How did I become a house wife?

151I don’t know quite what triggered it, besides our obvious move that we made over a year ago. I’ve always been a free spirit, very stubborn, and my husband was always the one trying to cook when he could and cleaning up after my messes. I hear some women talk about how we aren’t exactly as free as we think we are. This one lady who said these exact words said that we weren’t very free, we were only free to cook, clean, do laundry, and take care of the children. That men these days still don’t know how to help out and they are taught for us to take care of them… And essentially we become like their mothers. (Ew.)

This woman was also married for 36 years and recently had become divorced at the age of sixty. I thought of interjecting to say that my husband has always been a gentleman, opening doors for me, getting my coat, and he has always the one cleaning, cooking, he was even doing my laundry! I could tell she was very hurt by what happened to her, understandably so, and my unusual case with my husband probably wouldn’t be heard.

It was a strange situation with two service providers being in the room at once so I let the other gal answer any of her questions. Her freedom analysis of married women was interesting, but it isn’t the case for all women. I feel absolutely free with my husband, I have traveled more this year than any year in my life. He encourages me to go out with people if I want to, and if I do need him to clean I just need to remind him verbally to do it. Like most guys, dropping hints about dishes or cleaning will get me no where, yet telling him the exact thing I want from him will get him to definitely do it for me.

092I guess I felt more interested in this idea of freedom and us being there to take care of our husbands with cleaning, cooking, etc. because I’ve fell into the role of being like a house wife. Now, keep in mind I still work, I pick up days when my work asks me to, but I’ve even gotten my cooking times coordinated with when my husband might be coming home.

Dinner needs to be ready hopefully by the time he walks in the door, I will be finishing up with it so it is still warm for us when he walks in. I’ve basically taken over dishes duty since I am doing all of our cooking. I thought if I was ever at this stage where I’d consider myself a housewife I’d resent it very strongly. If you asked me a year ago that I’d be cooking complicated dishes almost every day of the week, doing dishes, and especially enjoying the cooking I’d of laughed at you… Very hard. When I visit my family they still don’t believe it, and I’d love to cook for them because it is one of my huge things of pride and discovery for me. My mother never really cooked for us, she really didn’t like it and since we never cooked at home there was not much for us to ever clean. The basics of how to cook was self-taught to myself by trial and error, and amazingly once I started cooking, there was this natural ability to make really tasty dishes.

Now the question of how I became a housewife I think is easiest to be explained by our move and my need to adapt and still feel important without a job. I wanted to be able to do something while I was job searching and though I assumed I wouldn’t be good at cooking, I still decided to give it a try. Now that I have a job the act of cooking, strangely enough, gives me a sort of stress relief after working even when my body is sore from massaging. I don’t know quite how I got to this point I’m at now… But I don’t mind being here.

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Eating causes me pain

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Deceptively delicious…

The act of eating something generally causes your brain to signal a pleasure response, telling us that we did good finding food to eat for our survival. Even though we aren’t struggling to find food nowadays our brains aren’t hard-wired to feel any differently so eating is pleasurable and releases the happy feeling endorphin. My brain still says, “Good job for eating and surviving another day!” but my stomach doesn’t share in that sentiment.

I don’t know when it started hitting me when eating equaled pain but I believe it coincided with my teenage years and how I dealt with stress. For a long time I accepted how my stomach was a battlefield when food was added, since I always believed there was nothing I could do to remedy it. I would go for weeks, months, with intense stomach pain especially in periods of extreme stress.

022The pain I dealt with was eventually filed away in my brain with my tmj pain with my jaw. It was unwanted but impossible to avoid so I tried to numb myself to the discomfort I was experiencing. Their was no solution to my problem, so I’d resolved to ‘live with it.’

The solution happened with our move and my upheaval of everything I knew and did, and adapting to the life of a house wife. I gathered cook books, with no hopes of actually cooking something edible, and surprisingly not only cooked edible food but delicious food. Now I’m cooking five, sometimes six days, out of the week and my stomach has never felt better. Dinner and eating is something I look forward to, instead of dreading how I’d feel later.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack where I used to live I ate out every single day of the week, I only ate one time out of the day, and when I didn’t eat out I’d eat frozen meals. I never once was taught how to cook anything from my mother, and my brother and I were set out into the world with no knowledge whatsoever how to make any food for ourselves. The only things I could make was grilled cheese, tomato soup, scrambled eggs, an omelet, minute rice, and that’s pretty much it. My brother still generally doesn’t cook and I only tried to out of a whim to evolve into a wife who could take care of her husband while she didn’t have a job.

I’d never would have guessed cooking for myself would reap so many benefits, that I’d love it as much as I do, and how much I’d miss my cooking on trips. Now when I eat and feel pain it’s because I have to eat out on vacations, and I need to be extremely careful what I eat or else I’m suffering again. It’s a relief to enjoy eating and especially to appreciate what I cook, but if I didn’t cook it, my stomach seems to revolt against it and it makes my traveling quite inconvenient when I chose wrong.

Bring it on gobble gobble

I must be insane, or just plain crazy, or maybe a nice mixture of a little bit of both. I have both a turkey and a ham and I’m planning to cook them for thanksgiving for the first time in my life. Now, let’s not forget I have been adventurous in my house wife chef title and also rather surprisingly successful at cooking lately. I’ve made Cornish game hens, pork for the first time, steak, homemade baked French frites, and a wide number of unassisted dishes that have turned out rather delicious 99.9% of the time.

I’m getting cocky with all of my successes by myself, and having dinner ready on time for my husband when he comes in the door. We already have some favorite recipes I’m replicating week by week with tweaks that make it come out just as good or better. Yet, I just can’t help but to admit…

I am kind of scared of that turkey, and throw in that ham and I think I might be just asking for a holiday meltdown. I’m terrified to see if the turkey has defrosted and I have a sneaking suspicion it is stubbornly not going to defrost in time. Unlike my normal cooking expeditions where I don’t need any help I have made my husband promise to not leave me alone with cooking these two monster amounts of meat. He then kiddingly plays with me that he’ll help me… By pointing to the page on how to do it, which is not okay by me at all.

And, this is coming from the girl who successfully baked some homemade brownies for the first time in her life recently for my husband to bring in for his coworkers. This turkey has me terrified and why, oh why, did we have to get a ham too? Oh, wait, I know why! Because the ham was free with buying a turkey and why not double up stress and gobble it up too?

My husband and I are making new traditions, it’s the first time we are doing the holidays by ourselves. Normally my family goes to a restaurant thanksgiving day buffet and last year we did that and I got so severely sick I don’t know how I made it in to work. For someone who never really had a home cooked thanksgiving or Christmas meal I feel like my husband and I are making a really nice tradition even if the only family we have is us and our little bunny.

It’s the tradition of hopefully learning together to make a really great and somewhat traditional holiday meal. It’s hopefully a tradition of not going to the movie theater to have dinner on popcorn because that’s the only place that is open on thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s a day with some stress, but with the focus on being together and not creating more stress when there’s no reason to.

I miss my family, and will miss my husband’s family too over the holidays. Gifts will be sent by mail and I can’t think of a more stressful year than what me and my husband have been through with our move, his job change, and my job loss. But, I am thankful to have him, and our new little pet bunny, be my family for the holidays. And, I must say, he better be helping me with these giant pieces of meat because the thought of not cooking them completely might give me nightmares tonight!

Kitchen War Zone

One of my favorite things about cooking from scratch is feeling a huge sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when not only is my food edible, but it is delish! I’ve been doing a lot of from scratch recipes from my multitude of recipe books my husband got me for me taking on the chef duties. I did pork without cutting it into tiny pieces which is how I normally cook meat. I just did a buttermilk flour dredged chicken tenderloins fried up in oil with a lemon curd sauce which was divine!

I love when I have weird stuff being checked out at the grocery store and someone asks me, “Why would you need this?? What could you possibly be you making with this?! And then I just smile and explain the recipe and they end up smiling back and saying how it sounds good.

When I pull it off it is icing on the cake! But, my kitchen becomes like a war zone that you get kind of scared stepping back into when you are done cooking. The flour and lemon zest was everywhere, and flour was plastered to the plate I used to dredge the chicken in. The buttermilk and lemon zest was luckily self contained within the bowl, yet making the lemon zest wasn’t so clean and tidy!

The lemon zest flew all over the place and I ended up inadvertently using the grinder on the top of my thumb. It isn’t a from scratch recipe if I don’t end up slicing myself in the process.

I’ve never made chicken without cutting it up into tiny pieces and I have to fight he urge to this time. Luckily dicing up my floured buttermilk bathed chicken wasn’t necessary because the chicken tenderloins turned out moist and not dry at all. My husband gave me two thumbs up and we luckily have an agreement at if I cook the food he will clean it up. Which, with the lemon zest, breading, oil, and the whole kitchen like a war zone I thought this was more than a fair enough agreement.

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Cookaholic

I don’t know if it’s common to get as excited about cooking food as I can get with cooking my husband dinner. My guess is that it might have to do with the fact that I was deprived of cooking for all of my life. There was also that terrible fear of messing up and giving myself food poisoning with raw meats.

I have decided to name myself a Cookaholic because of how much I’ve been cooking combined with my excitement for not killing myself or my husband.

The day before I did something that I totally in a million years thought I would ever do because I thought I had to throw it up in the air like you see in the movies and that just wouldn’t work. I’d toss it up in the air only to have it be stuck on the ceiling or stuck in my hair when gravity would take over and bring it back down.

What is this mystery meal I’m taking about with throwing it, tossing it, and spinning it with the agility I know I don’t have in the kitchen? Why, I am taking about making homemade pizza. It wasn’t exactly from scratch because I bought the dough but I am still giving myself brownie points because I did not have a clue what I was doing!

I have always either gone to a restaurant, ordered in, or bought a frozen pizza. I never even imagined making it myself, it just came to me when this lady was doing a food demo with the pizza dough and ingredients. With my husbands encouragement that I might be able to do it myself I bought the pizza dough, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni slices with a silent wish that I wouldn’t burn it to oblivion. The cost of everything was even cheaper than getting a frozen pizza and much, much cheaper than getting it delivered for sure.

I used a type of cookie sheet, let the dough rest, and then started to play with it. Pizza dough has one of the strangest textures that is even more pronounced when you are stretching and pulling it. I wondered if I was doing it right, slapped on some sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, and shoved it in the oven. I stood with my head inches from the oven as I watched for it to be ready and timed it on my stop watch to keep track of the time.

What was the result? Did I fail my culinary challenge? Why, believe it or not, I so passed it! That homemade pizza was amazing and I got enough dough to do it all over again when my husband is out-of-town. Hopefully the second time will be just as successful and it wasn’t just a fluke.

Romantic at the Heart of It

In a couple of months it’s going to be the man and I’s 2 year anniversary. Since he’s quite a romantic, and so am I, I’ve been trying to brainstorm what we should do for it. He’s had chocolates dropped off at my work before for our anniversary, has gotten me flowers, I’m definitely very lucky. It’s just that I don’t quite what would be the right surprise, and what he’ll like the most.

Should it be a romantic dinner and going to some place really nice? A show that we both can check out together? A night in where I try to cook him dinner? Us doing something together that we’ve never done before?

The first time I cooked something for the man was an omelet that I thought I was going to wow him with. We had an electric stove so I placed the glass plates that I was going to use on one of the burners I seemed to think was off. I was flipping the omelets with expert precision and everything was going well until I heard a loud pop.

There was an explosion, glass went everywhere, including cutting me on my hand. The glass plate became projectiles and luckily he didn’t get hurt, but I did. All of my hard work on the eggs had to be tossed out because glass pieces got inside of the hot pan too. I had to redo the omelets and they weren’t as good as my first production. I was very flustered and kept on apologizing for my ditsy move, especially since we had only been dating for a few weeks.

I thought I had blown it with him, obviously I hadn’t, but I was so worried. My intentions were in the right place, but my execution was terrible. Never put glass on a hot electric stove burner, that is just a recipe for disaster! So, that is how it works with my cooking. I either explode glass into tons of little pieces, I over cook, under cook, and end up throwing out my own creations. While he’s like a cook, and a baker, and everything in one. He can even make cookies from scratch. Which, to me, is like amazing.

And they taste amazing too, he made a huge batch of homemade cookies for my work last year. I ended up sharing the cookies I wasn’t as crazy about, while I hoarded the ones that were super tasty. I think maybe we will try to make cookies this year and I’m going to do more than just watch him and being the first to taste test the batches that come out.

I think that is on the list of what we can do together this year. We could maybe try doing a cooking class together so I could learn how to not explode things in the kitchen, but I think I get territorial over the kitchen when I’m in it. I get very self-conscious when someone is watching me and then I make even more mistakes because I’m super nervous. I asked the man what he might want to do and he responded with a “I don’t know”, so I’m trying to brainstorm what would be some really cool ideas. He always takes care of me, so I want to do something special in celebration of our 2 year anniversary.