Friday, July 25, 2008
You Have No Idea How Much I Appreciate These Nights
The nights when my husband cooks, that is. I don't love preparing meals. In fact, I don't enjoy preparing meals much at all. Cooking or baking one thing? Sure, that I can enjoy. But the daily grind of thinking up, planning, shopping for and preparing a balanced protein/veggie/fiber combo that is not only nutritious but tastes good, appealing to both a 5-year-old and finicky 41-year-old palate? That sucks, and it wears me down, one day at a time.
Some nights, I'm just not up to it. And most of the time, Alex will not complain about my not cooking, because he doesn't want to do it, either. He's tired. I understand tired. BELIEVE me, I understand tired. But if I abdicate the responsibility of providing the meal, my husband will, nine times out of ten, order out. Which drives me nuts, because we can't afford it. So I wind up, sometimes, cooking in self-defense, to keep money from being spent on food that isn't good for us. And I probably don't have to tell you that those meals are subtly flavored with resentment.
The frustrating thing is that my husband CAN cook. He's a good cook, and not just on the grill. He even once, legend has it, baked me up a nice batch of snickerdoodles. So it occasionally aggravates me to pieces that he won't pick up so much as a spoon in the kitchen.
So on the rare occasions that he does take the culinary helm, do I complain if that means a giant slab of beef cooked on the grill? NO, I DO NOT. I skewer up some baby okra, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with seasonings, to accompany those steaks on the grill, and then I get right on out of the way. I know that there will still be a mess to clean up later, but that would've been true if I'd cooked, too. Besides, the man makes a mean steak.
Oh, and those okra? Really good. Brush 'em with oil, add whatever herbs or spices you like, and skewer them. To avoid "okra slime," select the smallest pods, no bigger than 2-3 inches long, that you can find. Roast them over high heat until they're nice and crispy on the outside. Char-marks are good. YUM.
So...how do you handle the daily tasks that no one wants to do, but someone has to?