Reclaiming is not the perfect word for what I am doing. Reclaiming implies someone took the kitchen from me. That someone would be my husband, and it is simply not the case. I gave it up. Willingly. Gratefully. Necessarily.
You see, ten years ago, I had my first child. She was perfect and beautiful and I nearly died. I lost a lot of blood. A lot. Of blood. Babies two and three didn’t go much better. I won’t go into details because this is not a blog about postpartum hemorrhage and complete placenta previa! Feel free to send an e-mail if you want to chat about those unappetizing topics.
Because it took all of my energy to nurse my babies and come back to life, I stopped cooking dinner. I pretty much stopped cooking dinner for ten years. Oh, I made guest appearances – dumplings, spring rolls, vegetarian dishes and desserts. I made some intense birthday cakes, but my husband cooked our dinners. And did the grocery shopping. And enjoyed it. In the decade I spent at home with the kiddies during the day and working part-time at night decorating cakes, he worked as a chef. The man can cook. Fast. Clean. And to the tastes of both adults and children. And he looks like this when he’s doing it. Why on earth would I want to disturb the balance of what seems like a very cushy arrangement?
*Shrug* I like to cook. However, I am not as well-behaved as my husband. He’s a crowd pleaser. The kids always eat what he makes. I like to cook spicy and piquant foods. Give me sriracha, vinegar and preserved lemons (maybe even all together). If I cook, sometimes I have to make two meals – one for us and one for the kids. (Yes, we do that. We are short order cooks. Judge us.) If I start doing the grocery shopping, it will cut into my writing time. If I start cooking dinners again, it will also cut into my writing time. My husband is a kick-ass chef. (Yes, fine, I admit it. Joe in SCRUMPTIOUS was modeled on my husband. Hot chef in the house!) Why on earth do I want to rock the boat?
*Shrug* I like to cook. I want glass noodles and peanut butter on my chicken occasionally, okay? And I want to make it myself. Our last birth disaster is five now, and he just started kindergarten. There is room for two in this kitchen, and I have more writing time while all the kids are at school. Surrendering the kitchen made me feel incapable, even though I juggled five part-time jobs and my uber-husband was happy to run our kitchen. Cooking is part of who I am and it is giving me great satisfaction to get back to the stove. Expect the recipes section of my blog to grow. Come into the kitchen with me. Own it. Work it. Cook it. Claim it!