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Man Chef

Round Pastries on a cooling rack

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I’m not sure how it happened, but man did it happen! My husband knows his way around the kitchen.

His baking alone: Sourdough bread. French rolls. His grandmother’s trademark whole wheat loaf. English muffins. Flawless pancakes with a signature sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

This week he perfected gnocchi. Plump potato pasta with a butter sage sauce (he let me play saucier chef). I’m swooning in my apron strings.

You beg to know—how does one procure such a man? Well, first off, marry well. Then I recommend stocking the kitchen with high-quality ingredients and a few choice cookbooks. Buy some power tools; men like them. Then leave man alone in kitchen. This is how is sourdough obsession was born.

You’ll also want to cook for him, as a matter of modeling. Make what he likes, and try to expand his tastes. If he thinks he hates something,* embrace the challenge. I’m convinced that every vegetable can be transformed from blah to booyah! with the proper application of fat and heat.

You can be sous chef when he cooks. Wash the dishes. Try not to be bossy. This will be hard, but his best ideas will spring forth from your silence. If you are very good, he might ask you to recommend your favorite spices.

Be sure to celebrate the food man makes. Compliment, compliment, compliment! Words matter like taste. If you love something, tell him about it so he’ll make it again. If you don’t … well, there are inside jokes for that, too. Take a pic and file it in your food fails folder, alongside your own soy-barfy Asian salad, the lumpy hollandaise sauce, and the cream puffs that never puffed.

In conclusion, I am forced to concede what you probably suspected from the beginning: I deserve no credit for my husband’s culinary prowess. That he is wonderful and deserving of praise goes without saying, but I like saying it all the same.

So hear is a hearty hoorah to the good men in our lives, with a special shout-out to the ones who cook.**

* In the early months of marriage, Andy told me that my use of onion was excessive. Unpalatable. It was hard news to swallow. Doesn’t every fine meal begin with a sauteed onion and end with a green vegetable? Today he agrees with the onion philosophy. Still working on the green veggie thing.

** Don’t mourn if he doesn’t bake. You can visit us for man-made bread.

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Jenny Harris
Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she’s crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family’s goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.

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