Only One Cook in the Kitchen

My manpiece doesn’t cook. Okay, well he tries sometimes. Before we lived together, his kitchen repertoire consisted of: noodles with crazy salt, noodles with cheese, noodles with cheese and crazy salt, and steak.

As a vegan/omni couple, we have a “no animals in the kitchen” thing going on, so his cooking skill-set is knocked even further back. He’s the master of oat meal. He mis en places my ingredients like a pro. He has been learning to make a mean mac n’ (no) cheese, and every now and then he grills up some veggie burgers, but other than that, our arrangement is that I cook, and he does dishes. This was a compromise we made, almost unspoken, really. It’s important to me to live in a meat-free house, so in trade, I do most of the cooking.

As I write right now, he is doing dish after dish, a the brutal remains of thanksgiving after-math. In many ways, it’s great. I get to make a big mess, and I don’t have to clean it up. I like cooking, but I mostly enjoy cooking when I’m feeling inspired. And I also like being cooked for, and some evenings I feel the strain of always having to provide the meal, especially since we live in a remote location where take-out is not at option.

But that’s the agreement we made, and so I keep on trucking, er, cooking, even when I wish I could come home from yoga or finish a big assignment and have a meal waiting for me. And in the name of compromise, it was very loving of my guy to agree to live in a household where he isn’t able to cook and eat whatever he pleases. That’s big stuff right there.

I think it’s most bizarre for me to do ALL of the cooking because both of my parents are terrific cooks. Growing up, my mom–a trained chef–did do more cooking than my dad, but he still took over the reigns several nights a week to make a bad ass chilli or curry. I never grew up in a household where it was assumed the woman would cook, so I often feel rebellious about it even thought it’s a choice we made.

Learning when to compromise and when to push is crucial for the success of your relationships. Any relationship—work, romantic, family. Life is short, don’t give up on your battles, but do choose the ones that are worth it. Even if it means playing housewife most nights of the week.

So who cooks in your house? Is it a point of tension? I wanna know!

*This was originally written for and published on ieatgrass.com. 

About the author  ⁄ Zoe

Zoe writes about food and sex on SexyTofu.com.

5 Comments

  • Reply
    BB
    November 30, 2013

    In our home I both cook and wash up because I have the most wonderful wife ever and will do anything for her. Oh yeah, and we are both vegan, one of the (many) other reasons I have loved her for 12 years now:)

  • Reply
    November 30, 2013

    In my house, my husband does the majority of the cooking. He loves to cook and is great at it; it also helps him to decompress after work. But I decided recently that I really should cook more. There are 2 nights a week that he’s out doing other things, so I was already responsible those nights, but often I would just heat up something he had made over the weekend. (He loves to pre-make a lot of meals on the weekend after poring over cookbooks–lately Indian and Asian.) So now I’m cooking 2 nights of the week–really cooking, as in, not heating up his stuff. And it’s great. He’s laughing a little at my mishaps and gently correcting me, but I can tell he’s enjoying having a meal cooked for him once in a while (although not up to his standards, ha ha…yet!).

  • Reply
    December 4, 2013

    The husband does the kick ass cooking, but he also leaves an epic pile in the sink that I then happily dig into while burping, post-meal.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2013

    My boyfriend is an omni and I’m mostly vegan. Still, he does most of the cooking and pretty much all of it is vegan. He chooses to sprinkle cheese on his pasta, make meaty sandwiches for lunch, or eat dairy ice cream for dessert and I’m okay with that. I agree it’s all about finding balance that works for you both. And what you need might change over the years and you’ll adjust again. C’est la vie!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2014

    I do 99% of the cooking in the house, but that may because I’m a control freak and won’t accept soy mince and spaghetti or store-bought veg burgers every day of the week (if it were up to Man-thing). He has been very generous and offered of his own will to not bring animal products into the house (other than his own milk and cheese spread) since it was freaking me out when we moved in together. Of course, as you say, that means I’m in charge since he’s not very willing or excited to try making new and exciting food that I’d want to eat (I was formerly on the edge of diabetes so I’m very careful not to just eat pasta all day long, for example). So I cook and he cleans up the dishes, or reads to me when I cook/bake! A fair trade for an animal-free kitchen!

    He’s slowly warmed up to making wonderful dishes when I plead, such as soup or bobotie, and vegan ice-cream is officially his “thing” now that we got a machine. :D There’s hope, long-term, that he’ll get stuck in with different dishes and that when I study and work he’ll hopefully take more initiative. :) /ramble

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