Who made women in charge of dinner, anyway? My husband Gus is a great cook. But he says he can only do it on the barbeque in warm weather. Ovens “do him in,” he says. Well, what about me? Everything in the kitchen does me in.
I have been making breakfast, packing lunchboxes, and coming up with dinners for my entire adult life. Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and even chicken Cordon Bleu for special occasions. My God, I have run through every single recipe in my box. Moreover, I never once indicated an epicurean bent. I never once asked my mother if I could put on an apron and help her make cookies. And I always thought raw cookie dough was disgusting—no spoon licking for me!
But I got married. Gus was very muscled, darkly attractive, and he listened to me very intently. I fell in love. We had a small and tasteful wedding. Yes, at first, when the honeymoon trip was over, I thought it was mildly amusing to try to make dinner. Candles, omelets for two, you know.
All of a sudden, there were two babies. Thomas and little Essie needed nutritious meals. I became obsessed with pureed vegetables and organic fruit. Once we moved on to solids, good God, I had to provide sustenance for four people every single day. No more omelets—it takes a long time to make four omelets, one at a time. Plus, Thomas and Essie say that “breakfast for dinner” is embarrassing. So I plod on, Googling “easy week night dinners,” and “entrees with fewer than four ingredients.” I have come to hate the grocery store.
It is a never-ending dilemma. I no sooner get one roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and dilled green beans on the table that dinner is over, everything is in the dishwasher, and I have to come up with another supper in less than 24 hours. I tell you, all this meal planning is incredibly wearing. I have food fatigue. Perhaps some women think that if a genie suddenly appeared before them, they would wish for jewels, mansions and wealth. Not me.
I would wish for a cook.