I have been a regular visitor to Allrecipes.com since their early days and over the years I have noticed a disturbing trend develop. I think that it is high time that someone
stand up and address the issue. That time is now ladies & gents and that person is me.
Dear Clueless Kitchen Husbands,
As a man who knows his way around both a kitchen & a grocery store, I have become increasingly frustrated with posts & blogs in which I read either “DH did this in the kitchen”
or “DH went to the store and brought back that”. Now in most cases these phrases wind up detailing some culinary mishap or purchase that result in headshaking & a good number of LOL’s at the poor husband’s expense. There are those rare occasions in which the
DH may actually do something right but those are few & far between and about as hard to find as a ripe avocado in the grocery store the day of the Super Bowl. So let’s get to the bottom of the problem and see if we can’t begin to erase this unfair stigma.
Let’s start with the DH designation. Now most, if not all, of the women on this site will tell you that DH stands for Dear Husband or Darling Husband and they will type it with
a straight face too. We all know that DH really means Designated Hitter (a ridiculous rule instigated by the American League back in the early 70’s but that has nothing to do with this topic at all so we can discuss it some other time during a rain delay or
something) but in this realm it means something entirely different. It means Dumb Husband, Dang Husband, Darn Husband or D*mn Husband depending on the supposed culinary indiscretion you have inflicted on your blogging/posting wife. Hopefully you have figured
that one out for yourself and are as miffed by the designation as I am. I know that if I referred to my wife online as DW that she would automatically assume it stood for Dumb Wife, Dish Washer or worse. So what can we do to help rid ourselves of this label?
First off, there is no excuse for a man who can’t cook for himself unless he lived with his mother until the day he got married. Every man should know his way around the basics
of a kitchen. Cavemen figured out fire and so can you. I will admit that when I first moved out on my own I relied on scrambled eggs, hot dogs, boil in the bag meals, frozen meals and Happy Hour chicken wings but those got old quickly. I wasn’t living anywhere
near my parents so I had to make my own way around the kitchen. It took some time but in the end but it has definitely been worth it. They say that the best way to a Man’s Heart is through his Stomach and the same can be said about that being the best way
to a Woman’s Heart too. You don’t have to be an Emeril or a Bobby Flay and whip up a 5 Star Michelin Rated Meal to do it either. Start with the little things in the meal preparation like grabbing a cutting board (bamboo is my choice) and a knife and start
peeling the carrots & potatoes, dicing the onions & peppers or trimming the fat off a cut of meat. Wielding a knife (carefully of course and not like a ninja) & chopping things up appeals to that base caveman element inside of you and it also appeals to the
side of your Darling Wife that wants a Sous Chef to boss around.
And yes I said BOSS AROUND. The kitchen, in most cases, is your wife’s domain much like the workbench in the garage is yours. My wife & I split a lot of the cooking duties but
I will be the first one to tell you that the kitchen belongs to her so I need to respect it and you should too. Ask where things belong and don’t tell her where they should go. What may seem like an inefficient setup to you may be a system or method of cooking
that best works for your wife. Remember it’s her domain. They say that cooking can be a sensual experience and when you start to work, listen & help in the kitchen you will see that your wife will start to look at you in a slightly different way. Learn to
do the “Dance” and maybe she won’t say anything the next time you want to watch the game.
Now let’s talk about the grocery store because this is an area where us guys should be killing it and from what I am reading out there, we aren’t. The ability to hunt has been
ingrained in our beings since the days of clubs & dinosaurs. In most cases these days, we men don’t have to go out and actually kill our food anymore but we do have to go to the store to “hunt”. Now just because something has a great price on it, it doesn’t
always mean it’s the best deal for you & for Dear Wife. A case of your favorite BBQ sauce or 25 lbs of sweet potatoes or a side of beef may look good at the cash register but they look terrible when you get home. No one wants to get stuck with too much of
even a good thing. Think moderation and not big score when you go shopping. Learn the layout of the grocery store and work the aisles from one end to the other. Google hasn’t mapped it for us yet but grocery stores, for the most part, are laid out in the same
manner. In most cases the produce (fruits & veggies) & baked goods are closest to the front door and the refrigerated & frozen goods are near the back of the store. The main reasoning behind this layout is to keep the items that could spoil or melt when out
of it’s cold case for the least amount of time, so please don’t wander the aisles haphazardly as the ice cream melts out of the bottom of the cart. Pay attention to the list that your Darling Wife gives you and if there is something on the list that doesn’t
make sense to you, don’t just grab the next best thing, ask someone for help. Another man in the store may or may not be able to help you and most women will answer if they think you aren’t trying to hit on them or if you look exceptionally perplexed but the
best person to ask is an employee. You wouldn’t hesitate to ask the guy at the gas station for directions, would you ? And when it comes to pricing your items, always look at the unit price in yellow next to the sticker price in the middle of the price tag.
It will help you compare the real cost of different but same items. You would be surprised by how many of these supposed “Specials” that we men have been known to fall for aren’t really special at all. I like to look at the grocery store as a battlefield and
you are the general set to ride in with your horde of troops to conquer. As the Great Roman Emperor Julius Caesar would have said today, “Veni, Vidi, Costco” – “I came. I saw. I Costco’d”.
There is no reason if you follow these tips that we can’t beat the clueless label that our Dear Wives & partners have slapped on us. It’s food after all. It’s important. It’s
something you should have an interest in helping to prepare as well as to consume. Some of the greatest chefs in the world are men. I’m not asking you all to rise to that level, I’m just asking you to step up and help the male half of the human race rid ourselves
of the implication that we are all clueless in the kitchen. I’ll be monitoring the blogs & comment boards for your progress.
Bon Appetit & Happy Hunting.