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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

April 28, 2005

Can't, Won't

I sensitive subject this, so let's deal with it in a sensitive manner: my wife cannot cook.

We've been together 10 years, and I'm pretty good around the kitchen. I have my blind spots, but most of the time what I cook is edible, sometimes delicious, and I can both follow a recipe and make up my own based on what's in the fridge/cupboard.

So we muddle along. Occasionally, I ask my other half to do something. Sometimes, if I know I'll be late home, or if I want to avoid the nightly raid on the bread bin because I'm too hungry to wait till I've cooked, I try to arrange things so I can quickly throw a meal together when I get in.

Sometimes this works. If I ask her to put a potato in the oven to bake, this is usually all right. This task involves finding a potato of more or less the right size, putting it in the oven about an hour before I'm due home, and switching the oven on.

On the other hand, if I want to make a quick shepherd's pie or something, and I ask her to boil some potatoes for mashing - she fucks it up. For example, she might use the same time scale and boil the potatoes for an hour before I get in. Or boil them for the 15-20 minutes required and then leave them in the water.

Convenience food, of course, is to be avoided. Too many additives, too much salt, too much fat, too much sugar. Even the "healthy" ones probably contain cancer-causing food dyes etc. On occasion, we do have them. Many years ago, I had a pie or two in the freezer. I think they were Evil Linda McCartney "meat-free" pies. You put them in the oven for 30 minutes, whatever, and get them out when they're done. My wife will follow the instructions to the letter, getting them out of the oven after 20 minutes even if they are obviously not cooked properly.

You might find this hard to believe, but it's true.

Yesterday morning, I asked her to start the dinner before I got home, because I knew I'd raid the bread bin if I had to wait 25 minutes for the rice to cook. Use the medium saucepan, I said. Chop an onion, fry it gently in a little oil until it's transparent, then add the rice and stock. How much stock? Three times in volume the amount of rice in weight. So for 100g rice, 300ml stock. I've told her this formula 72,000 times in the years we've been together.

So I got in last night and there's the rice - almost boiled dry and still hard as rock - in the wok with a non-matching lid, with huge lumps of onion, which are hardly what you'd call "chopped".

So, for the millionth time, I had to start from scratch and do it all myself. A little bit tense about it all, because it's not rocket science, and you start to suspect a kind of deliberation to it, the, "Don't ask me to do this kind of thing, I don't want to do it and I'm not good at it," technique. She looks at me like I'm speaking Russian or something when I say words like "chop" and "onion" and "medium" and "saucepan."

Sigh. I blame her mother, of course.


  • my father-in-law says, "you don't buy a dog then bark yourself." so think on.

    By Blogger dog, at 4:14 am  

  • If you've been married for 10 years, she ain't gonna change now. Get over it and get a life, or get a divorce.

    By Blogger Foggy Notion, at 9:11 am  

  • Harsh, but more or less true. And that is, I'm led to believe, why god made Mexico.

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 9:22 am  

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