I have a husband that cooks.
Really, I could just leave it there, right? Done. Enough said. Gratitude. That’s a pretty awesome sentence all on its own, I think.
But, it’s extra awesome in my case because not only do I NOT like cooking, but I only learned how to do it in the last couple of years.
When I was growing up, I never ever even once had any desire whatsoever to spend time in the kitchen learning to cook. I was a little bit of a tomboy, and an emerging feminist. One of my sisters really enjoyed it, one didn’t seem to care one way or another, and I DEPISED it.
It was weird, because I’ve always loved food. I mean, LOVED food. And I was a bit of a nightmare of a child because I was a food snob. I would not eat grilled cheese sandwiches, bologna, Alphagetti, or Kraft Dinner. And I never liked hot dogs. I had an expensive palette for someone that couldn’t cook
My dad used to pick on me and say, “But Crystal, you have to learn how to cook. How on earth are you going to feed your man someday?” AHHHHHH!! He knew it drove me nuts!! (And he knew how to cook.)There was no way I was ever going to cook for “my man.” The thought of being assigned to that role literally made my stomach turn. Seriously, it was that visceral. My dad thought it was pretty funny when I would always answer, “There’s no way I’ll ever cook for a man. I’m going to marry a chef!”
Cue Jon: 1999, Niagara College, After Hours Pub. I was 21, enrolled in the Journalism-Print programme, two weeks into the first semester, and I spent all of my time between classes (and sometimes during classes) eating poutine and sharing pitchers of beer at the school’s bar.
One afternoon I spotted this shaved-headed, gauteed, tattooed and pierced guy (just my type!) sitting in a booth across the bar. A friend sitting with me knew him and introduced us.
“Soooo, what are you taking?”
“That’s cool. What do you want to do with it?”
“Oh yeah? That’s interesting. I once thought about doing that.”
“Yeah. I graduated from the Chef’s Apprentice programme two years ago.”
“You don’t say?!”
Three months later, Jon was cooking feasts for me at my apartment in Fonthill.
Okay, so there were other things I liked about him too, but I went from eating peanut butter sandwiches, soup and -when I got ambitious: kielbasa, cheese and crackers – to actual food.
This food-induced bliss continued all through college and university, through pregnancy and two of my kids. No matter who was home first, Jon did the cooking. I was spoiled rotten, and it was fabulous!!Then in 2008, Jon took a job in Mississauga. He started coming home way later than he used to when he worked in Hamilton. And the kids got hungry before he got home. Darn it!!
I couldn’t feed my kids soup everyday, and I certainly wasn’t going to give them Kraft dinner or bologna…..I had to learn how to cook.
So that sucked.
I’ve actually gotten pretty good at it despite the fact that the kids think the sound of the smoke alarm signals that dinner is ready. I’ve even become adventurous and have tried new things on my own. Jon never, ever says it’s gross, though, sometimes I can see it in his face. And sometimes he’ll pick on me and ask where his dinner is when he walks through the door – just to get a rise out of me.
Jon still cooks on the weekends. And his food is always a big hit when we host a holiday dinner or bring food to a family gathering. Nothing fancy – but I don’t have to do it.
For that, I have gratitude.
(A round of applause for all the men is our lives that know how to cook!)