(Autism) Cooking

Me and cooking have always had a love/hate relationship. I love the theory of cooking, creating art using food, the aromas, the taste, etc. But in practise this goes horribly, horribly awry!

With some of my veteran friends (people who have had long term friendships with me, who frankly deserve a medal sometimes for that!) they can recant various horror stories of my attempts at cooking. The non-pancake, no one was sure what it was. Some believe an alien from another world enters into my kitchen when i wasn’t looking and died in my pan! And then there was the time i managed to burn a bread roll, despite it still being ice cold…

That one was a rather interesting incident…

I’m sure my poor, home economic teachers from my secondary school whom tended to not last long as they would suffer some sort of emotional breakdown, could tell you some horror stories involving me. Including the time i nearly burnt down the school. Alarms went off, firefighters arrived, chaos ensued.

The problem starts when the cooker or hob is turned on. At first its all good, the heat is low and i’m there doing my best chef impressions. Nigella Lawson is my favourite. But then once the heat is turned up, and things become a little hot – to me at least – i can’t actually touch anything at that point. Which means…i can’t turn stuff off!! Ahhhh!! Dire! Death in firey flames!!

Luckily, whenever i’ve cooked in the past, it’s always been when there’s been people around, who can turn stuff off for me. And i’m there, hyperventilating!

Most of the time, now, i have an arrangement with my parents. In payment for free tech help, i get cooked dinner each evening. It’s not ideal, and it is frustrating. I want to be like everyone else, who doesn’t have problems using a cooker or hob. Even microwaves can be difficult, judging by how long the food is cooked for in it. Anything over 2 minutes, it gets too hot for me to remove the food. When i use oven gloves or even a tea towel, i can either still feels the epic hotness through the material or its too bulky and everything goes everywhere because i can’t grab it properly.

It’s just a frustrating mess. A frustrating mess that regularly depresses me.

At one point i lived on sandwiches, sausage rolls and pizza hut. But one can only do that for so long, because one gets very sick of the very sight of a pizza hut or supermarket advert.

To tell people, when you’re 30, that your mummy still cooks for you is one of the most humiliating things to do. I feel the judgement, the confusion, the amusement coming from everyone i mention it to. And its horrible.

In terms of being in a couple, cooking becomes more fun. Because, i like helping with the prep. And i make sure i do the dishes afterwards. At least…i do try to…. but sometimes distractions happen…

People have joked that i should get some Kevlar gloves. But what they don’t release is that its not just my hands that struggle with the heat, but its my face, my eyes, my arms, my body in general! It can be uncomfortable or even painful. Oh and please, please don’t try and test me with it. I had one person ask me how far away could i feel it, what does it feel like, etc. Just don’t. It’s not fair and its very uncomfortable mentally as well as physically.

Even holding a mug of some hot beverage can be problematic.


And it’s not just hot things. I get the same problems even with things that are cold. On a hot summers day, to hang out with me whilst eating ice cream from a tub, i’ll be sitting there with a tea towel or two wrapped around the tub for me to hold, as i’m furiously digging away at that one clump of chocolatey goodness that SHALL be mine!!

Things can be problematic when it comes to having to hold cold things out in public. Like a drink from some eatery place, or even just holding a drink bottle in a shop queue that’s just come from their industrial fridge. I swear the fridges are colder than the artic! Do drinks really need to be THAT cold?!

Unfortuently i haven’t found a way round this yet. So if you see me hopping on one foot to the other, wincing in the process, shaking one hand and the other – whilst swapping the bottle from one hand to the other, it’s not that i need the loo. I’m in pain. So in this situation, please be a hero and hold it for me, i’d be so grateful!


Interestingly, i don’t have any problems eating hot or cold foods or drinks. Weird.