In a world where artfully placed avocado on toast is rivalling cat pictures online, and we’re all meant to have a well-thumbed copy of Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook it’s hard to admit to being a Non Foodie (NF).
Especially mothers because we’re the nurturers.
Don’t darn? Pfft, who does! Don’t sew curtains and stuff cushions? That’s what Spotlight is for! Don’t dust? Nobody cares! Don’t cook? Well, how did you get to 40 and not learn how to carbonara the life out of some chicken (or is that bacon…).
We NFs care about many things but cooking ain’t one of them. We don’t care what Nigella seeds are. Some of us have children who beg CAN WE BUY A CAKE FROM PAK N SAVE every year on their birthdays. Or serve up things from the slow cooker that resemble hard-boiled jandals. Our cookbooks are more likely to go mouldy (from the spilt wine) than being over thumbed.
Some of us even find it funny when the tacos are so crunchy they could wound a passing pet but we hide our amusement because you know, the husband isn’t laughing. He’s usually frowning. And hungry.
Plus the children might end up moaning to a therapist one day…’My Mother, She Put Raisins On My Pizza and thought it was hilarious!’
Lucy Lawless, Arianna Huffington, Beyoncé and my friend Claire are all mothers over 40 who don’t cook and they not only fess up to this, they wear it like a badge of honour. They quite happily tell people to take their domestic and shove it up their goddess.
If you think you’re also in this crunchy, overcooked, leathery, bland-sauced baddass NF club then I have news. Join us because the world needs you. Here’s why.
1.The Foodies Need Us To Cook For Them
Foodies can go right ahead and be Domestic Goddesses but what’s a goddess without some worshippers? You play the role of Domestic Gorgeousness – which is somebody who turns up, perches in the kitchen with a glass of gin, regale fine stories for the chef while they cook, and will even do handy, but hated, sous chef tasks like chopping because you like to contribute. And then after being gorgeous entertainment you taste their feast and make them feel great about their creation. Then they feel good and go right ahead and cook another amazing meal for somebody else. Probably their children. And such the world turns on its axis.
You, Domestic Gorgeousness are a vital member of the foodie ecosystem. And when you feel like you need to reciprocate the favour, you don’t. Honestly, because they don’t want to eat baked carpet and they need you to practice on.
My husband asked recently why we don’t have people over and the truth is we’re too busy going to other people’s houses tasting their food
2.You Will Be The Other Grandma
There should always be a foodie grandma and a doing grandma because you don’t want the grandmothers competing to be The Foodie. I’ve seen this once at a second birthday party and let’s just say this showdown ended in tears and chocolate cake smeared all over the two-year-old’s face. The grandchildren will go to the foodie’s house for brownies and rice pudding And they’re coming to you to learn how to play 500, watch vampire movies, steal your gin when they’re teenagers and then tell you all about it after they drank too much.
You are a valued member of the family so go right ahead and let that apron get mothballs.
3. You’re Helping National Storytelling
Somebody needs to watch the other shows when Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules and Hells Kitchen and Baconation are on. There is a cooking show for every letter of the alphabet, which seems excessive. While 95% of the nation watch, with fists in their mouths, to see what Ricky Gervais’ Doppelgänger, or the guy who looks like he’s seen a few too many sunbeds, Pete Evans, say about the duck and cucumber dish, somebody has to watch the dramas and the documentaries. We non-foodies are keeping the national storytelling coffers full, making sure they feed us a variety of stories and not just more cooking shows.
Your scones might not be much chop but your eyeballs matter.
4. And Lowering Therapy Bills
Perfectionism is reaching catastrophic levels. Therapy bills are going through the roof. Anxiety, pills, depression, cutting, suicide, debt, addiction, social media obsession, gambling, drinking – we’re falling apart. Because we can’t all be perfect.
Having to find the dream partner, become a super parent, launch a social enterprise, connect with 75k of our closest friends on Instagram, travel to the cool spots before they become cool, give to the community, dress in style, landscape the driveway, occasionally bust out a half marathon, craft our way out of a haberdashery shop, know how to get the eyebrows perfectly even, change the oil in our cars, go ‘yoga clubbing’, and whip up gourmet feasts is exhausting. If you try to be it all something pops inside and you end up on a black leather couch with a strategically placed box of tissues next to you.
We need more shining examples of people being a bit useless at something, not more perfection. Failure is helpful for the collective good.
Friends need to come over to your house and eat sausages that look like uncircumcised penises, just the once, and then you’ve saved them from perfectionism. They go home feeling happy about their skills (hungry perhaps, but happy) and you’ll forever get invited over with your gin to be Domestic Gorgeousness.
You are contributing to the mental health of the nation.
Don’t worry about people who artfully place their lamb and pine nut stuffed aubergine onto a pesto and pansy decorated white plate so they look like small rescue boats full of minced refugees floating on a rainbow. Don’t feel the pressure to be like them. You go right ahead and keep being Domestic Gorgeousness, with your gin and your stories, because you’re awesome.
And the world needs you just as you are.