I am a control freak. All my friends know this about me. And when we’re talking cooking, in my kitchen with my tools that I have painstakingly selected over the years, I am a *real* control freak. Plus my cooking corner has always been my safe, away place. My place to meditate, ruminate, be shit-house crazy in my brain. So when I decided that I wanted to share the dinnertime cooking with my husband, and I asked him if he would be willing to be in charge of meals two nights a week, I felt vulnerable. It signifies a huge departure from my at-home persona and a willingness to risk not being in control. Scary.
When I met my husband and we first started dating, we enjoyed cooking together. We usually were in his kitchen, not mine, and any chance to spend time sliding by one another amidst the aromas of Steak Diane or Coquilles Saint Jacques was sweet and warm and fuzzy-feeling. He has said over the years that he would like to help with dinner. But his amazingly sweet, kind and sensitive self knew that it was difficult for me to separate myself from my own space and routines and let someone else in. So he didn’t push. And the years took on a pattern of me squirreled-away in my cooking corner with my music (or favorite podcast at the time), my stove and my ingredients. Away from the sports on television. Away from the kids and their chaos. Away from the bustle and noise. In a sense. But recently, on the verge of a true empty nest, I have felt bored with cooking. I have felt that it is time to give up some control. So I made the request, and last night was the first night that he took charge while I stayed on the sofa watching a silly Amazon Prime series.
I had to stay away. If not, the control freak in me would constantly make suggestions… “Do you want me to show you a trick?” “Why are you using that knife?” “You know, if you clean as you go it won’t be so much when dinner is over.” “Are you going to do *that*?” I know, I’ve got it bad. Almost as a bad as a backseat driver telling him where to park in Seattle.
But you know what? It worked. He selected Chicken Soba. He did everything while I relaxed, though I did coach him on the prep & cooking times. “You know, it says 30 minutes total and that works only if you go really fast and are totally familiar with what you are doing.” It was blissful.
The meal was fantastic, the flavors sweet and spicy together. And I appreciated it. Who knew that giving up some control would turn out so well. Maybe I will try it in other areas. Could be fun. Who knows.