Some of you will read this first part and think me quite insane.
In the Good Old Days, I did all the cooking. All of it. And I preferred it that way for only I (I reasoned) knew best how to keep us healthy, how to shop for cheap groceries and how to clean up the kitchen after creating a meal. Cooking also helped defined who I was as a homemaker--and probably--as a human being, too. (Hey, I'm a homemaker. That's what I do.)
Well, some years ago Tom, at his job, began cooking a wildly popular chicken burrito mix for his co-workers. He'd make it about once a month there in the plant's kitchen. Then he branched out and every three months or so, he'd make the burrito mix at home for the three of us.
At first I minded, but just a tad. I wondered if Tom was actually saying, "I prefer my chicken burritos--you make them all wrong," but soon, I saw that actually, he just enjoyed playing Mexican Cook. And I became ok with that.
Flash forward to this winter: Tom has nearly taken over my kitchen.
And well, I didn't go down without a fight, let me tell you. I complained and threatened, especially when he accidentally, over time, broke three or four of our (1940's) jade-ite dishes. And made burritos for himself every night for two weeks straight. And when he asked Naomi to bring home more chicken so he could make more burritos while I was standing right there (let's draw a curtain over what happened then).
Mostly, I felt like I'd lost my kitchen, my territory. (Keep in mind Naomi does her own cooking and is often in there, too). And mostly I felt threatened. I mean, here I was making a variety of low cost, filling meals, saving the day (and our budget), but what did Tom want more? Burritos. Not even chicken burritos, always, but anything you could push around in a pan, sprinkle some cheese over, then wrap up in a tortilla.
Well, finally this week, I just gave up. I'll simply say I've been beaten down into freedom. I mean, hey! It's really rather nice, I'm finding, for me to (after all these yeas) loll around on the couch watching tv (or not watching and just enjoying silence) while Tom slaves in the kitchen then brings me a very pretty burrito on a plate. Kinda downright luxurious, you might say.
And wow. What masterpieces Tom has created! We very often have no chicken left in the house yet my oh my, he's learned to make the meanest, leanest, tastiest vegetable burritos on the planet. I am so not kidding!
He even cleans up the kitchen afterward.
And hey, he enjoys cooking, so who am I to take that away from him? Oh, I did take away the jade-ite plates, placed them all inside a hutch and substituted my yard sale, ten-cents-each white plates, but hey. Things are more peaceful now that way, especially since--anytime Tom wants to make dinner for us--I tell him, "Hey. Knock yourself out."
Life truly is easier when you realize it's who we are that defines us, not always what we do. And also, when you--sometimes--just go with that silly flow.
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