I can recall the kitchen being my family’s meeting place. We would all hang out with mom as she was cooking the evening meal, my sister’s often stayed closer to learn a bit of cooking while my brother and I were content to think cooking was a wonderful, mysterious endeavor we would never understand.
As an adult I was able to avoid typical cooking duties by having a wife that enjoyed doing it. I relegated myself to the BBQ grill where (exercising the patience of a shrew) I ruled the with a firm hand on a spatula and another on a water spray bottle to beat down the flames coming from the fat soaked charcoal that would burn my cheap hamburgers. But rule I did.
My first honest consideration of a culinary nature came after watching a friend cook some hot wings. I saw her cook hot wings on a number of occasions, it seemed effortless. This I discovered is a timeless truth, when someone makes a task seem effortless it’s because they’ve put in the time to be fully at ease with it. I asked her to teach me the “how” of cooking hot wings and bravely enter the domain of the kitchen. As it turns out, her kitchen was a very hot place. I never really considered that good hot wings come with a price, the process requires you to be near a hot deep fryer and a skillet that percolates with butter and hot sauce and spices.
My biggest mistake in learning to cook hot wings was rushing the preparation work. I can’t tell you how many wings died a vile death at my hands because of this.
Our national discussion regarding healthcare has an interesting parallel to my own cooking adventure. The idea is pretty good, but arriving at something that works for our country seems like a mystical event.
In any case, it’s time to step into that hot kitchen and demystify the process. As a country we will err to rushing the process through, as Congress seems to be doing now. I believe the idea has merit, we ought not rush the cooking.
My first steps into the National Healthcare Kitchen came after marrying my Canadian wife nearly two years ago. I brought all my misconceptions with me to Canada, naively believing I’d find a ready audience sitting at my feet, absorbing all my American thoughts of our better ways. Thankfully my Canadian family are a friendly lot, never condescending, and tolerant of my ignorance.
I learned that most of my ideas against the Canadian system were the tired drive-by editorials I’ve been hearing for years. For example, the number of Canadians coming to the States for treatment is so small no one can measure it. The hoards coming here for treatment is urban legend, nothing more.
I have heard for the better part of my life that national healthcare in other countries is horribly flawed. My exposure to Canada’s system does not support that assessment. Not that Canada doesn’t have issues, they do, but the disdain found in some US circle for it is completely unwarranted.
I don’t believe we’ve had enough open debate on the “how” of cooking up our own version of national healthcare. Always good advice to anyone regarding building something new, use existing examples, take the good parts and start adding them together, contribute your own flare and only then will you make a system that is good for America.
By the way, in time, I too was able to produce tasty hot wings, making the task seem effortless. Even my kids have asked me to teach them the “how” of cooking them.
Thanks for reading this far.