I don’t know how many marriages can handle cooking together. Actually, in my own marriage we spent years with a division of duties. In fact, I remember once posting a chore list on our refrigerator with “His” and “Hers” duties. They were fairly traditional: he took out the trash and did most of the laundry, I did the shopping and cooked most of the meals.
I say “most,” because he cooked for himself and the kids whenever I had a late meeting, or was out of town. Rarely, if ever, did he cook when I was there to be in charge of the kitchen.
It hadn’t always been that way. When we were dating, I knew he was serious when he had me over to his apartment and cooked bacon-wrapped filet mignon, with a side of fried hash browns and a candle in the center of the table. We didn’t marry with the expectation that only one of us would do the cooking. But, somehow, it ended up that way for many of the child-raising years.
Now that those years have passed, though, we seem to have found a new place—and it’s in the kitchen. Best evenings at home are those when we each have a role to play in getting dinner on the table. He’s terrific at pasta, and my meatballs (from his mother’s recipe) are a good complement. I slice and make the garlic bread; he sets the table.
Maybe it’s because these days, when we do take the time to cook at home, we aren’t under a lot of pressure. We aren’t trying to get out to the next event at school, or tuck kids in bed with homework done. So, when we bump into each other, instead of being irritated, we just patiently wait and take our turn at the small counter. And, since we are, after all, married, occasionally we turn those encounters into hugs and kisses.
I realized this week how much “control” I’ve relinquished even in menu preparation—previously “my” domain. We were planning a family get-together with 15 people, and the kids wanted corn roasted on the grill. My usual method is to husk it and steam it, so I had to research how to soak the corn with the husks on and then grill it. I sent four recipe options to my husband, saying, “I’ll buy the corn—you figure out how to cook it!”
And, he did. It turned out delicious—and the best part was, I didn’t have to husk any but my own piece!
So, if you think your marriage can’t handle any more working together than you are already managing, sit back and analyze your phase in life. Could be you’ll find that there is pleasure in cooking together—particularly if you are willing to give up control.
Here’s an easy recipe (hint: you don’t even have to remove the silks—it’s actually easier to pull them off if you do it after roasting).