November 3, 2013

Cooking with OCD

One of my biggest fears is contamination.  Whether its from germs, bacteria, virus... whatever. I LOVE to cook.  It's pretty much my only hobby besides reading.  But sometimes its really hard.  I've quit cooking for most others except my family.  I love to have parties and get togethers but I won't do a lot of cooking from scratch even if I would like to.  Whenever there's a work or school event I just buy something pre-made at the store or donate money towards food.

I've learned that as much as I love to cook, cooking for people outside my family, and even sometimes for my own family, can cause major panic attacks.  What if I don't cook the meat long enough and we all get sick?  What if some raw meat juice drips out of the package, gets on the counter, then touches a plate or spoon and my children eat off it and get sick or worse? 

Yes, I know how this sounds.  Logically, I know its crazy to worry, worry, worry.  I've never given us food poisoning before so I'm not sure why this is such a big fear. Even with the medication I take, its still hard to do something that I love.  I can feel the panic rising up, it just doesn't seem to get as bad as it did before or the attacks don't last quite as long now that I have a medication that works.

I was excited to make my barbecue meatloaf today.  I don't really have a recipe anymore and I wanted to play around with it anyways to see if I can make it better.  Just opening the package of meat and cracking open an egg are enough to increase my heart rate.  As I was mixing the meatloaf together by hand, my 3 year old asked if she could help.  I don't think I could handle letting her put her hands in raw egg and meat.  It would end up with a completely scrubbed down kitchen, a bath for the little one and probably a shower for me.  As it is, I wiped down the counter and stove really well and the floor right in front of where I was working, just in case anything spilled.
I love to cook.  My kids love to help me cook.  I will continue to try new recipes and teach my kids how to cook.  I refuse to let the OCD rule my life, but sometimes its a struggle.

But if the meatloaf turns out really good, I'll be sure to post the recipe. :)


  1. I don't understand but I do have empathy for you. I just figure that eating some bad or rotten food is good for one's immune system. We as a society have developed allergies because out bodies want something to fight. Sorry, probably not very helpful but this is my take on it.

  2. Though I am extremely funny about cooking chicken (because back home, the only methods to cook it involve 1.5+hrs (normally 2~4hrs), it makes me squirm to try and do it in 15-30min, so I overcook it 11 out of 10 times. (Yeah, that's the right ratio). I used to be quite careful about cross contamination... but I'm not so much, unless it's raw chicken. I've never had food poisoning, but chicken is definitely something I'm quite afraid of... and something I eat most of the time too. Figures! Something that helps me greatly is that I clean as I go. Did I use that knife? Quickly wash it. I set out two cutting boards, as I'm normally packing lunch as I'm making dinner. Then promptly wash both after I'm done using them. It gives me some peace of mind that I wont die of undercooked chicken that night.

  3. I use a potato masher to mix meatloaf, because as sure as I use my hands, something happens--phone rings, something is knocked over and needs me, my nose itches, I start coughing and need water--always something.