Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Shift in the Division of Labor

As my mother could tell you, I've never really liked cooking. Baking is great fun, and helping out while someone else cooks is no trouble at all. But tell me to make dinner and I panic. The stakes are just too high! If I mess something up, not only does it mean that perfectly good ingredients have been needlessly sacrificed, but meanwhile tempus has fugit-ed and the original problem remains: stomachs are empty and must be filled. With Kraft mac 'n cheese, now.

Not to sound silly, but this was one of my primary worries going into marriage. Possibly my only worry, actually. I want so very desperately to be a good housewife and that requires cooking for my husband. The fact that my husband is, himself, a really good intuitive cook, doesn't help matters any. If he were just some schlub who would be satisfied with a weekly rotation of casserole/pasta-of-the-day, I could be lazy....

These past 10 months, I've been spoiled. Evan likes cooking and, during the school year, doing so provided a semi-legitimate excuse for him to avoid homework. And since I was "working" all day, watching babies, I felt fine with him taking over (particularly during my first trimester). A win-win situation! Now, however, Evan is at work all day and I swan around the apartment with nothing to do but amuse myself and wonder, "Will this child ever vacate my rib cage??" And now, add making dinner to that short list.

Here's the marvelous, shocking part of it all: it turns out that I LOVE cooking for my husband. Really. This, despite the fact that my new, temporary, diabetic diet is more challenging to work with, mainly because I can't default to pasta or some-sort-of-legume-over-rice. It requires slightly more forethought and balancing. I still get nervous that things won't turn out (that being particularly true when Evan gets home and wants to know what's going on in the kitchen) and I know not everything comes out as well as it would if, say, my mother had made it. But--another shocker--I'm getting better with practice. And there's absolutely nothing like the feeling when my husband says that something I made (by myself) tastes good.

(Also: this recipe is a winner.)


Jane said...

I'm saying it. I told you so. ;)

Bethany said...

Psh. I should be used to you being right about everything by now. :o)

Susan said...

One of those lessons we all learn -- it takes practice. I remember whining that my mother could diaper Rachel in nothing flat, and the diaper would stay on! Me? It took 10 minutes, and the diaper was floppy and loose. 941 diapers later, I was a pro!

Same for cooking. (In other words, "ditto" to your mom.) Happy cooking!

And by the way, that recipe says it serves 4. Does it really? Would I need to double it or triple it for the 4 of us?

Bethany said...

We cut the recipe in half for the two of us and had leftover chicken, but ran out of veggies. If I were doing it again, I'd up the amount of cauliflower (or mixed cauliflower and broccoli, like we did) and maybe throw in an extra chili pepper and a little extra lime and cilantro at the end.

Elephantschild said...

I feel much the same about cooking as you previously did: the stakes are high, budget is tight enough that ruined food is a concern, and boy, oh boy do I hate the time pressure. I like cooking when I've got all of a leisurely day to do it, but to get something on the table at 6pm every. single. night? I'd honestly rather scrape paint.

Glad you've found a happy spot with regards to the daily cooking! (I fear I may never get there...)

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