This is not a post about meal planning or healthy meals to feed your whole family.
This is a confession about how I don’t cook for my husband. Ever.
Okay, okay…maybe once or twice a month he’ll ask me to make him stir fry or baked chicken, and I’ll whip it up while rolling my eyes and huffing at him for being SO DAMN NEEDY.
It’s not that I don’t like to cook. I just don’t like to cook for him.
What I like, is to start with something like Garlic Bread with Baked Ricotta to dip it in:
Then a little Rigatoni with Merlot Marinara Sauce & 3 Cheeses baked in:
Followed by some Angel Food Cake covered in homemade Rhubarb-Strawberry compote, served with vanilla bean ice cream:
Plus some plump strawberries dipped in crème fraîche, then rolled in raw sugar:
Plus lots of delicious red zinfandel to wash it down.
So every other week, I invite a few girlfriends over with their kids (tonight there were 12 kids and 4 of us moms), cook like a fiend, and laugh my ass off while the kids run amok in my basement. We all moan over the food, tell our kids to stop tattling/wrestling/whining 100x and end the night a bit later than intended.
It. Is. Awesome.
My husband likes about 5 things, and rotates them. He doesn’t decide what he wants to eat until immediately before he eats. Which is around 9pm. He also likes his meats overcooked to the point of dry (a sin!), hates cheese (who IS this man?!), and isn’t interested in trying new things (honestly, it’s like a married my photo negative).
I spent the years 2000-2005 trying to work with this. Then I had our 1st kid, and was like Holy Shit This Is Hard Feed Yo Damn SELF.
Our son turned one year old in 2006, I decided I’d try to cook for Husband again, then a month later I started barfing profusely which meant I was pregnant again and said NO KITCHEN NO NO NO! until approximately 2009, when our 2nd kid was 1.5 years old.
Then I had 2 kids, a new kitchen, and decided to try to cook for him again. I wasted so much time and energy – which I do not have at all to spare – cooking for him then watching the food sit in Tupperware uneaten until I tossed it out, that I put my foot down in 2010.
I told him that I will not cook for him unless:
1. He tells me by 3pm what he wants for dinner.
2. He requests something we actually have all the ingredients for, because I am not taking two little kids to the grocery store after 3pm No Effing Way.
In our family, my secret is that I love to cook for groups of people, but I rarely ever cook for the Love of my Life.
I never eat with him. Never. Ever. Our dinners are 4 hours and many cheeses apart.
But that’s okay.
Because every week or so, I get to scratch my itch to cook. I go on Pinterest to try out new recipes or recipes I’ve already tried & loved, dig through my file of recipe printouts covered in my handwritten notes, or the collection of cook books, or even just make something up off the top of my head. I test these out on my hilarious friends who make every moment during our meals memorable, and it becomes so much more than a mealtime. It becomes an event where secrets are shared, praise is handed out, tears are shed, and friendships blossom to the next level.
There’s something about these sit-down meals that I cherish. It’s how my love of cooking and inability to take it out on Husband has forced me into collecting friends who love to take that second helping, who jump up to clean up after the kids so I won’t have to, who appreciate my efforts and show it in ways more than just saying “Yum!”
I’m actually glad Husband is a pain in the ass when it comes to eating dinner.
If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have nights like tonight, where I have a belly full of great food and wine, a face sore from laughing, and a head swimming with happy from all the great conversation I had with three wonderful friends.
Do you have an arrangement like this, that’s unconventional?
Do you have any never-fail recipes to share with me?
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