Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dads who Cook

My wife is a better cook than me. She is a superior baker. However, I'm the primary cook of the household. It's been that way since 2000 when she switched to a new employer and started getting home from work later than me. Though we both grew up in households where our moms were the primary cooks, this arrangement hasn't seemed at all strange to us. I therefore appreciated this New York Times article regarding the phenomenon of men in my generation becoming the primary cooks in the household.

I don't pretend to be the caliber of cooks mentioned in this article. I can cook decent food from decent recipes, but my kids (2/3 of my clientele) prefer quick and simple meals. It might, therefore, be more appropriate to call me the household's short-order cook. As a consequence, I don't think my children will grow up remembering my cooking for its quality as much as they will remember it as a symbol of how I was there and how their parents acted as a partnership.

Sherry and I were fortunate in that we were raised in households characterized by parents who were there, who were involved, and showed us what a partnership looked like. Of course in the 1980s we were closer to 1950s and 1960s definitions of gender roles than we are now. Also, I think cooks (for our generation, usually moms) had at least a little bit more time to prepare meals. Also, they had fewer gadgets and toys (I don't remember microwaves coming to the kitchen until the mid-1980s), a fact that both necessitated and incentivized a higher skill level at the stove. So, I think Sherry and I will continue the tradition of showing our kids what a marriage premised on partnership looks like but will not pass down as powerful a legacy of good cooking as we enjoyed.

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