Celebrate Cooking Together
I can be a bit of a control freak. (Okay, a LOT!)
Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it backfires on me.
When it comes to the kitchen, I am a MAJOR control freak.
Early on in my marriage that backfired on me.
I come from a family that spent a lot of time together in the kitchen. We cooked and cleaned together. We hung out in the kitchen. Most family gatherings revolved around food and meals. Making food and eating food together was an important part of our lives.
My husband’s family was not into cooking and gathering around food like my family.
When we spent the first night in our home just after getting married, I planned an elaborate special breakfast. Holidays are always big affairs with menu planning for weeks in advance even if it’s just the two of us. I’ve been known to go all out for special dinners in the middle of the week.
Richie, who would have been happy with fried chicken every night when we first married, always thought this was a bit strange, but smiled and went along with it.
He enjoyed the chaos (and the food) from the comfort of his living room chair.
I expected Richie to step into the kitchen with me. To help cook. To help clean. Or at the least, offer to do the dishes if I did all the cooking.
Richie had never cooked more than a piece of toast, and his lack of understanding how things worked in the kitchen wasn’t entirely his fault. So, I invited Richie into the kitchen to help. We were still in “honeymoon” phase, trying to please each other, attempting to figure out how things worked.
But things didn’t go as expected.
I expected more. I expected knowledge. Basic understanding of how to slice an onion. How to load a dishwasher.
I got angry when that didn’t happen. There was frustration. There were words. Ugly words. There were tears.
It did not go well, to say the least.
Sixteen years later, the kitchen is still a place where we don’t quite jive yet. Recently, we’ve tried to rectify that.
Here are five tips to work better together in the kitchen.
- Start Simple
If you’re working with someone who is new to a kitchen don’t throw Beouf Bourguignon, at them the first time out of the gate. Start simple with things like sandwiches or breakfast.
- Learn Together
Take a cooking class together. Watch some kitchen technique videos on YouTube. Watch a show on the Food Network and then recreate the recipe together.
- Swap Jobs
If you cooked, your spouse/significant other should do the dishes. But this should also be reciprocated.
- Meal Plan Together
My husband seems more excited about helping in the kitchen if it is a meal he is excited about.
- Release Control
There really is more than one way to slice an onion and more than one way to load a dishwasher. The dishes will still get clean and the food will still taste great even if the pieces of onion are sliced into 37 different degrees of thickness.