Can Your Daughter-In-Law Cook?

Instead of fixating on just cooking skills, people should recognize and appreciate the many other qualities a daughter-in-law brings to the table.

“Can your daughter-in-law cook?” That was the question on everyone’s lips when my son’s marriage was arranged. It seemed like cooking was the only thing that mattered, as if a woman’s worth was measured solely by her skills in the kitchen. But I wondered, what if she couldn’t cook? Would our lives suddenly become flavorless? Did we not eat and enjoy the food ever before? Why should things change all of a sudden?

Cooking is just one aspect of a person’s abilities and character. Instead of fixating on this one skill, people should recognize and appreciate the many other qualities a daughter-in-law brings to the table. Kindness, intelligence, work ethic—these are the things that truly matter. But unfortunately, in our society, cooking often becomes the first step in the servitude culture we proudly promote.

As for my daughter-in-law, I remember seeing a post on her Instagram handle—a botched-up cake she proudly shared, failures and all. It made me smile. I didn’t bombard her with questions about her capabilities or plans. It was her life, her choices. I simply wanted to give her space to bond with me, to see if we could be friends. And over time, we did click.

In just a few months, she became like a daughter to me. We cared for each other deeply. And when it comes to cooking, oh, how she’s grown! From failed cakes to culinary masterpieces, she’s come a long way. She even recreates my dishes perfectly with a little guidance.

She once said, “I like to cook when I’m not forced to.” And it’s true. Cooking should be a joy, not a chore. It’s like art—creating something delicious brings its own kind of happiness. But when it’s forced, it loses its magic.

“Yesterday was a moment I’ll cherish forever. My daughter, who’s always been my sunshine despite her special needs, posted a video of her attempting to dance. As I watched her move with such joy and determination, my heart swelled with pride. But what truly moved me was the reflection in the showcase beside her—a glimpse of my daughter-in-law, guiding and encouraging her with a smile that lit up the room. In that instant, I realised how profoundly she had become woven into the fabric of our lives.

It’s been three years since she entered our family, initially a stranger but now a beloved member. Her presence has brought a newfound richness and depth to our household, filling it with laughter, understanding, and boundless love.

In the past, I’ve always been the one to handle paperwork and bureaucratic tasks for our family. But recently, for the first time, my daughter-in-law took the reins and filed my forms for passport renewal. It was a simple gesture, yet it spoke volumes about her competence and willingness to lend a helping hand wherever needed.

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Beyond her culinary talents, which have blossomed into something truly remarkable, she possesses a knack for organization and management that never fails to impress me. I often find myself reminding her not to let cooking become a mundane chore, but to approach it as the artful expression of creativity and passion that it truly is.

Looking back, I’m grateful that I didn’t prioritize cooking skills when it came to him choosing a partner, nor did I encourage him to do so. Had we pursued that path, we might have ended up with a predictable confection—a candy we wanted, but not necessarily one we needed. Instead, we’ve been blessed with a delightful assortment of surprises—a box of chocolates, each one bursting with its own unique flavor and charm.

As we savour these unexpected joys and revel in the richness of our shared experiences, I can’t help but feel a profound sense of gratitude for the journey we’ve embarked upon together. Life is sweeter when we embrace the unexpected, when we open our hearts to the myriad possibilities that lie before us. And in my daughter-in-law, I’ve found not just a family member, but a kindred spirit—a true gift to treasure always.”

Image source: a still from film Thappad

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About the Author

Farida Rizwan

I am Farida Rizwan, 57, Counselor and Psychotherapist working as Senior Curriculum Developer with Chimple Learning. I am the founder of My Giggle Garden, Preschool, and Daycare. I am an ardent blogger @www.chaptersfrommylife.com read more...

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