May 21st

theresa albert - my friend in food


Dinner Fears

Whitney's fear

Guest Blogger Whitney Ross-Barris shares her fear of cooking whitney





I have given birth. As a singer and actor, I have performed for thousands of people. I have walked across a swaying rope bridge, 30 metres above violently crashing surf below. I have played guitar naked at a party full of my high school peers. I have eaten a sheep eyeball on live television.

I have faced each of these frightening experiences head-on like a bad-ass lioness… but I, Whitney Ross-Barris, am terrified of cooking dinner.

Why? Who knows? My excuses? “I don’t know what I’m doing!” “Making salad makes my hands cold!” “I always make the same thing, so what’s the stupid point? (Sigh)”  “But, I don’t like doing dishes.”  “I don’t have the right tools.” “There’s no chicken.” “Remember that stir fry where I almost set the kitchen on fire?”

Lame, I know. So, why so many excuses? I couldn’t blame my upbringing. My mother loves to cook and bake and has made some of the most delicious meals I have ever tasted.

The disappointing reality is that my fear of cooking probably stems from my inherent desire to do as little as possible. I am a lazy cook… No wait, I’m lazy. Full stop.

I love my husband, but for years, he has been my enabler in the kitchen. He’s a great cook and – lucky for me – over the years has single-handedly ensured that we haven’t starved. But now that we have a young child, we’re both exhausted at the end of the day and there are some nights when it seems that we silently compete to see who can go longer without making a move to cook dinner. Good thing the kid is still only on breast milk. In the end, we order pizza and then lament our grease and sodium hangovers afterward while we wallow in our ever-tightening clothing.

In my dream world, I am a relaxed, off-the-cuff kind of chef. I look in the fridge or well-stocked pantry and effortlessly create a delicious, healthy, inexpensive dinner made of left-overs and fresh vegetables.

In an attempt to become that dream world chef, I am taking steps to change my attitude and quell my fear in the kitchen. My tools? Google, with its foolproof recipe searching possibilities (“how to boil water?”) and my local farmer’s market with its delicious and healthy offerings.

So, with blog readers as my virtual e-witnesses, I pledge to start getting off my ass to conquer my fear of cooking dinner.

As a token of this pledge, I have bought Swiss chard this week at the aforementioned neighbourhood farmers market and once I figure out what the hell Swiss chard is (hint: it’s NOT a fish), I’m going to make something fabulous and off-the-cuff with it.

Look out kitchen, here I come!

Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert

I love food, try to watch my weight, know more than I want to about healthy living (sometimes I wish I knew less so I wouldn’t feel so guilty when I stumble), am a daughter, sister, friend, mom and wife who worries and scurries the meals onto the table. It is for all these reasons that I completed my nutrition, RNCP designation, wrote my book, hosted my Food Network show, consult with food companies to urge them to get it right (or at least better), constantly write about it, research it, all of this so I can cut through the nutrition and food “news” clutter. Happy to share with friends!


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