Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Men who cook

They were married for over 50 years. She cooked almost all the meals, with the rare camping exceptions. She had learned to make things he liked, and they ate well, well-balanced meals with sufficent variety to make dinner and lunch interesting.

Mom wasn't a gourmet cook, but she was a good, solid meal-maker. We seldom left the table hungry, and she had a way with a few things that was nothing short of a miracle, especially meatloaf and spaghetti. Considering that Dad won't eat anything with noticable garlic in it, the spaghetti thig WAS a miracle.

My grandmother, (Dad's side) was a wonderful cook, and a baker. She baked bread so fluffy and tasty and soft and yeasty... I've not found a recipe that matches what she could create in that big striped bowl of hers. Maybe I need to find a striped bowl.

Anyhow - Dad is now struggling to come up with meals on a daily basis since he has to do all the cooking himself. When I'm down there, I try to make "too much" so that he has frozen leftovers to microzap when I leave. At one point, I made him a lasagna (sans garlic!), a pot of senate bean soup and an entire double-recipe of chili. Froze it all in tupperware-esque containers, and he used them up over the course of probably 3 or 4 months, interspersed with his own new cooking skills.

Interestingly enough, Dad can make a mean apple pie, and is better at cooking fish than I am. I'm just plain BAD at cooking fish. But we talk about cooking a lot now, and the 1950's/1960's child inside me laughs at the thought of the "Daddy" doing the cooking. Ward Cleaver never cooked!!! (Except BBQ!)

When I went down to Fla last year I stopped in Tennessee to visit my friend "S" and her kids. "S" was in a play at the local community theater and it was their last night. After the show, they had a wrap party at the director's house (mansion...) and the director had put on a buffet spread for the cast and their guests. I was utterly amazed - home cooking, but freaking GOURMET home cooking. Tiny meatballs in savory sauce, stuffed mushrooms, slices of some kind of meat-in-pastry concoction, all smelling utterly heavenly and tasting even better.

I guess it is a bit sexist to think of men cooking as being odd - but my first initial "gut reaction" to any guy who manages to pull off non-BBQ cooking is to be surprised - and very, very positively impressed.

Upbringing? Some. Sexism? Maybe. The fact that my ex-husband needed a recipie for ice cubes? Probably.

545 days


Leandra said...

My ex could cook a few things well, and thought he did some others well which he unfortunately did not.

Some men are great cooks. I've always been a decent cook and both my children can cook well. It's funny that each asked for the same thing shortly after they got married....copies of old family recipes that they loved. Each had a list of the ones they most wanted. Made me feel good that they really did like things that much.

I am seriously considering doing a gourmet meal this weekend with creamed spinach-stuffed tomatoes, game hens with apricot/wild rice stuffing, and a special salad I make with shrimp, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, etc. with a home-made orange dressing. Maybe I'll make a pie too, crust and all.

Peacechick Mary said...

I think all boys should take at least basic cooking classes. Otherwise they end up eating the usual bachelor fare of junk food. Sorry you mentioned the apple pie - now, I'm craving some.

BBC said...

Um, I've cooked all my life. Nothing really fancy I guess. I don't need fancy, just food, or a turd as one lady put it.

I've made some damn good dishes but not because I met to, I was just cooking. Yesterday I nuked some spuds and then cubed them up and added corned beef and eggs and made a sort of egg breakfast dish.

No way in hell I could ever cook wonderful things like my grandmother did, or my last wife, her cherry cheesecake was to die for.

I'm mostly just a basic cook, but I get by.

BTW, she was one hell of a good woman, we still talk at times. It's to bad that her son was on drugs and screwed it up for us. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

I can cook, I suppose, but I don't really like it. Always wanted a man around who was good in the kitchen, who loved cooking. Haven't found one yet. I end up doing all the cooking which is probably why I don't like it.

Rauf said...

i have been a pampered brat all my life. First, mother and now sisters. No wife, i mean never had one. Good for her poor thing, what a lucky escape for her. i can't even heat up water.

BBC said...

Helen doesn't cook. As you know, I cook and take her meals to her. She claims that I'm the greatest of cooks. But that's just one womans opinion.

Anonymous said...

You know, I only know one person who can cook, one of my friends. She makes the most amazing meals. I can't cook at all. Neither can anyone else I know, male or female.

I never realised that before.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I like to cook, both BBQ and oven. When my wife mentions that, the most often comment she gets is a sigh of envy, and..."I wish my Husband did that."

But I came from a large family, and Mom didn't "Babysit" us all the time. "If you want it, you're gonna have to cook it", so we did. It was no big deal.

Doctor Rick said...

My dad wasn't the cook in the house, my mom was. I'm not too keen on cooking either, though mostly because I'd rather eat out than take the time.