Thursday, May 21, 2009

He Blogs, She Blogs: Cue The Swedish Chef*

Captain Dumbass: The Male

Welcome back, and thanks for stopping by. Today is our second installment of He Blogs/She Blogs in our new home. Petra's been super busy and a half this week so she let me choose the topic this time around. Geez, what to talk about? So many possibilities. As I was sitting in front of the computer desperately scratching my head something kept distracting me. Something I was supposed to be doing. Somewhere. About something... do you smell something burning? Shit!

This week's topic: the kitchen.

I love the kitchen. I love everything about it. Well, when I say I love everything about it I mean that in an idealistic kinda way, not the reality of my own kitchen which is a freakin' nightmare of 70's linoleum and coke induced floor plans, but that's not what this post is about. Like many homes, our kitchen is the centre of the house and a good deal of our time is spent there. And with good reason. As my ever expanding waistline will attest, the food that comes out of there is fantastic because our house is blessed with an amazing cook/baker/pastry chef. That person is not me.

Kudos to the men who know their way around a kitchen, I wish I could join your ranks. Not as much as my wife does, but I do. She tries her best to beat some culinary sense into me, but it's much like trying to bathe a cat. Messy and not really worth the effort. It's not that I don't want to learn either, it's more of a defensive stance my brain takes on whenever she starts talking about... well, whatever it is she's talking about. It's like when the bandits thunder into town on horseback and the locals close their shutters and disappear from the streets. She begins talking about cooking temperatures and doing this while this is doing something else and it's like she's speaking backwards Aramaic in a wha wha wha Charlie Brownish accent. I want to understand but my brain is steadfastly refusing.

Back when I was working I used to have to coordinate hundreds of investigations with a very limited number of investigators and keep clients baffled with bullshit and charm while they waited day after day for results. Previous to that I was in charge of coordinating daily deposits of tens of millions of dollars to the Bank of Canada on deadlines that were written in stone. I was good at it. Coordinating two different things on the stove to be ready at the same time? Blind panic. Cooking meat, chicken or fish? I don't even want to touch it.

Now I don't want you to get the idea that I'm totally useless in the kitchen, I defy anyone to match my mastery of grilled cheese:

Go ahead, click on that bad boy for full effect. Also, I'm very good at washing dishes. Early on in my working career I was a professional. I'm quite willing to keep the kitchen spotless, nay, the entire house spotless (including laundry, vacuuming and floor washing) if it means not having to cook.

I'll keep trying (my wife is raising an eyebrow as she reads this), but sadly, like the majority of men, I fall back on the lizard brain and evolutionary memories of our hunter/gatherer ancestors. I'm more than happy to go out and spear a woolly mammoth or sabre toothed tiger, just don't ask me to cook it.

Petra a.k.a. The Wise (Young) Mommy: The Female

Yeah, so it seems all of a sudden I am a real writer of sorts and have these assignments and meetings with editors and such writerly, columnisty things, so I told The Captain to come up with a topic this week, and of course he chooses the kitchen. Because we have all seen the beautiful, mouthwatering pictures of the food creations that he makes and posts on his blog (brag much?) and there is a glaring lack of food pictures and recipes on my blog for a very good reason.

I kinda hate the kitchen. Pretty much everything about it (except for the pretty ones with all the stainless steel and granite countertops that come fully equipped with a cook and housekeeper. That kind of kitchen I could live with, quite happily indeed.) But as for my kitchen, the one with the hand me down stove and fridge, a lack of countertops, and NO DISHWASHER, which also happens to be tucked into the corner of a little basement in my in-laws' house, let's just say I harbor some feelings of resentment.

And I don't like to cook.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I hate to cook, but I will avoid it at all costs and buy as many frozen, easy to prepare meals as possible to avoid defrosting, seasoning, tenderizing, marinating, or anything else that involves putting effort into creating a dish. Every now and then I try to get creative and follow a recipe and it usually turns out OK, but nothing to write home about.

My poor husband, you may be thinking. But no, he gets a good meal at least a few times a week that consists of meat, vegetable and starch, and it's always edible. But now, back when we first moved in together, that was a different story. I was a vegetarian that lived off steamed vegetables, rice and pasta and would not, could not, would NEVER handle meat. So yeah, that was an issue.

So I guess you can say I have come a long way.

And then there is all the washing of dishes, cleaning up and putting away of things that always accompanies being in the kitchen, which I despise. And of course these are my responsibilities, and since I am not the best housewife in the world, our kitchen is not the most spotless kitchen you have ever seen. Another fact that my husband likes to point out, to which I say "get me a housekeeper or do it yourself," to which he scoffs, rolls his eyes and shuts up. I will get my housekeeper someday: I think I am wearing him down.

So you might think that since I am lacking in the culinary prowess department that my husband might pick up the slack there, but alas, no, he limits his trips to the kitchen to get snacks and drinks. Oh yeah, and to criticize me about how I put away the pots and pans and the fact that I don't have a sponge for the ONE time he decided to clean something up. A sponge? Hello? Doesn't he know how much bacteria grows in those things and then you rub them all over your counter? That's why I buy antibacterial wipes. But he thinks that is a waste of money. Well, tell me if you think it is a waste of money when you are hanging over the toilet with a raging bout of Salmonella. I think not.

So basically, until we move into our new house (hopefully the end of this summer) with our brand new, state of the art kitchen with a dishwasher and actual counterspace to cook meals, my standpoint on the kitchen will remain the same--a necessary evil.

But maybe, just maybe, when I get a decent kitchen, I will decide to start watching some Food Network and turn into a culinary goddess.

But I wouldn't hold your breath honey. Better start looking for a housekeeper.

PS. from the Dumbass: Rereading my post I swear I've read my last line somewhere else. If I've unwittingly plagiarized you, take it as a compliment. If I plagiarized myself then suck it up, ya hack. It wasn't that funny the first time.

*Duh, the Muppet Show


  1. Dumbass did you mention something about charm? Charm?

    I could beat that grilled cheese thingy with one of my triple-decker eggy-bread steak-and-prawns tower sandwiches.

    The problem with kitchens is that they can look so nice clean - the ideal kitchen - but the moment you do so much as cut a few slices of bread there are crumbs everywhere, all over the floor which I hate.

    Maybe I need to improve my bread-cutting technique.

  2. Please it's not so hard to cook. I swear it! You just need to learnt eh short cuts. Crock Pot. Say it with me, it can be your best friend. Put italian sausage and spaghetti sauce in there (I prefer to make my own sauce but jar kind is good) Leave it for 6 hours. Cook some pasta and open crock pot and BOOM a meal. There is even a crock pot cookbook out there. Plus there's a recipe for crockpot chili with guinness. Yes that's right beer.

    Baby steps people it's all about baby steps.

  3. I am also hating the kitchen unless it's to chop up raw fruits and veggies and just eat them as is. Fortunately, my husband is a wonderful (and extremely demanding, picky, pain in the ass food snob) cook.

  4. I somehow don't think that having a state of the art kitchen is going to make someone suddenly want to cook and be a good cook. Just saying.

  5. You are both hilarious.

    My husband and I are both quite savvy in the kitchen. He occasionally burns things, and I occasionally don't 'do my best' due to laziness.. but we get around.. er.. know our way around.

    Still, regarding all that cleaning and putting away nonsense? I'm SO right there with you Petra. And right now? the only appliance in our house that is working properly is our microwave. yeah.

    It's all good though.. our kids think we're 'the bestest cooks in the world'.. now if we could just get them to stay OUT of the kitchen..

  6. Meh. I'm going to go make a bowl of cereal. I rawk that.

  7. The ideal's in demand. I like to cook pretty meals..what? I tend to lean towards recipe with colorful plating, not putting to much thought into the contents of the recipe.

    I do ALL of the cooking, including nights that we bbq. I was shocked by this when we were first together, as I thought mastering the bbq was some sort of right of passage amongst the men folk.'s possible that I watch too much tv. Ant will sometimes, after watching some sort of cooking challenge show, get an urge to cook. We then spend the next couple of days or so eating the same thing, until he is satisfied with his part in the cooking world. Honestly, he isn't that bad of a cook.

    The worse thing about the kitchen is the mess. I despise cleaning the kitchen...loathe it entirely. In fact, I have dishes from last night that I saved for this morning. Yeah, if I could travel back in time to last night...I'd pretty much punch myself in the face, at the exact moment I decided to put it off. Dishes in the morning? Not so fun.

  8. That sandwich looks nastee. Sorry but it just does. It was hard to read what SHE said after looking at that.

  9. BBQ is for chumps. Not going to sucker me into cooking with that.

  10. The only reason I have a kitchen is because it came with the house. I hate cooking. The youngest is turning into quite a cook. It's her new permanent job. But, I'm quite a cleaner. You cook for me. I'll clean for you. And that sandwich, um, where is the grilled cheese?

  11. growing up british, my mum was all about "meat, veg, potato"...tres creative. if we were really lucky, there was gravy.

    needless to say there was not much cooking technique passed on from mother to daughter.

    this painfully cloistered and feeble attempts at "cooking" went on for many ex-husband and his fussy eating only contributed to the bland and non-exciting results.

    but then i met my Newfie. and that's when a man of 41 taught me how to cook everything from jam and pickled weiners (yes, i know that sounds horrid) to delectable dishes like cod au gratin.

    but knowing how and wanting to are two different things. and as long as i work full time, run 2 houses, wrangle 5 children, and 1 man? you're gonna shut the hell up and eat chicken fingers and fries if it's all i feel like making. because i'm frickin' tired, alright?!


  12. My hubby and I both like to cook, with the microwave :)

  13. i recently wrote a post called 'where my food is compared to sticking your finger down your throat' in which i talk about the following:

    1. i have the beautiful new kitchen with not one, but two shiny ovens. mocking me twice.
    2. i burned foolproof cookie dough.
    3. a child almost died at a playdate because he ate one of my burned cookies.

    hubunit on the other hand, is an amazing cook. i have other virtues.

  14. Uh, yeah, so it turns out that Food Network doesn't really make you wanna cook it, just makes you wanna eat it. So, after watching, say, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, you go to the kitchen and make yourself a mustard sandwich because you have no meat or cheese and just want SOMETHING. Bad idea.

  15. Yesterday I managed to burn a pot of macaroni and cheese. And when I say burn it, I mean blackened, cajun style Mac & Cheese that I may never be able to scrub completely out of the pan. And that's when I also realized that our home may not be up to code with regard to smoke detectors.

    I think anyone can cook if they pay attention to the food on the stove and can follow simple directions. And as I typed that sentence out I realized exactly where I went wrong with the Mac & Cheese ysterday.

  16. I like to cook, but I like to cook something I have planned. I hate the weekdays when I wander in the kitchen and keep searching the fridge and cabinets for something to eat. Hate that.

  17. Captain, I think you stole that hunting line from one of my other He Blogs, She Blogs posts with Jim.

    You owe me.

  18. Gaston Studio - you don't think that having it be much more convenient and having the tools and space you need wouldn't make it more appealing?

    I sure as heck do!

  19. Captain: step away from the kitchen, walk out the door and light the grill. Are you master of your grill?

  20. Cameron, I am a master of my domain, but not my grill. Not only do I have no desire to bbq, other than playing with fire, I have well founded fears of compressed gas and its explosive flamibility. And if that's not a word, it should be..

  21. Great Captain! That picture made me more hungry than I already was. Oh well, you two are so funny I forgive you!

  22. IM HELPLESS in the kicthen. If my lady doesnt cook I eat out or eat microwave meals, not the best way to be

  23. I love to cook. I think that developed from the fact that I love to eat. Food is my friend. I am still skinny thankfully. George Costanza once said the kitchen is the most social room in the house. That is why he had sex there on a first date. The kitchen is good.

  24. Oh I am blessed with a boyfriend that not only cooks deliciousness but loves doing it. He even goes online once in a while to find new recipes. I, the fatass, eat everything he makes.

    Downside - I have to do dishes when he cooks. I hate washing dishes.

  25. I hate dishes almost as much as I hate cleaning the bathroom.

    Well, maybe it is a tie...

  26. No dishwasher? I'd totally die. Or, hire a super cute, tall dark and handsome one.

  27. My husband is a chef. That is his profession. And he rocks at it. (That's a nice sentence.)

    I, on the other hand do not rock at cooking. I will try, on occasion, but I just don't have the right instincts. I must follow a recipe, I make a colossal mess and the meal usually isn't that good. *sigh* It bums me out.

    Also? Lots of people think I must eat like a queen all the time because Rick is a chef. Let me dispel a myth for you - we eat Oodles of Noodles at least once a week.

  28. I love the kitchen. I respect the kitchen.

    Captain...that sandwich looks fantastic, but I'm sorry, if it's got more than two ingredients a grilled cheese it's not. That to me looks like a mac and cheese sandwich, which just the concept alone is mind blowing.

  29. I hate the kitchen!! I would eat out every night of the week if you let me !

  30. One of the items on my 'wish list' for our next house is a 'state of the art kitchen'. Hopefully with that will come the imaginary line to keep Hovering Hubby and Princess Nagger OUT of the kitchen while I'm trying to create greatness... ;) Hubby doesn't cook at all, he has one or two 'signature dishes' he likes to try to wow our guests with (if I let him within the boundaries of the kitchen), but I end up regretting it because he makes a HUGE mess that he either doesn't clean 'properly', or I end up having to's less work for me to clean up after I cook because I clean as I go, rather than wait until everything piles up.

    So yeah, I forget what point I was trying to make in conjunction with your posts... :)

  31. You two are hilarious. And that definitely looks like a heart attack waiting to happen!

  32. oh come on guys are supposed to start fighting after least that's what happens when my husband and I start talking about cooking!!

  33. Lately, I've had some reasons to believe that the kitchen is a place to start making love...heh...:)

  34. OMG!!! I will be back to read in more detail... but my son would love that mac sandwich!!! I am making one tonight for him. LOL

  35. I am still diggin the mac and cheese grilled cheese and ham thing. ROCKIN. MY. WORLD.

    As for cooking...pah-too-ee! Hate it. I make three things, spag, chicken burritos and a mean tuna fish sandwich.