Spicing Up My Marriage By Cooking With My Husband
Despite my husband's fondness for fast food as a teen, he has never been anything but supportive about my healthy cooking (and my willingness to "dish" about our experiments on my blog at http://writeonjana.com).
He may tease about vegetables showing up in the strangest places (pancakes? cookies? taco meat?!), but he is thankful that my unwavering commitment to nutrient-rich "real" food has forced him to eat healthier .
When it comes to meal planning, shopping and food prep, I'm in charge. I'm home, I'm the one with the passion for health/nutrition (on a budget) and so I do it all. My dear husband's job is to entertain the kiddos while I cook (which is a blessing because, as I mentioned before, cooking with my children is one challenge I prefer to avoid on weeknights). And although he often cleans up after the meal, I ultimately have the free reign of the kitchen.
This actually works for me. Our house is small and wasn't built with a modern family in mind (I don't think they needed to plug in the grain mill and the KitchenAid stand mixer at the same time back in 1890). So, despite the advice that Cooking Together Can Heat Up Your Marriage, the kitchen is off-limits when I am preparing a meal.
But meal planning on a budget is difficult... we haven't eaten out in quite a while and our boring daily meals leave us searching for satisfaction elsewhere (got a recipe for cookies?!). Because my primary concern is feeding the food allergic kids safely and healthfully, I have neither the time nor the energy to make something special (particularly if I know it will be rejected by the most discriminating palates at the table).
Sensing my frustration (and feeling some of his own), my husband stepped in with some great Mediterranean recipes and hundreds of links to online tutorials. And I am reminded, yet again, of why I love this man!!
To be honest, my first thought was not one of pure relief and enthusiasm... In fact, my side of the conversation went more like this:
"You have to be sure to put all the ingredients on the list at least one week ahead of time because I stick to a very tight budget. And I only shop at specific stores once a month so make sure to give me that information well in advance. You know the kids won't eat this...what do you plan on feeding them? What do you mean you don't have to cook the garbanzo beans?"
Way to support an enthusiastic new cook, eh?! Well, in spite of my less than warm welcome into the kitchen he followed through on his desire to make falafel. And it was fabulous!
Despite my misgivings, it was surprisingly pleasant to spend time together working towards a common goal (even in the tight confines of our kitchen).
Helping me out in the kitchen gave my husband a new appreciation for how much work I do to prepare each meal. He also recognized how difficult it is to stay calm when a budding food critic turns his/her nose up at the meal when it is served.
I, in turn, realized that I must give my husband more "say" in what foods I make. Cooking for food allergies is tedious. As a result, I often overlook my husband's needs when I cook bland, safe meals. Incorporating fun, ethnic dishes that we both love will take the sting out of our infrequent "date nights" and bring satiety back to our evening meals... and if we cook them together, it may put more "spice" back in our marriage as well!
I am a health nut, passionate communicator, perfectionist and HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) who rarely respects my own limitations. Born in Michigan and raised in Texas, I am excited about raising my family in Lakewood (although I could do without the snow). After 7 years as a working mother, I recently left my job to devote more time to my family. My enthusiasm for research and passion for natural health and wellness have been critical to resolving my personal health issues and made it possible for me adjust my family’s diet to accommodate multiple food allergies and environmental sensitivities. I blog about my experiences at writeonjana.com.