: golden toast. What you make: burnt toast
There is such a huge difference between the way something you cook is supposed to look, and what it actually looks like. If it's actually a solid, yours is liquid (semi-solid if your cooking stars were feeling lucky). If a clear liquid, it ends up looking like muck. So, yeah, you have taught yourself to not be disappointed by what you attempt, and your family members have no expectations from you.
You have all Menu Editions of every Restaurant
You were never this diligent for even your schoolwork, but now you have all possible released editions of every menu that a restaurant has designed and redesigned over the years. These menus don't ever get dumped because they're years of memories of home-cooked food thrown away.
Gas Burners Bamboozle You
You have never understood why burners have heat settings. It's always puzzled you why different ingredients and recipes have to be cooked at different temperatures. Why can't there just be one setting for chocolate and meat? Why would chocolate burn at all? That one time you made brownies and set the oven to the same temperature at which your husband makes fish, you ended up "bringing down da house." Chemistry was never your subject in school, so maybe that leaves you in the clear...
Your Smoke Detectors go off all the Time
Woman standing in smoking kitchen with food burning
It's embarrassing, to say the least, that your smoke alarms have gone off more times than you can remember, and you receive so many judgmental looks from firefighters and lots of jokes cracked at your expense from snotty neighbors who've come out to see the fireworks.
Canned Foods Stock the Pantry
Woman carrying TV dinner tray
Your entire pantry has no spices, no fresh ingredients, and no cutlery or cooking paraphernalia. People coming over to your place take a look at your pantry and realize that they're probably going to leave your home hungry. Every brand of packed food is present in the pantry; it's the newest stock bought in bulk to last two months in a total siege.
You Have Other Talents
In spite of all the crazy cook outs, people around you know that you approach cooking seriously and they never discourage you from doing it. They even eat all your food sometimes because they don't wish to hurt your feelings even though you know they think you're a terrible cook. Besides, you know that you can knit up a smashing jumper or paint a lovely canvas painting for those who put up with your cooking. All settled. You have other talents besides cooking, which loved ones appreciate.
Whether male or female, if you know that cooking is not made for you, be not disheartened. There are ways to improve, and within a few years of good practice and not giving in to takeouts, you'll know how to make a passably impressive turkey at Thanksgiving. There are always classes for dummies that you can attend, and there are always willing guinea pigs to try your dishes on. So happy cooking!