Do men ever really appreciate the things we do for them?
Back in the days when we were first married, Kevin used to love having a wife who cooked. He would brag about how he would come home to find me chopping things. He would generate envy among his friends. He had a wife who loved to cook. How lucky he was!
*Sigh* It was bound not to last. He takes it for granted way too much.
I had some leftover red wine from my last dinner party. I wanted to use it up before it became undrinkable, so I decided to make Coq au Vin with it. I made homemade mashed potatoes on the side. It was an ambitious meal for a weeknight, but what the heck. I was home all night. I was able to do laundry and clean the pots and dishes I was finished with as various phases of cooking allowed. It was a two hour process, but Kevin came home late, so everything was on the table before he was home.
Feeding him chicken can be frustrating sometimes. He claims to only like white meat, but if you give him a breast, he freaks and says it's too much. That was the first complaint of the night. On the good side, it was the only complaint for the night. After all that time and effort, it better have been.
Close to the end of the meal, I asked him how it was. I wanted to know it was worth the effort. I got a noncommital, quiet "It was good."
Do men really get it? I know there are male chefs out there who appreciate food, but why is the average non-chef husband so clueless? I think I could serve him Hamburger Helper and get the same reaction. I remember looking into his kitchen cabinets in his apartment when we were dating. I found jarred pasta sauce, instant mashed potatoes, and cold cereal. His freezer had frozen Tabatchnik chicken soup. I swear he doesn't notice the difference between well-prepared homemade food and instant crap. I think he appreciated the fact that I cook mostly from scratch in the beginning, but the honeymoon is over, home cooked dinners have become the rule and not the exception, and he still can't tell the difference.
I am so tempted to try a little experiment on him. I want to make a Sandra Lee recipe, something with lots of jarred ingredients, and see if he reacts to it with the same level of enjoyment he reacted to Ina Garten's Coq Au Vin (too bad Sandra Lee and Rachael Ray don't have their own bastardized versions). It's not an easy task to find one. Do you know how many Sandra Lee recipes are covered in cheese?