Of all the kinds of things I routinely make or dabble in, cooking is the one I hate the most.

Cooking is, to be honest, the only one I hate. Because certainly the beauty of having a hobby is that you never have to do it, so the things you do are things you enjoy doing.

For me, cooking has been many things, but with the exception of baking very particular kinds of bread, it has never been a hobby.

Cooking has never felt like a creative act; it’s been more like a latent virus hanging around all the time, relentless in its threat to strike without warning. (You would think mealtimes would provide me with inherent warning, but you would be wrong. My mental block against cooking is strong, and on the nights I’m tasked with making dinner I always seem to glance at the clock at 5:30 p.m. in shock that I haven’t started yet.)