Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Definition of Cooking

There is an ongoing debate in the household: The definition of cooking.

I work 10-12 hours a day preparing food for others. Even though I am a manager, I spend copious quantities of time making food for someone else. I rarely eat at work simply because there is no time to sit and enjoy a meal. You grab a quick bite here and there as you can, if you can.

She works in an office environment. There is a languid lunch hour that can be used to dine out or microwave something quick depending on the work-load at the moment. I've never heard of her preparing food for the rest of the office, or anyone else for that matter.

That forms the basis of the great debate:)

When I get in from work, I'm usually famished and looking for something to eat. Her answer is often "why don't you just cook something?". My reply is always: "I hate cooking".

My definition of cooking is anything that involves the preparation of food to be consumed. This includes microwaving, toasting, spreading mayo, and opening cans. Her definition is spending an hour or more over the stove.

Once when I came in I went into the kitchen to get something to eat. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was cooking a sandwich, to which she replied "Making a sandwich is NOT cooking". I argued the point that it was. After several minutes of back and forth over the issue, she worked toward getting the upper hand by saying that "cooking" was the application of heat to something.

Ha! Then *I* am right!!!! You see, if you take a slice of bread out and spread mayo on it, the mayo gains heat from the surrounding air since it's now out of the fridge. If you open a can, the friction from the can opener actually applies a minute amount of heat to the surrounding food item contained within. If you think about it, any handling of food items causes a rise in temperature, no matter how small. It would take a sterile lab environment with special equipment to avoid any heat transfer when something is handled. So making a sandwich, technically, is cooking (according to the given definition).

She, of course, disagrees. That is her option:)


  1. "Languid" my happy asterisk.

    And for the final word on "cook", let's consult dictionary.com, shall we dear?

    Cook - verb
    1. to prepare (food) by the use of heat, as by boiling, baking, or roasting.
    2. to subject (anything) to the application of heat.

    I rest my case. And friction doesn't count. Do note that it isn't mentioned. Boiling, baking, or roasting, yes. Brisk rubbing of mayo onto bread, not so much.

    Nice try though :)

  2. Second definition: To subject (anything) to the application of heat.

    I rest my case:)

  3. You were not applying heat. You were creating it.

    I keep meaning to point this out, but I'm at work every time I remember. Finally, though... victory is MINE!!

  4. ROFL you two are a riot!

    And I fear this is exactly the same logic that both my husband and daughter would use on me (both love to cook).

  5. Don't worry Angel, I've got your back:)