I grew up in a household with strict rules and unyielding edicts: Never wear your shoes in the house, always tidy up before Rosie, the cleaning lady, comes over, never chew gum (it's unladylike). And cooking, with its dirty dishes and splattering sauce pots, was also excluded regime of regulation. It's not that my mother can't cook—she's actually quite competent in the kitchen—it's just that she prefers not to. It's too messy, too unpredictable, too chaotic. It doesn't mesh with her German sensibilities, which prize order over everything else.