One cooking skill I have not been able to master is the art of “eyeballing it”. Just seeing the words “dash of salt” or “pinch of basil” sends me into complete panic mode. How much is a dash? What constitutes a pinch? Am I going to use too much and ruin my dish? Am I going to use too little and under season my dish? Why, oh why, can’t you just tell me EXACTLY how much to use? Please!
I measure everything out precisely. Good skill to have for baking but not so handy when preparing dinner in a hurry. My friend Michele and I were discussing recipes for our Asian themed Cooking With Friends party…she was making potstickers and I needed her recipe so I could include it in our recipe books. She was having trouble getting it to me because she hadn’t measured anything for the recipe and she wasn’t sure how to put it down on paper to share with the rest of us. My measuring insecurities breed jealousy. Yes, I was actually jealous of my dear friend for her ability to create such a complex, and as it turned out, amazingly delicious dish without any measurements. I wanted to be able to cook like that. Watching cooking shows doesn’t help either…their ability to create dishes without the aid of a recipe makes me want to stuff my head in the sand. Why can’t I move past this? I was beginning to think that I have some sort of phobia. And just for fun, I wanted to research this possibility on the internet. But what would I search for? It’s not a FEAR of measurements…in fact it is just the opposite. But I thought that would be a good starting place so I typed in “fear of measurements” on Google. A website, www.PhobiaList.com, popped up and I started there. There are hundreds of phobias listed on this website but not one of them pertaining to measurements. Damn! I knew it was just me. I am the only cook in existence that can’t live without my precise measurements. The closest phobias that I could use for self-diagnosis were these:
Atelophobia – fear of imperfection
Decidophobia – fear of making decisions
Ok, both are true and both fit the bill. But I couldn’t use either as a diagnosis…they were too vague and didn’t describe my condition. I needed something more definitive. What about Dashophobia? Or Pinchophobia? Or what if I just got off my damn computer and fixed this problem where it truly lies…IN THE KITCHEN! But before I head into the kitchen to cure my atelophobia and decidophobia, I had to keep reading this list because…well…it was funny. There is a description for just about any type of phobia out there (except mine of course). Here are just a few that pertain to cooking, cooks, chefs, foodies, eating…well you get the point…that fit into this blog:
Carnophobia – fear of meat
Alliumphobia – fear of garlic
Alektorophobia – fear of chicken
Cibophobia (Sitophobia, Sitiophobia) – fear of food
Lachanophobia – fear of vegetables
Arachibutyrophobia – fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth
Mageirocophobia – fear of cooking
Consecotaleophobia – fear of chopsticks
Deipnophobia – fear of dining or dinner conversations
Geumaphobia – fear of taste
I am thankful I do not have any of the food phobias listed here. Especially Mageirocophobia..fear of cooking. I did, for many years, suffer from Mageirocophobia and I am oddly thankful for that – it led me to this blog that I now write. It gave me the title for my blog, Spring Chicken in the Kitchen. It gave me my tagline, Cooking by Trial and Error. But now I have a new issue and I do want to overcome my own undiagnosed phobia. I want to be able to add a pinch of basil to my meal without a full blown panic attack ensuing. And I want to be able to create my own dishes. I mean, I am a self-proclaimed expert at following recipes and I can make fabulous dishes by following the precise measurements. But I want more creativity and freedom in the kitchen. So it’s off to the kitchen I go to tackle my insecurities. I’ll be checking back soon…stay tuned. Happy Cooking!