What’s Cookin’, Baby?



I have some garlic white wine chicken and butter-basted squash in the oven, so you’re getting a rather stream-of-consciousness post today thanks to the large part of my brain that is distracted by the delicious smells wafting around my head.

I can’t believe I typed that last sentence.  I so rarely get to say that I have anything “in the oven”.

You see, I don’t like to cook… but I love to eat.  It’s a problem.  And not just for me.

Sometimes, when I hear other wives talking about their flaky pie crust or their super secret all-day lasagna recipe, I feel a little bad for Paul.  All across this great land, men are trudging home from work, tired and hungry, only to be revived at the door of their warm, well-lit homes by the savory aroma of a lovingly prepared meat-and-potatoes dinner with a buttery homemade roll on the side.

Paul, on the other hand, often has to rustle up his own grub, as do I, in a process we jokingly call “grazing”, as in: “Do you want to go out for dinner tonight, or just graze?”  Grazing can mean sandwiches, or chips and salsa, or even cold cereal.  I imagine it’s how most bachelors eat before they find that loving woman who promises to put their days of Ramen noodles and peanut butter firmly behind them.  And it must bother me, at least a little bit, because I keep bringing it up.

It’s not that I can’t cook.  I’m actually okay at it, when I take the trouble.  I just really, really, really don’t enjoy it at all.

Well, except for making chocolate chip cookies, but we all know that’s just about eating the raw cookie dough.

I told Paul up front, before he signed on the dotted line, about my kitchen allergy.  He didn’t care.  Strangely, he still doesn’t.  Apparently, my performance in all other areas of wifely achievement is sufficient to overcome my culinary deficiency.  And on those rare but auspicious occasions when I do don an apron and work the knobs on the stove, his gratitude is warm and abundant.

In short, he’s wonderful.

Today was one of those days when the sun was shining just right and the wind came from the southeast and I walked through the front door after work with the inexplicable urge to fire up the oven.  Paul will be home soon from karate class, and I’m looking forward to seeing the pleased look on his face when the first whiff of baked chicken reaches his nose.  It may even make me want to do it again sometime.

Next month, maybe.


5 responses »

  1. It’s the discipline of having to cook and knowing before we left the states that I would need to cook every day everything from scratch that has helped me enjoy or at least not mind cooking most days 🙂 I definitely felt like you in our early years of marriage and I can still identify with the feelings you described now and then. Thankfully, I have a husband who loves to cook and is usually happy to make something if I need a break. Although, the new gluten-free diet has turned him off and he stares at me blankly now when I ask if he would mind making breakfast 🙂 Don’t feel bad about not loving to cook. You are very gifted and talented in so many areas and these bless your family in ways many committed cooks don’t or can’t.

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement, Becky!

      And you’re right–going gluten-free turns things on their ear. Sometimes I fix something the whole family can have, but many nights I end up making something for Katie and then something for the rest of us. It’s hard not to fall into “short order cook” mentality!

  2. Oh how this post spoke to me! I too fall into the “hate to cook” category. When I do choose to make something, I usually go over the top (like yesterday’s homemade lasagna and homemade strawberry pie), but those occasions are so rare that the family goes into shock when I say “we’re eating at home tonight”. And its not Michael that makes me feel bad about eating out (allot), its the kids. It makes me feel about an inch tall when I ask “what do you guys want for dinner?” – translated, where do you want to go eat for dinner? – and they say “home”. There have only been a handful of times that I’ve tried to make something and had it fail miserably, so I think that, overall, I’m a fairly decent cook. But, its the lack of enjoyment that causes me trouble 😦

  3. You could always join one of those cook once a month groups and freeze it all. Then, it would only be one day of misery- and if you were surrounded by some friends, it might not be so bad. 🙂

    • We had a friend in college who was doing this for a while. I can definitely see the appeal, and now that we have a big chest freezer to save things in, I might consider it!

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