Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cooking and the Atlantean Fallacy

I'm snowed in at home today, so I thought I might take a moment to illustrate what I think of as "the Atlantean Fallacy," and how it can be demonstrated through the simple art of cooking.

Let me start off by saying that I love to cook. As time has gone on, I've discovered that cooking and writing are similar in that you feel happier about doing it if you can do it for someone other than just yourself. Like writing, you'll cook for yourself to stay alive--because for a writer, not writing is a fatal condition--but your big thrill comes from seeing other people enjoy what you've made.

Since I'm snowed in right now, I was cooking for myself alone. As I was standing over the stove, adding Italian seasoning to my handmade pizza rolls, I thought about how badly I screwed up the dish the first time I tried making it. I didn't enjoy cooking when I was younger, but that was mainly because I didn't know how. I just thought I could throw things together and make them hot, and magically they would become food. Learning to cook for myself was a terrible struggle--also like learning how to write. The talent was there, and the love of the material, but not the refined ability. In both cases, I knew somewhere in me was a person with ability, but the sheer frustration of trying and failing repeatedly was almost heartbreaking.