I cook pretty much every night after work, too. It isn't anything elaborate, but they are at least what I consider 'real' recipes - I'm fond of Rachel Ray recipes, and CL and SL have a lot I use also. I don't do it for the joy of cooking, but because I don't know what else we would eat that we be both healthy and affordable. I truly don't understand what working parents who don't cook are feeding their kids.
I think one of the things that bugs me is that Pollan's article just assumes that more time spent in the kitchen = greater pleasure out of the food, and I think that especially for those of us with young kids, that is simply not true. Sure some kids are mini-gourmands (and it sounds like Pollan was), but *most* kids are not. And many spouses (like mine!) are not either. My family is usually just as, if not more, happy with the 30 minute version of a dish than they would be with the 1 or 2 hour version of it.
When you start to cook, as when you begin to live, you think that the point is to improve the technique until you end up with something perfect, and that the reason you haven’t been able to break the cycle of desire and disillusion is that you haven’t yet mastered the rules. Then you grow up, and you learn that that’s the game.
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker