Friday, March 16, 2012

I disagree

The Food Network UK has published results from a survey that finds that a majority of British men prefer their mothers cooking to that of their wives.

I could not disagree more. 

I love to cook, and I love to eat good food.  If you've met me in the real world, you know that I'm not exactly anorexic.  My wife is an excellent cook.  Granted, most of what she cooks is going to put me into an early grave, but I'll go happy.  Everything from soup to dessert is outstanding. I can think of only one or two things she makes that aren't absolutely delicious, and even those are pretty good.

My mother, on the other hand, was one of the worst cooks I ever met.  On the infrequent times she would mistakenly wander into the kitchen, the food she produced was bland and textureless.  Luckily for me and the rest of the family, her lack of interest in cooking after my siblings and I got old enough to do the cooking kept us from having to choke down shoe-leather pork roasts, spaghetti in tomato sauce with no spices save salt and pepper, and hamburgers cooked until they were uniformly gray and tasteless.  Ketchup was considered spicy, herbs were what she smoked, and baked goods were usually dense enough to bend light.  Ethnic food was Doritos or a once-a-year trip to the local 'Chinese' restaurant, run by a nice Norwegian couple who didn't seem to have a source for ginger or garlic.

I wasn't much of a cook when I left to go into the world, I'll admit it.  I learned to cook by making what my mother wanted to eat, so my meals were pretty much the same as hers.  I did, however, like the food other kids' moms cooked, so I at least knew something better was out there just waiting for me.  I realized how bad a cook my mother was, and how bad a cook I had become, when I couldn't get over how good the food at Basic Training was.  At the same time, the guys in my unit were having to gag down the food because to them, it was horrible.  To me, it was manna from heaven.  Since then, I have tried to learn to eat and cook as many different things as I can.

I honestly can't understand where she got it.  My Nana, her mother, was an outstanding cook in the 1950's casserole vein. Honestly, I would have crawled over broken glass for her baked beans and black bread*, which was the recipe she learned from her Nana in Boston during the Great Depression.  My Grandma, her mother-in-law, cooked straight out of Scandinavia and Germany, and every meal at Grandma's was a feast no matter how simple the fare. It's not like my mother couldn't have learned to cook from at least two excellent examples.

So guys, if your mom can cook, give her a hug and say thanks.  And if your wife needs to learn some things, learn them yourself and cook for her.  She'll learn by seeing what you like to cook and eat.  Just don't be stupid and do the "Well, mom used to do this..." thing.  I have a standing reservation at the doghouse, and there won't be any room at the inn for you.

*To this day, my favorite breakfast is baked beans, black bread, sausages, and fried eggs, served with a side of cholesterol and blood pressure medicine.  Nana used to make that with the leftovers.


Old NFO said...

LOL, yep, comparing mother and wife's cooking IS a one way ticket to the dog house!!!

LabRat said...

Because there's no recipe for a healthy relationship like constantly comparing your partner to your parent of the same sex and setting them up in a rivalry.

DaddyBear said...

LR, I think that was the point of the end of my blurb. If a man or woman prefers something prepared a certain way, there are better ways to get it than to say "That's not how Mama used to make it".

LabRat said...

Oh yeah, I know. And you're absolutely right, that's how adults handle problems.

It's just the more I think about it, the more inappropriate it seems to me to set your adult partner in running your family and household who is also your sexual partner... in petty little rivalries with your *parent*.

The dynamic itself squicks me, not just the pettiness/childishness of the behavior.

DaddyBear said...

Good point. There is a point where asking for something to be done in a certain way crosses over into asking your spouse to compete with your parent.

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