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Spouses Cooking Together


Porthos
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I've searched and if this has been discussed before I can't find it.

 

I was reading Kerry and Anna's blog from 2012 and some banter was exchanged about not cooking with your spouse.  My DW and I have been happily married for 36 years and have cooked together the entire time - not every day, not every meal, always cooking together when entertaining. We successfully did this in various apartments as well as in the house we have now occupied for 30 years. When the time came to buy a house we only had one major requirement - the kitchen had to be "right." They were not done installing the kitchen cabinets in the model home we chose but as soon as we saw that unfinished kitchen we knew.

 

Are there other eGulleters out there who peacefully cook together? I'm curious.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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Ed and I have been cooking together peacefully for over 54 years now.  In fact, he taught me how to cook when we were first married and he still does almost all the short order stuff.  For certain, he does bacon, potatoes, eggs and toast.  I couldn't stand the tension.

 

One of our best 'togethers' is Chinese food.  He does the mises and I do the cooking.  (He does a lot more work in this one than I do. :blush:  ) 

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Funny - I've often thought that I'd like it if my husband cooked and we could cook together.  Then I realize that it would drive me out of my ever loving mind.  I'm a bit of a control freak in the kitchen.

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I'm a bit of a control freak in the kitchen.

 

Sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to not go into my controlling mode. If I start moving too far in that direction my Sweetie has her own way of letting me know - for which I am grateful.

 

My Sweetie did not learn to cook at home and she lived with her parents until we were married (of course I sort of robbed the cradle but that's another story.). When we married I had been putting dinner on the table for over a decade already.  My biggest early failing was expecting that she just knew this or that. She is a excellent cook now and far outshines me in the desserts arena. I do have to stop and remember, occasionally, when working on the timing of the meal that her approach to cooking is vastly different than mine. I'm Mr High Heat let's-get-this-thing-cooked and she is low-heat-methodical. And she can multitask, a skill that has eluded me all of my life.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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Then I realize that it would drive me out of my ever loving mind.  I'm a bit of a control freak in the kitchen.

That's me exactly. I get aggravated and start sounding nastier than I mean to. In the end, it's just easier and more peaceful for both of us if I do it myself. I've worked on doing better when cooking with the kid but even she has been known to walk out of the kitchen complaining that I'm too grouchy.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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My husband helps if  I ask but he admits he sucks on Kitchen ballet with me.   My dad and I just swirls around, not talking and make fantastic meals together,  I have two friends I can do that with too but not my husband.  

He says he has two left feet as taste buds for a  Kitchen ballet session with me. *lol*

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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We very, very seldom do this. I clean everything up AFTER I have everything done (read: make a big mess) while my husband cleans as he goes along. He also splashes a lot as he washes up and I can't stand having water flying around and landing on whatever I am prepping. So, rather than getting all snippy with him, I would rather do it myself. What he often will do, though, bless his heart, is clean up the kitchen after I am done and have vacated the kitchen. He is a great chopper and there are times when he will come in and do whatever chopping needs to be done (no cleaning) and we work separated by the cooktop. Works for us.

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We just decide who is chef and who is sous and its all good.

That'd be a good system at my house... as long as I always got to be chef. :raz: 

Seriously though, I can cook with her when she's cooking something and I'm doing sous duty. It's when she tries to help when I'm cooking that it can get ugly. I have a tendency to forget that things I do every day at work may not come naturally to someone who doesn't.

 

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I cook all the savory. My wife makes great desserts. There is no crossover. We get along fine/

 

Me too.

 

DW is a slob in the kitchen, uses fine knives for rough work and is best left unseen when she's in there. I cook the food, she does desserts (in a cleaned kitchen) I clean up her mess afterwards.

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I can't cook with my husband. He's messy and has no attention to detail when it comes to food safety. Example: last night I was handing him plates of items to take outside to grill (I prep, he's allowed to grill). He was getting ready to put the plate that had his raw steak on it onto the platter that had veggies and it was starting to tilt, all I saw was the imminent event of raw meat juice getting all over everything and he wouldn't have cared. At least he's learned not to put the cooked items back on the plate that had held raw, without bringing it in for me to wash first. And I'm definitely a "clean as you go" kind of cook, which is a foreign concept to him as well. I guess I'll admit to being a control freak in my kitchen.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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No. Just no.

 

I don't even like to put together a salad or cook breakfast with DH in there with me.  He's a decent washer-upper - as in the dishes get cleaned reasonably well.  I clean as I go, and I'm way more organized prepping ingredients.  DH is the complete opposite - piling everything in the sink, bits of food and dribbles everywhere, general chaos, and it takes him twice as long as me to put a meal together.  That said, I appreciate him cooking for me, he's makes a few "signature" dishes & desserts that are quite good.  I just need to be far, far away from the kitchen when he's in there (a challenge in our apartment....).

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no, it's my kitchen (when I'm cooking) and I blast my music to make that statement clear :-)

I can't stand it if things move from where I put them, suddenly they're in the dishwaser or sink or used for something else. Besides, I hardly ever cook from a recipe, the ideas form and sit in my head and pop up at random when needed.

If I'd cook from a recipe I could divide things up but I'd give the boring tasks away (start the pasta water, add oil to pan, set on high, etc) and keep the fun parts to me (chopping, spicing, finishing) and that would be no fun for anyone. I prefer to fly solo in the kitchen and my wife can do something with the kids or read and they can all set the table. Also, she has not cooked in years and it would take longer to explain/show something that it takes me to do it when I need it.

 

I guess it's my "me" time, where I can get into the zone and move at my own speed.

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"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Neither my DW or I are particularly clean-as-you-go people. When we entertain I try to have the dishwasher empty to help a little bit with this but only end up putting a few things in it, and nothing that was used to cook food in (too hot). By the way, I am the kitchen and dishes scullery maid.

 

The interesting difference in locations is that when my DW and I are doing our Ren Faire cooking we, along with the rest of the crew, have to clean as we go. This catering-style cooking to feed 80 people requires a lot of cleaning up from one task before proceeding to the next. Since we deal with the raw proteins early in the cooking day thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing before we move onto veggies and starches is very important. We need everything clean again as the food goes out. Now we need the same space to plate the desserts.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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Although my wife and I have very different styles, we cook together regularly. It's a situation of complimentary skills and interests. I'm obsessively tidy in the kitchen which means I'm always packing dishwashers, wiping down benches and putting things away when they are no longer required. I act as the sous chef for her which makes her cooking more enjoyable and I love chopping things up, so this arrangement works well.

 

I tend towards scientific curiosity when it comes to cooking, though my partner couldn't care less. She is happy doing things the conventional way and her results are almost always better than mine. Actually, I'm a terrible self-trained cook but what I lack in skills I make up in sheer enthusiasm and this makes her giggle.

 

We don't always team up on the same dishes. My partner makes the most amazing desserts and I love making stocks, sauces and soups. But our most successful dishes have been for dinner parties when we work together on the same recipe. Some elements of prep we do separately and then we'll do the cooking together, using individual experience and shared instinct to guide us towards the final result. In these endeavours, I'm proud to say, we have rarely failed.

 

I love cooking with my wife. It's always enjoyable. With the music on and wine in the Riedels, cooking together is blissful fun.

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Cooking with my husband is out of the question. We collaborate on making one thing: marmalade, for which we each have our set tasks according to our abilities. When he cooks (rarely) I stay out of the way--I don't even want to watch; I'm too much of a control freak. He's very good at one fine- motor task at a time. He can make the most lovely pile of chopped parsley you ever saw. It's always twice as much as needed and it takes an hour. But it's perfect. He bakes bread that's fantastic because that plays to his strengths: patience, no multitasking, just one step at a time with long breathers in between. He has also mastered Coq au Vin (that happens once a year) by following the exact same recipe each time and has the right temperament for peeling those pesky little onions and wiping mushroom caps, jobs which I detest. I totally admire him for treating every ingredient as the most important one, but that's a very impractical way to get several things on the table at the same time. Cooking together isn't worth the cost of the Xanax. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My husband and I cook together quite often. This is a source of utter amazement to my parents and sibling, who have more traditional relationships (she cooks, he might grill) -- they stare as if we are circus animals. We have a tiny kitchen and it's a bit of a dance but we have had close to 20 years to get used to it.

 

Typically he does the actual cooking, I do the prep. The opposite is true for baking. I do timing (he's hopeless at getting things to the table still warm, possibly because he does not mind cold food). I do most of the meal planning; it's just my nature. Sometimes he wants to make a specific dish and I just figure out what sides will work with it.

 

It all works well, except if we leave a meal too late. If my blood sugar drops I'm not allowed to be around knives and am banished to the living room for everyone's safety.

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Occasionally, the better-half makes toast and I scrape it...or attempts to make something else and I deal with the smoke detectors...that's the extent of our cooking "together."

 

:smile:

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Not married, although it does feel a bit like it :raz:

Nowadays most of the time we are both in the kitchen, but at first I cooked more frequently (and) solo, although he'd always ask if he could help. It started out as a fun thing to do together, as he is interested in the subject of cooking and it's a slight obsession in my life. If you'd ask him, he'll tell you we cook together, but it's more me asking and explaining him what to do. Most of it is prep, like washing and cutting, while spices and things at the stove are more my department.
Later on in our relationship, due to medical reasons, he had to help me out more. Luckily, he really likes our sometimes quite elaborate dinners and me staying as intact as possible, so this was never much of an issue. He knew about my situation beforehand and in general he kindly stays pretty well out of my clumsy way. In our small kitchen, this is not an easy task and I love him extra for making such an effort.

I'm used to cooking in small kitchens, but he tends to get a bit claustrofobic as he never cooked such elaborate things/meals. This means he will clear the kitchen as much as possible before he starts prep and he also cleans more as he goes than I do. This does piss me off sometimes, because he never sees my system of leaving things in a certain place and asking me if I still need it, is not always happening. But then I think about all the washing up afterwards, which he mostly tends to and then I shut up while counting to ten (my blessings obviously :wink: ). I think it's safe to say he doesn't like my system of leaving stuff around and I'm pretty sure my timing, or rather my lack of it, is annoying him as well. I dislike cooking on the clock with a vengeance, my memory is a bit off and I'm also not as quick or as multitasking anymore as I like to think. I'm still better at multitasking than he is, so I've got that going for me.

Another thing that annoys me is his lack of reading packaging for directions. Even when he has it in his hands, he'll rather ask me like I'm the culinary oracle of Delphi. I think it's also connected to him disliking being send out to get something 'special' from somewhere ''special', unless I have specificly shown him what it looks like and/or where in the store or the market he should be able to find it. Asking a shop attendant for help is not in his system. In his defence though, he has come quite far from exclusively shopping at the regular supermarket with the occasional "Mexican" burrito pack or a jar of Patak's when splurging. He got quite a shock from my eclectic repertoire and it wasn't just the heat of the chilipeppers. My stock at his pantry was a thing too at first, but he's now converted to my believe of it being a luxury of possibilities. Even if it does take up a proportionally big piece of our humble home...

Good thing we both like eating a lot, so sitting down to eat is generally as much therapy as we need if it got a bit snappy in the kitchen. I still get a kiss and a heartfelt thank you after every dinner, which I reciprocate...

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Even when he has it in his hands, he'll rather ask me like I'm the culinary oracle of Delphi.

I, personally, like being considered a culinary oracle in our kitchen. ;-) Seriously, it sounds like you work it out pretty well, under the circumstances, and remember the most important part: sharing your meals and your love for each other.

My darling and I have such radically different cooking styles that we generally just cook solo. He's a minimalist who hates to use more than 1 pot or skillet for a meal; I may have the entire counter covered with prepped foods and resting foods, and it can be downright dangerous to get in my way when I'm whirling through the points of the work triangle. The only downside to our disparate styles is that, while he enjoys the results of my cooking, he refuses to take part in cleaning up what he considers an excessive amount of mess, despite my cleaning as I go. Cleanup has necessarily become my quiet time alone, listening to a book. :-D

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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