In all honesty I have never been super confident in the kitchen (the exception being baking – more on that later). Despite my comfort in other areas of domestic duties this is the one space I have always felt a little awkward. I am not a complete dud (I already have some favourite meals under my apron), but I just don’t possess the same ease and confidence with which I manage other household tasks.
I suppose this stems from the little experience I have had in the kitchen growing up. Whilst I always did my own cleaning and tidying both my parents are excellent cooks so dinner was never something I needed to worry about preparing. Therefore I lack the practise and henceforth the confidence.
Funnily enough the notion of having to cook a meal every night of the week after finishing work at 7.30pm or later was the one thing I didn’t think I would be able to handle once I was married. I panicked: how am I going to muster up the creativity to think of something yummy to make, have all the necessary ingredients waiting in the pantry and actually manage to cook the meal by a respectable time. And even though The Hubby likes to cook he also finishes work rather late (and has to travel a fair distance to work) so the notion of him making a head start on the cooking is not an option.
This was followed by another wave of panic: what if I cannot make anything good. I have been so used to having such delicious meals at home (an experience shared by The Hubby at his family home which he also lived in until we got married) that I didn’t think I could match the home cooking we have always been used to. I suppose the wifely values start creeping in more clearly now, but I really wanted to be able to make yummy and delicious meals for The Hubby. It was (and is) really important to me that he enjoy my cooking and that my skills in this area did not disappoint.
Despite all the hysteria (which I kept to myself as I didn’t want to seem insecure) I have actually been managing very well. The night we returned from our honeymoon I said I would whip up a quick dinner (my mum had been lovely enough to fill our formerly empty pantry). I so wanted the first meal I made for The Hubby to be tasty. Not a culinary feat (I had just been travelling for 24 hours straight) but something homey and tasty. With the limited ingredients in my possession I made a very simple tuna, avocado and lemon pasta and it actually went down very well. The Hubby grabbed a second serve and my heart filled with so much warmth (I had to hide a little smile)…
Since then I have fallen into the cooking duties very easily. Luckily I had some time off work after returning from my honeymoon which gave me time to practise my skills in the kitchen and become more comfortable before returning to the office. Over the last few weeks I have managed to make some simple and tasty meals and it seems The Hubby has been satisfied.
Now that we are both back at work full-time I prepare a very rough sketch of the meals I will make during the week, shop for all the ingredients on the weekend, freeze the proteins, defrost the required meat before I leave home each morning and then everything is ready to go for when I arrive home. It’s a good system and takes the stress out of worrying “what will I make tonight” when it is already 6pm and I’m still in the office. The only factor I doesn’t have as much control over is when I will actually make it home to cook.
While I would eventually like to make more adventurous meals, I believe home cooking is about comfort, simplicity and taste and for now that is what I am hoping to achieve on a daily basis. Wish me luck…
For all of you out there who are responsible to cook dinner for yourself or their family – how did you find the adjustment to having to cook for yourself and your family? Were you nervous like me? Or had you been cooking all your life? Does anyone have any tasty and quick recipes that could help me out? Or perhaps some more complex meals that you reserve for the weekend? Either way I would love to hear your thoughts.