“Oh, your husband must think he hit the jackpot!” That’s what a guy said to me this weekend as he bit into a lasagna cup I made for a friend’s party.
If he only knew.
My husband hates my cooking.
It’s “too healthy”, not like his mom made it or would be better if it came straight from a jar. You know, without “tarting it up”.
That’s right. I love cooking. My husband loves junk food.
It sounds like a little thing. Like a punch line. But it can actually be really draining.
Every night I make a fresh dinner for our family, which includes four small kids. I am the sole cook in our crew, making every breakfast, lunch and dinner. Before I sound like a maid, know this: Cooking is a job I don’t mind. At all.
I used to be a VP at the mother ship, Martha Stewart. Now I write about cooking for a family, here and for the Food Network. I cater school lunches and teach private workshops. I develop recipes for big media brands and I’m working on my first cookbook that comes out in March.
I’m all in. Because I love it.
Cooking is all about connection. It’s creative. A chance to express how much you care. Our dinner table is the perfect place to teach kids about the value of fresh food rich in flavor. That’s the point of Foodlets. Raising mini foodies who appreciate good food. But it’s that second part — appreciate — that’s hard to teach when the largest member of our family gives every meal a big ol’ meh.
So I adapt. I set low expectations. And that helps.
If I’m honest, there are definitely times when even I want to quit. To say, go ahead everyone. Just order pizza. Tonight and every other night.
Because it’s too hard to put yourself out there. It’s a very vulnerable thing to set your effort on a plate.
But when I’m thinking clearly, this is what I remind myself: He’s just not that into food. He likes steak, restaurants and junk food. In that order. The guy doesn’t eat breakfast or dessert and he eats every lunch at a restaurant. With a waiter. So, let this one go.
And that’s where we are. I don’t worry about his opinion of my cooking anymore. (Most of the time.) He always eat a small, polite amount with us at the table then fills up on the steaming styrofoam weirdness that is Cup-o-Noodles later in the evening.
That’s what he does because that’s what he wants to do. Not because he’s trying to hurt my feelings.
You know what else? I make steak more often. And pork chops. Things that I know he likes.
He’s a good dad. We’ve gone amazing places together. He’s patient as I build my business and I’m lucky to have him.
In the end, I love cooking and always will. That’s who I am, not who he is.