I am a firm believe we are all born with innate skills. Skills that usually flourish over time the more we use them. When I was a kid I always liked making pancakes on the weekend for breakfast and macaroni and cheese for myself when the urge struck. We lived with my grandma growing up, and she would always make Kapusta, pies, and her famous cheesecake for family gatherings. She is the one who taught me how to make Kapusta (a Polish dish). But ask me how many times I’ve made it in my life? A big fat donut! Because I married an Italian.
Pancakes, macaroni and cheese, and Kapusta are basically where my skills end. I never mastered the art of pie making, like my grandma. You can ask my husband, I’m no Betty Crocker in the kitchen. The biggest reason being is I don’t care to cook or bake. I feel so much goes into preparing a meal for a few minutes of pleasure. And with young kids, it’s hard to make anything that takes longer than 20 minutes. When they are hungry they want to eat immediately and will whine until you want to drop your face in a pot of boiling water. And when you do finish slaying over the stove, they prefer a hotdog anyway.
I have accepted the skills I have and the ones I lack. Sure, I can cook for my kids – I can still make some mean macaroni and cheese and I taught my husband the art of yummy grilled cheese. I know how to make stuffed peppers when I’m feeling fancy and can conjure up a meatloaf – though it’s always on the dry side. Unfortunately, my husband’s creations are always better than mine. We have been married for nearly 10 years now and he will be the first one to tell you he is the better cook. And he should be – he’s Italian.
After my first daughter was born, I wanted to step up my game in the kitchen. I registered for the Baby Bullet and had high intentions to make her baby food from scratch. Ahem. That lasted two attempts. I realized how much effort went into washing, boiling, peeling, cutting, and blending. All for her to have a few bites, then be done. I also created a Pinterest account and thought I’d find some delicious recipes online I could replicate. I found the recipes alright, but I don’t think Pinterest can help for a lack of one’s skill in the kitchen.
I have accepted the fact that I have a handful of known recipes in my repertoire, but when it comes to the day-to-day stuff, dad is the one that whips something up. He has more of an innate sense in the kitchen with mixing seasonings, making dishes more flavorful, and is plain more creative in the kitchen than me. Plus, I have somewhat of a bland palate, sometimes pepper can be too hot for me.
I refuse to make myself feel any less like a mom because I don’t have mad skills in the kitchen. Just like my husband, I too, work outside of the home. The week is always a rat race and I am the one that handles all the administrative functions of our household. I plan appointments, I pay the bills, I make sure my daughter is enrolled each term for gymnastics, I take care of the taxes, etc. I mean I tend to all things business. So I see no reason the kitchen duty cannot be assigned to him.
We live in a society where women are the breadwinners. We simply cannot do it all. We must acknowledge that our significant other has capabilities that might exceed our own and let them own it. Done are the days with women slaving in the kitchen.
And while my husband tends to the kitchen and handles all the work on the exterior of our home, like shoveling snow and mowing the lawn in the seasonal months, I handle the interior of the home ALL the months. I think the amount of effort I put into our home on a daily basis to keep it afloat surpasses my culinary skills or lack thereof and hopefully my children will one day recognize that.
And when they get older and more adventurous with foods and ask if mama can cook them something lovely, maybe then I will pull out the lovely Kapusta recipe lodged in my memory and hope for the best.