Some Dads do not cook. Some Dads don’t cook because they don’t want to, and some don’t because they think they cant. Some Dads don’t cook because they have been successful at negotiating with Moms to do other household tasks in exchange for not cooking.
This is unacceptable. Think about it: what happens if nobody ever cuts the grass again? What happens if the oil in the car never gets changed? Bad things, sure, but nothing compared to NOT EATING FOOD! No matter how stable and secure your family situation is, nobody over the age of ten should have to rely exclusively on others for sustenance. Plus, Moms go out of town sometimes, and you and the kids have to eat, like, several times a day. Take-out gets old quick.
So now all Dads must cook, in order to live within the natural order of things. This article contains no recipes (they will follow) but rather some strategies to maximize your cooking usefulness.
Always have canned meat and minute rice in the house. It’s not health food, and you don’t want to eat it all the time, but it can be an absolute lifesaver if you need to throw dinner together in a big hurry. Plus, it’s fun to say “canned meat.”
Cook for leftovers. If you have to dirty a pot or pan anyway, why not get multiple meals out of it? By the way, the term “disposable plastic container” is misleading, as it implies that there’s such a thing as a plastic container that isn’t disposable.
Learn a few recipes, and practice them. Cooking is not baking, there’s room to improvise. Follow the recipe as closely as you can the first time, the look at what (if anything) you want to be different. “Dad’s making ‘his’ chicken cacciatore again” still sounds better than “Dad’s neglecting us again” or “I’m bringing this up at the custody hearing…again.”
Sharp knives = good knives. Get a sharpener and learn to use it. A sharp knife is actually safer to use than a dull one, as long as you’re not acting like an idiot, or actually being one.
Save up and get one large, heavy, Texas-sized frying pan or skillet. A simple test, which you should do at the store, is to hold the pan at arm’s length with one hand and count to ten. If you can do this easily, put it down and get a heavier pan. Once you find the right pan, resist the urge to hit stuff with it to see if it makes that “bonnnnnnnggg” noise (pro tip: it totally does).
If you do these things, you will learn to cook. This is good. You will be more self-sufficient. You will be more useful as a human being. You will be a better Dad. People will think you are slightly more attractive. They will be right.