Cooking used to be a chore. Consider early man, who spent a good five hours running his prey to exhaustion, and then, panting over collapsed antelope, had to ponder Step Two.
We’ve got it easy. Meat comes pre-felled, vegetables pre-grown, oil pre-pressed. All we have to do is toss these ingredients into a pot that someone else forged and set it over a fire that someone else built and installed.
Truly, it’s the age of convenience.
Cooking, however, is still a chore. Many a modern man meets the challenge by outsourcing the prep work. The grocery store — or delivery service — offers pre-cut vegetables, pre-mixed sauces, pre-chunked stew cubes. Fine developments in the history of dinner.
It’s a pleasure to find a recipe that needs no shortcuts, one that’s simply simple. Say, a soup that calls for one main ingredient, 20 minutes and a spoon. If you don’t count the 12,000 years it took to develop agriculture and indoor plumbing, it’s a snap.