Growing up, I was not truly allowed to cook. My mother and father were from a past generation (my father was born in 1929 and my mother was born in 1936). In my household, my father and I were not to even approach the stove; And with good reason: we were men, and that meant we were outside doing manly things like killing bears with our bare hands, biting the heads off deer and fabricating turrets that shot fireballs at our neighboring enemies instead of the dainty chores like cooking and weaving baskets. Sure, we men knew how to char a hunk of meat over an open fire, but the question always remained: “How do we combine this meat with the objects our food eats, like vegetables and herbs?”
I always enjoyed science, because I was taught that “manly” things come from it: cars, explosions, new mood altering substances and rockets. Now I also knew that food can come from science. So I took to food as a young child takes to a kitten. Only, I cooked the kitten with a mixture of teriyaki sauce and stir-fry vegetables. It was delicious!
From that point on, cooking was a way of life for me. I would venture into the vast, dark heart of the nearest grocery market, find a pre-dispatched animal (I also learned that one does not need to always kill their own food, as other people do that for a living.), heave it into my grocery basket, and drag it home to my cave. I was delighted to find that those good people who rendered the creature lifeless had gone to the trouble of cleaning it as well! I would then prepare the animal with the gusto of the chefs on the food network and serve it to an attractive female in hopes that she would be so delighted with my hunting and cooking skills that she might find in me a man capable of providing for a family and respond in a positive manner to my mating rituals.