September 17, 2011

Juli's Take on a Year of Cooking and Blogging

When Jeffrey told me he wanted to do a lot more cooking, and then later, when he thought it would be a great idea to blog about cooking, I was a little surprised.  Jeffrey could make a few dishes really well, but hadn't experimented with many new recipes, and he didn't know a lot about basic cooking techniques. 

There was also the difference in our recipe preferences.  My own style of cooking tends toward homey, familiar comfort food. Jeffrey's occasional cooking was the polar opposite- spicy, unfamiliar, and foreign.  I'm a little bit country and he's a little bit rock and roll, as the saying goes.

This is us, circa 1970.  Heh.

Also, if I'm being really honest, most of my cooking was about avoiding having to do a lot of clean up.  If you work 60 hours a week, as I do, this priority goes straight to the top of the list!  I didn't want to spend an hour cooking, and then another hour cleaning up.  I often didn't have the energy to cook in the first place, much less wash, dry, and put away all the dishes afterwards.

Caffeine, why have you failed me?  WHY?

So, I wasn't against the idea of having someone else cook.  Especially if we did the clean-up together!  But what I really wasn't prepared for was how strange it would feel to not know what we needed at the grocery store, or not knowing what we had in the refrigerator or pantry.  It was an eye-opener, being on the other side of that equation.  I wonder if this is how most men feel when their wives are the primary meal-preparer?

Something else I found surprising was the joy Jeffrey clearly felt as he created our meals.  This was an emotion I hadn't associated with cooking for years.  Somewhere along the line, cooking had become drudgery.  It was a shock to realize this about myself!  I still have Barbara Billingsley fantasies, but they mostly revolve around not having to make a living by working outside the home- a super appealing fantasy for a person who works long, LONG days.  For a working woman, who still has to wash the laundry, muck out the cat boxes, vacuum, and keep the house in reasonable order, being a housewife sounds like kind of a Nirvana, truthfully.  I would at least be relieved of Evening Guilt, which is what happens when you've worked a 10-12 hour day, but can't really relax at home because you know how much there still is that Must. Be. Done.  

Barbara, I would love to step into your shoes for awhile.  Even if they are high heels!
The second most surprising thing was that Jeffrey generally approached cooking as a hobby.  He loved reading anything about food prep, and was continually reading reviews and searching out the best tools for the job. For instance, I might have gone the rest of my life believing that raw chicken was impossible to cut if we hadn't purchased a wonderful set of knives, which cost more than I would have been comfortable spending had I been the one in charge of the kitchen.  I certainly NEVER would  have asked for a set of pots and pans for Christmas, or put a cast-iron skillet on my birthday wish list!  But these are all good things.  Maybe it takes a man to realize that you really do need to have the best tools you can afford for the job at hand.  It was also a good lesson for me that the attitude with which you approach your efforts makes an enormous difference.

Even when this is what you see:

Love you, Jeffrey.  Keep up the good work.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:05 PM CDT

    Thanks for a great year of food, recipes, and blogging. I am happy to share with you that I made your spaghetti recipe again tonight, as Bill prefers it over dad's! I am so happy that you are turning into a foodie, Juli! lol I can't wait for some new Thanksgiving adventures as we are hoping to come again this year. Last year was so much fun, that we've got to cook again. Love you both...
    Your sista.. Cecelia