This is an understatement every time I use the phrase, but I am not a “typical” farmer’s wife.
One of the ways that I’m atypical—at least if we’re talking about stereotypes—is that I have little to no cooking ability. Literally; it’s sad sometimes. The Dairy Man taught me how to make scrambled eggs. Before we were married I ate a steady diet of grilled cheese, macaroni, Hamburger Helper, bagels, and baby carrots (for health purposes, of course).
When we got married, it was a proverbial game of chicken to see which one of us would do the cooking. We have equal levels of cooking ability, but unfortunately I also have more time on my hands. I get home at 6:30/7 and he gets home at 8/9. Tragically, the task of preparing dinner falls to he/she who sets foot in the house first.
So that’s how I starting doing the cooking.
The Dairy Man and I have been married for seven months and have survived happily on tacos and Bertoli or P.F. Chang frozen dinners. As the one who lost our cooking game of chicken, I’m thankful for this. When I get home from my 80 minute commute, I’m tired, cranky, and agitated (from the road rage; but that’s another story). The last thing in the world I feel like doing is learning how to cook. I face three hurdles:
- I have zero natural ability for cooking. It takes me forever to make something because I have to stop to Google words like “mince” or “sauté.” I have to read the recipe with a fine tooth comb or I might accidentally make 10 lbs. of shredded chicken because the recipe called for six chicken breast HALVES, not six chicken breasts (not that I’m speaking from experience…).
- Whenever I want to make something that isn’t from a box, I have to stop at the store on the way home because we NEVER have any of the ingredients I need (and then it takes me 20 minutes and two grocery store employees to find red pepper flakes).
- Thanks to my work to home distance, it’s impossible for me to get home before 6:30. Throw in a trip to the store, prep time, and the time it takes for something to actually cook and it’s almost my bedtime (10).
These reasons explain why I haven’t picked up a pork chop in seven months of adult living. But. Those Bertoli dinners are all starting to taste the same. Dinner is always something rushed, something edible but not delicious. Say what you will about feminism and resisting conformity, but I’m starting to feel like a bad wife. Not because the woman should do the cooking, but because this woman just happens to have more time than her Dairy Man. And shhh, don’t tell: I am sick of frozen dinners.
The best way to learn is to do. So I’m going to start doing. My attempts may be an affront to all things edible, but I have to start somewhere.
Last night I started with pineapple glazed pork chops with brown rice and asparagus. It was invigorating. The Dairy Man was thrilled and I was puffed up with pride. Though yes, I did have to Google “how do you know when a pork chop is done?”