My wife is a much better cook than I am. In this house, she is the head chef and I am the sous chef. My wife looks at things we have in the fridge and pantry, thinks of a way to put them together, and makes a great dinner.
Me, I need a recipe to go by. When I try to come up with something on my own, my wife usually asks, “What made you think those things would go together?”
Mo has concocted a number of wonderful dishes over the years. She has also perfected several Japanese ones taught to her by her mother, dishes that are the personal favorites of the boys and I. She judges each of her cooking efforts by one criterion….how much I eat. The conversation usually begins with her saying:
“You didn’t like it, did you? Did it taste funny?”
“No, nothing was wrong.”
“You only had one helping.”
“I just wasn’t hungry.”
Sometimes I replace the last sentence with, “I had a late lunch,” but nothing assuages her.
When I went on a diet, I was able to change this perception and my wife accepted that I wouldn’t have a second helping, but it didn’t ease the tension.
That may be due to pride. Cooking delicious meals is important to her. Any suggestion that she failed hurts.
I know the feeling.
When I cook for her, I take a lot of pride in what I make. However, Mo sometimes doesn’t ask for a second helping.
“You don’t like it?” I ask.
“No, it’s great. I’ll eat more tomorrow or you can take it to work.”
“Are you sure? You only had one helping.”
“It’s not that,” she says. “I had a late lunch.”