I love to eat. But not just any food; I love homemade, locally grown, slow-cooked, made-from-scratch breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The trouble is, I don't like to cook. It's not that I hate it — and in fact a couple times a month I break out the pots and pans and put together a nice meal for my boyfriend and me. But that occasional cooking becomes totally un-fun for me as soon as I have to do it more often.
So if I had the money, my dream would be to hire a personal chef to make scrumptious meals so I never have to think about cooking (unless it's for fun) again. But I had a feeling that other people might not feel the same way, so I posed the following question on Facebook:
If you had the resources (but only enough to choose one), would you rather:
Have someone come into your home to clean/do laundry twice a week
Have someone come and make you dinner (as well as pre-make or otherwise prepare) several other meals for the week, including food shopping?
(The cost for the cleaner and the chef is the same; you still pay for your food separately.)
And of course I got all kinds of answers! Though I would say that a solid majority would choose someone to clean rather than to cook. But the responses get to the heart of what we want to spend time doing.
Joceyln Gordon, creator of HoopYogini, felt much the way I do about food, writing, "Food Prep ~ I enjoy eating, however, I'm not so much of a fan of cooking. I would like meals prepared by an enthused cook who is infusing joy into our meals. Also, I could get things "done" like cleaning and laundry while meals are being prepared. AND, could enjoy some quality time (outside of the kitchen) with my loved ones."
Berkeley, Calif.-based biologist Chris Terry made an interesting point about why we like to eat out: "In house I would prefer cleaning and laundry service. If someone else is going to prepare my meals, I'd rather eat out for the social experience."
MNN healthy food blogger Robin Shreeves based her decision on the fact that she likes to cook, but would love someone to do the grocery shopping: "I hate cleaning! It should come as no surprise that I enjoy cooking. I like to grocery shop, too, but finding the time to do it well (make the menu, create the shopping list, cut any coupons, and actually shop) is tough. I do far more small trips to the store than I'd like. I don't think I'd like someone to cook for me ... but someone to go to the store twice a month for me, and buy exactly what I want them to buy, would be nice. But since you're saying we can only choose one, I choose the cleaning person."
Melissa Goldberg, who runs her own PR company in New Jersey, also likes to cook, and wouldn't give that up for convenience: "I would pay some one to clean. I love to cook and love to know where my food comes from and how it is prepared. I love that my husband really enjoys the meals that I make and have grown to be a better cook year after year."
Brisbane, Australia-based mother of twins and exercise instructor Alexis Presig-Toro is frustrated by the volume of laundry in her home, which drove her answer: "I would love someone to clean the house and do laundry. I love cooking and there is something very rewarding about seeing people enjoying your food. As a mother, laundry does not end, everyday there is another load/loads. Cleaning the house becomes tricky and certain strategy has to be put in place (for me)."
NYC-based makeup artist Kristen Arnett finds cooking to be a fun, creative outlet, extending from the cooking to the tablescape and atmosphere, so she'd also rather have a cleaner come in to do the dirty work: "I like to set a beautiful table with candles if dining with someone. In fact, I will admit that I just ordered a book on beautiful table scapes for 2. I despise the laundry and do it once a month if possible and hire someone to do my scrubbing."
And Starre Tearney, an Ohio yogini and mom, wondered if there was a way to have both: "I'd prefer laundry and cleaning. I really enjoy shopping for food and preparing nutrious meals. Although I like having food easy at times too. Hmm, maybe alternate weeks — have help cooking one and cleaning next — best of both worlds."
As we move into the biggest entertaining time of the year, what would you rather have — a housecleaner or a cook? And most importantly, why?
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