What If One’s Husband Is A Cook Par Excellence, Able To Whip Up A Feast On His Own?

A husband able to cook well is a blessing. And whom do we thank? His mother, of course, who was so farsighted on your account!

A husband able to cook well is a blessing. And whom do we thank? His mother, of course, who was so farsighted on your account!

Ruchika Thukral writes in her heart-felt, hilarious piece here about how stressful it is to cook with her husband. She says, “My husband likes to think he can cook, but to be very frank, his culinary skills hit rock bottom when Maggi was banned”, and asks why mothers don’t teach their sons to cook.

Well, try this for size and stress:
1. what if your husband knew not only to cook,
2. but cook to international chef standards,
3. can whip up a mean german chocolate cake with 3 or 4 delectable layers,
4. and his own lasagna from scratch, (no shop-bought dough sheets for him, no sirree!)
5. and turn out a feast of a 5-course South Indian meal for some 20 people,
6. all on his own, no less!
7. while you are a functional, because-its-necessary cook, simply intent on putting out a nutritious, basic meal that keeps stomachs filled and the family well-fed.

BUTTTT… and as you can see it’s a big but here (mine of course,), he is the primary income earner and I am the primary ‘cooker’. I’ve also started to earn, and he also pitches in with housekeeping and cooking.

It’s a problem… for another reason

However having a husband who knows his creative way around the kitchen and is a better cook than oneself, means one gets to hear this pointed out much of the time by most people in hidden ways.

Descriptive of article content with original pic

My Kitchen Counter – Vegetables for Sambhar

I don’t think people mean real harm, but the stereotyping and the assumption of gender-based roles seems to be so deeply conditioned, that anything different is a disturbance. It takes us all out of our comfort zones.

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So when guests come visiting, and they find that the husband is at the stove (he cooks better for larger numbers, remember?!), and the wife has cleaned and spruced up the house and is shepherding the kid, or even that she has gone out to get bread and eggs, it is prime time content for teasing comments and commentary that border on a little bit of accusation.

Let’s say all this is manageable and I just shrug to any such comment, and he retorts to any witticisms. And perhaps with time, stereotypes and comfort zones are changing too.

Please – my cooking, my way

BUTTTT… an even bigger but this time, still mine; imagine the tragicomedy when,

  1. anytime that there is a good dish in the plate, everyone assumes the husband has cooked it, and this time the wife has!
  2. Or no matter that the wife also knows her way around the kitchen, she gets well-intentioned advice on how to do things from an all-knowing husband (sigh!)
  3. and there is always the good meaning tip or trick to be taught to her:
  • “you know, if you just keep the temperature at moderate and for longer time, it will turn out well”,
  • “those vegetables can be diced like this, see”,
  • “it’s easier if you hold the knife with the thumb placed horizontally like this”

(He may be right, but she wants to do and learn it her way, but of course!) There are way too many buts in this kitchen, methinks.

And she has to give continuous reminders, that advice and solutions are best received and accepted when solicited.

According to season and state of equanimity, these reminders take on different flavours – patient or impatient, angry, tender, peaceful, irritated, wry, humourous, ironical, satirical, sarcastic, accepting…. Spices of life and all that!

And I’ve accepted my cooking

As I write, I realise one major inner shift that has happened for me over years of practice and self-examination – that I have given myself permission to be a functional cook.

I have given myself permission to be the woman who will happily outsource this activity whenever possible, but also do it with sincerity when it is my responsibility.

I have given myself permission to relate to every event in the kitchen –
(every sizzle that I hear,
every squish / every firmness that I feel,
every colour that I see,
every seasoning that I taste,
saltiness that I smell every time),

With my whole being and my truest intention, and not just as something I am obliged to do.

And recently, this inner permission that I gave myself has started to manifest outside as well, as lesser expectations and more acceptance! Thank the lord above that this cooking trigger for stress has reduced considerably in size.

Plus I deeply thank my mother-in-law for teaching her son right along with her daughters, to be super self reliant and efficient (even excellent) with cooking and all housekeeping skills!

Image source: shutterstock

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About the Author

priya nagesh

Yoga therapist in the Krishnamacharya tradition who also adapts Reiki, chanting, life coaching & Ayurvedic practices in her healing spaces. She is committed to building collectives and communities that have the praxis of Yoga at their read more...

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