It is certainly true that cooking is therapeutic, creative and all those other faintly creepy self-helpish words. I would love to tell you that learning to cook was part of my journey toward actualization. I would love to tell Oprah this. I would love to tell Oprah this while weeping. But I learned to cook for a much simpler reason: in the abject hope that people would spend time with me if I put good things in their mouth. It is, in other words (like practically everything else I do), a function of my desperation for emotional connection and acclaim.