Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kitchen Tales

Some of you will read this first part and think me quite insane.

Whatever.  ツ

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 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. (Remember, Naomi does her own cooking and is often in there, also). 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 rather nice, I'm finding, for me to (after these decades) 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 place the jade-ite plates 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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Unknown said...

I think my wife likes the idea that I do most of the cooking here and yes, I clean up afterwards too. Men, I think,for the most part really like to cook.

Storybook Woods said...

Yes, I do all the cooking but hey if hubby liked it, I would be glad to let him do it. Enjoy!!!
xoxox Clarice

K.E. said...

I have a friend whose husband makes these fabulous meals.
These are apparently the kinds of dinners requiring the use of every saute pan, two or three cutting boards and various prep bowls are used. She is on kitchen clean up detail. Which takes all the enjoyment right out of it for her.

Sounds like you have the best of both. Think of it as a reward for all your years of love and hard work. :)

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Ah, count your blessings! It may not last forever, and I bet Tom will let you make whatever special you would like to make anytime you ask. But for now, enjoy! As you are!

Donetta said...

Hi Girl
My husband makes hot dogs, nachos or oatmeal. Enjoy those burritos

Blu-I'd-Blonde said...

My husband does some of the cooking---that is if I buy Marie Callendar's box dinners, self-rising pizzas(the Kroeger brand on sale), pot pies, and other pre-cooked meals. Do those count? Sometimes I feel really out of it because I don't cook all the time, but then I get over it real quick when I make some of my favorites like chicken noodle soup, ham & green bean soup, hamburger soup, and Oh, did I mention Chili?.

I appreciate that he's the half-time dishwasher and doesn't complain too much about it.