If you do someone a favor, the first time they appreciate it. If you do it a second time, it becomes your job. That’s how I ended up doing all the cooking at our house. One evening my wife had to work late, and to do her a favor, I decided to cook dinner. My wife raved about how good the meal was. I’m not a conceited person, but when someone discovers how great I am at something, I’m not going to be rude and disagree with them. I thought it tasted like something you would get in a fine Italian restaurant. My wife went so far as to say it was the best plate of Spaghettios she had ever eaten. The next night she had to work late again. Since I had received so much praise the night before, I decided to make dinner again. This time I wanted to do something fancier and make something you don’t just dump out of a can, so I went to the freezer and took out some TV dinners…the deluxe ones with the apple crisp dessert! The next morning as we were getting ready for work my wife said, “What are we having for dinner tonight?” Thirty-some years later, I’m still doing the cooking.
I really can’t complain doing the cooking, actually I do but it doesn’t do any good. I don’t mind cooking, and my wife does the clean up and dishes afterward which are the chores I really hate. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about cooking and have become good at it. I’m not going to say I’m a better cook than my wife—at least not when she’s close enough to hear me–but I’m more creative. I guess it’s the writer in me coming out. With my wife, it’s as if a recipe is a magic potion that must be followed exactly. If a recipe for chicken cacciatore calls for an eighth of a teaspoon of chopped parsley, and she doesn’t have parsley, she won’t make it. Would a wizard make a love potion if it called for eye of newt and he didn’t have any? It might end up being an Invisibility potion or End-of-the-World potion. If she made the chicken cacciatore without the parsley, it might turn into lasagna or a three-headed troll.
When we were married, my wife went to my mother and found out how to make all my favorite dishes. She did an excellent job making them when she still cooked, which is surprising since my mother never had recipes. I don’t think she owned a set of measuring cups or spoons. She just dumped and tasted and dumped some more until she got what she was looking for. My wife can do the same thing, but when she has a recipe in front of her, she freezes up.
So I do the vast majority of the cooking–soups are my specialty–but my wife still does the baking. I don’t eat many baked goods these days. If my wife wants them she has to bake them herself or do without, and that’s not going to happen.
Anyway my novel County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald is still available for 99 cents at Amazon for those of you who are interested in a good mystery/thriller at a cheap price. Now I have to go and move a load of blue jeans from the washer into the dryer. I don’t usually do the laundry, but yesterday I did a load and my wife said she never saw the whites so white before. I figure I’d do the blue jeans to surprise her, but this is just a one-time deal.