Making Versus Taking

Why cook for people who don’t care if you cook?


With only rare exception, I do not celebrate holidays of any kind–no birthdays or weddings, not Christmas, or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day–nothing. If that sounds crazy to you, read this.

Sometimes, though, I do make an exception. I usually regret it but sometimes it is convenient (for example, to spend time with many family members at once) or I have a particular obligation (for example, a new boss publicly invites me to his or her house-warming party, having never read my blog or broached the subject with me otherwise), or sometimes I just make an exception for my own reasons.

Regardless of how I end up at some parties, many parties are bring-a-plate-to-pass-around events and, of course, being vegan, I am sensitive about what I bring. Generally, I won’t bring anything too weird for non-vegans.

I go a step further, though, by deciding to never “make” a plate for events, holidays, or parties. I always buy and take something to the festivity instead, especially things like work food days.

For me, after factoring the cost of goods, effort, and time to make food for 4-20 people (often mostly strangers) who “graze and glaze” over every dish, tossing a token compliment here and there, it is not worth the total cost paid from my life.

I would rather hand $40 to a deli, restaurant, or supermarket for the convenience of taking something I know tastes fine than spend $15 on ingredients plus 2-4 hours of time making. 2 hours alone is worth $40 to have to myself or spend doing something I would rather be doing–even if it is just watching a movie (which would cost another $40).

Some people love to cook and love to have their food reviewed. This obviously does not apply to everyone. I know I am being a bit curmudgeonly here and I am fine with it.

For me, it is better to take something tasty to a party than make something that hopefully turns out well, and then worry about getting my Tupperware back.

If you invite me to your festivities, I will probably say “No thanks”. But if I do go, I would rather take my cake and eat some of it, too.