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The Joy of Cooking

August 18, 2010

I’ve recently seen some commercials for the new Lean Cuisine Market Creations. I don’t have this is exactly right, but they go something like this.

A woman in the kitchen says, “I find chopping vegetables relaxing after a long day of work.”

The scene freezes and a disembodied voice says something like, “Who really finds cooking relaxing at the end of a long day?”

it then cuts to this new Lean Cuisine product, a bag that has a mixture of vegetables and possibly some protein that you can just pop in microwave. The vegetables steam in the bag, and then you just put it on a plate and voila! As their website says, it’s “a truly enjoyable dinner experience without the fuss.”

But I actually take a bit of offense to this ad because I do enjoy cooking at the end of the day. After sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen for hours, it’s a wonderful change of pace to do something tangible and physical. Chopping vegetables can also be quite cathartic, depending on how my day has gone.

I will admit, though, that I didn’t always feel this way. In fact, I didn’t realize how much I’d come to enjoy cooking until I had my surgery four years ago and couldn’t cook for a while. I was supposed to avoid bending my arms much, and preferably to keep them propped up on pillows at least for the first few days. Makes cooking a bit difficult.

Once I recovered, I realized how much I delight in this process. I can come home, put on some music, and chop and stir and season away, taking in the beautiful colors of the food, the enticing aromas, all the while knowing that I am creating something both nourishing and delicious. Why would I want to just stick a bag in the microwave and dump it on a plate? Not for me, thanks. I’ll stick with the joy of cooking.

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