Together in the kitchen.

Domesticate Me

One of the ways I stayed sane living in a hotel this summer was to imagine us back in our renovated home. I kept a Pinterest board of all our design ideas because it kept me focused on the outcome, not the destruction! When the process became overwhelming, I would go pin something inspirational. Click, click, breathe, breathe.

Early in the process I found myself imagining cooking in our new kitchen. Um, yeah, you heard correctly. Me cooking. (no it’s not the 8th sign of the apocalypse, yes it’s a bit delusional) So I started a board of recipe ideas that looked both accessible to the uninitiated cook and appetizing. I labeled the board, “Domesticate Me.” And, well. . . the idea snowballed.

I have a couple of reasons for wanting to learn to cook. For starters, it’s pretty depressing to realize that the only things you know how to “cook” are actually baked items. Apparently, I know how to use an oven! I can make a knock-out quiche and fabulous pizza from scratch. But those aren’t advisable weekly menu items if we want to our arteries to remain clear; no matter how much tweaking I do to those recipes.

My lack of ability in the kitchen puts a lot of pressure on IZ. While he loves to cook, he also works too many hours in a week at a job that is high pressure and all consuming. And to survive the pressure (and because we shop so much at box Costco) we have a list of meals we resort to weekly. IZ just doesn’t have the energy or time to experiment all the time. In the process, cooking has become a bit of drudgery, instead of that thing that used to help him decompress.

So, I vowed to myself to change that. To learn to cook enough meals that in a few months I could take over a couple days a week in the kitchen. And pinned like a foodie with a mission.

At some point in the process, while talking over the idea with IZ (getting a man out of his kitchen is no easy feat, my friends!), I realized that I wanted to integrate our son into the process. While IZ would be the natural person to teach him to cook, IZ already spends a lot of time in teacher mode with the boy. And they have a innate sparring pre-set that drives me batty and is best done in rooms without knives. I call them “dog with a bone and puppy with a bone.”

But, maybe if the two of us were to learn together, it would be less taxing? More collaborative, less directorial? Worth a try?


Oh yes.

The truth is, our son is nearly 15 and has less and less in common with his mother daily. The more he looks like me, the less we have to talk about. He no longer speaks glue stick and glitter and paint and nature walks. He speaks in computer and code and mathematics and physics. I can listen, but I cannot contribute. So, cooking seems like a way for us to connect—something to do together. (that doesn’t involve buying him clothing, because apparently, I’m still the goto person for that!)

So, these are my reasons. I can’t cook. My husband is tired. I want to reconnect with my kid. I have no idea where our journey will take us. Or if I’ll write about it or how long it will last or much will come of it. But it seemed like a good idea when I was sitting in a hotel dreaming of a finished kitchen. And it still seems like a good idea now.

NOTE: this post has gone on far too long and lighting in the evening is pretty poor for photographs. But we managed to pull off 3 amazing recipes last night. So far, so good. Interested in what we ate? Here are the pins to the recipes:

Roasted Grapes Bruschetta

Stuffed Zucchini

Lemon Garlic Spaghetti