When The Professor and I spend an entire day in the kitchen testing recipes or doing what we call ‘batch cooking’ where we make dishes ahead, we play a game called ‘Kitchen Jenga’ – or ‘how high can we pile dishes in the drainer before one of us pulls out a single piece and everything comes tumbling down.’ And that ‘someone’ is usually me.

kitchenMost of the time, we work in the kitchen ‘clean’ – meaning, clean as you go, wiping counters, spills as they happen, rinsing/washing dishes as we go – hence the Jenga game. I use the word ‘we’ loosely because The Professor gets in his zone and can work in a postage-stamp-sized area to get the job done – dirty dishes, boxes and bags of ingredients opened and spread from one end of the kitchen to the other. I, on the other hand, need my work space clear so that I can lay out my mise en place, knives clean and sharp with counters as clear as possible. When The Professor is in the kitchen by himself, every pot and pan, kitchen utensil, knife, fork and spoon available to him will be used; I tend to use a single knife for chopping, dicing, peeling – a single pot or skillet, etc. And I’ve talked with other couples who say that this scenario means the kitchen becomes a source of conflict and that usually means someone (read – husbands) are banned from the kitchen.


What makes it work for us is that we both understand and accept how the other is wired and we usually divide up the components at hand; I know his prep area won’t look like mine but I also know that at the end of the meal he’ll be in the kitchen with me, helping to put it back in order – and the bottom line is this: I’d prefer to be in the kitchen with The Professor than be in the kitchen without him. We enjoy the dance and art of putting a meal together – sometimes with a more complicated recipe than others, but at the end of the day, cooking is still a creative process; music plays, gluten-free beer or wine sipped and sometimes we even dance . . .


Of course it doesn’t hurt that said recipe is Banana Cream Pie . . .


One Comment

  1. Y’all sound very much like us. But, like you, I’d rather deal with a mess than not have him there.

    Nice pie!

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