My darling husband has earned himself three months vacation. I know, we 10-15 days private sector workers will never understand how someone can rack up three months of vacation. Three months! That's 90 days or about 100 days not counting weekends! Okay fine, I'll admit that his job is pretty rough, so
perhaps he does deserve the time off (said a very jealous wife).
But let's get on with my story.
My husband has a love-hate relationship with fitness and an obsession with fad diets. Very often, he drags me along with him. And so it was not surprising when he announced one morning that to complement his 100 days vacation, he would also embark on 100 days of "clean" eating. Guess who was assigned to preparing those 100 (well more like 300) meals? Me!
Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic about this announcement and it must have been quite evident because one morning my husband casually said to me, "Hey hon, since I am on vacation, I want you to teach me how to cook so I can help out."
Sweeter words have never been said."Sure!" I quickly replied. I mean which wife on this planet would turn down such a request from her husband.
On the following Sunday, we began lessons. Together we set out to prepare a sumptuous meal. My husband, you know, did manly things like opening cans, throwing stuff in the garbage, taking stuff down from unreachable cupboards and forgetting to wash the dishes. Occasionally, he would pay keen attention for five seconds, but would soon get distracted by a basketball game or his phone or an ant crawling on the countertop. So basically, I cooked.
What he did do, was a spectacular job of plating the food and taking photos of said food, which he later posted on social media, proudly claiming that the finished product was as a result of our joint effort. So, I did what any aggrieved wife who had spent the day (or a few hours) slaving over the stove would do: I called him out for taking credit for food he didn’t prepare.
Yours truly, then accused me of "attacking" him on social media and being "unethical". He argued that he didn't take credit for my cooking and that he was merely following my instructions to "just observe". He told me my services were no longer needed, kicked me out of the kitchen, proclaimed his independence and took to YouTube to learn on his own.
In his words, he was now on a mission to “crack the code” and “break the oppression” which apparently I have been exercising over him for the past four years, (by cooking his meals of course).
And so, overnight, this man to whom I've have been married for four years (dated for four prior), whose most accomplished meal was fried eggs, in less than one week transformed into Chef Boyardee -- creating fancy meals with elaborate plating and the whole shebang. Quite frankly, I think I have been duped!
I had to get to the bottom of this. An investigation was needed and so after badgering him for days, he finally agreed to an interview. Here goes...
Husband, I’m happy you’ve agreed to this interview.
So, three months vacation, huh? Do they even need you back at work?
You sound bitter. Anyway, please move right along. I’m not even going answer that.
Seriously, what do you plan to do with your three months?
Well, based on the nature of my job, I need time to relax and rejuvenate. I was also thinking of spending quality time with my wife, but I’m currently rethinking that as we speak.
Lol! Speaking of the gym, do you actually plan to stick to your gym routine this time round? (I recall last year’s "one year transformation" fad)
My defense is that I got injured the last time and then I spent almost a month in China and when I got home I was transferred to Clarendon. But to answer your question, yes, I see myself sticking to the gym for the 3 months and beyond (yes, I know all of unno reading saying, "or just until carnival")
What’s your target weight loss? What’s your ideal body goal? *cough* Jason Statham *cough*
I need to lose 80 to 90 pounds. Between 240 and 250 would be my ideal weight. And no, no Jason Statham. I just want back the body I had in say 2005. Bout Jason Statham, is not like I’m married to Halle Berry (rolls eyes).
MURRRRR! Anyway, let’s talk about cooking. Quite frankly I think I have been duped for the past 8 plus years, how do you respond to that?
I guess you'll never know, will you? (snickers)
(Laughs) No wife, you haven't been duped. I honestly didn't grow up cooking. As you know I have lots of sisters, and my father was very traditional and strongly believed that men didn't belong in the kitchen, so my primary chore was manning our shop. But a man has pride and after you falsely accused me of taking credit for your cooking, blasting me on social media, I knew I had no choice but to learn on my own. I took to YouTube and I discovered that cooking is sort of like Maths. There are specific formulas and methods and if you follow them with mathematical precision, you will most likely end up with the correct results. After watching for a few minutes (well, more like a couple hours) I felt I was ready to crack the code.
What was the experience like preparing the first meal on your own?
Well, I knew I couldn’t start off with meats like chicken, pork or beef. After going to YouTube, the University of cooking, I realized that if I spoiled shrimp then I could just forget about this cooking idea. After watching about 2 hours’ worth of videos, I was super confident. Plus, I was very focused on shutting you up on social media, so I knew all the stars would align to make everything perfect!
Lol! Well, even I will grudgingly admit that you’ve have been doing an excellent job, especially at plating your food. It’s like you became a chef overnight?
I told you I was an artist! Back in high school, I won many art competitions (just ask anyone who attended Charlemont High), so I have a natural appreciation for the visual. Furthermore, I personally eat with my eyes way before the food enters my mouth. If it doesn’t look good, I am not going to eat it. Plus, the food war was on social media and I knew I needed to win over the crowd. How else would I do so if not with the artistic plating of the food? (Is not like they can taste it.)
Let’s be honest, we both know you have the shortest attention span on the planet. So, how long is the cooking fad going to last.
Shortest attention span? I don’t understand. I’m still married to you, aren’t I?
(Falls off chair laughing.) Very well. So are you then saying that this cooking could become a long-term hobby?
It’s a part of my lifestyle now. I’m planning to hone and develop my skills, not just for the health aspect of it, but also for other dimension such as the intimacy it has brought to our relationship. I’m just now beginning to understand the concept of soul food.
For the avoidance of doubt, am I still expected to prepare meals?
Not by yourself; though most likely I be doing it by myself 100%. Haven't you realised that you can’t get me out of the kitchen since I've been bitten by the cooking bug?
Also, would you agree that it is not unreasonable of me to expect home cooked meals for the next three months, at least?
It’s not unusual, but I’m here thinking that you will soon start to have withdrawal after about 2 weeks of not cooking for your love, so I’m thinking I will facilitate 2 to 3 days of the week for you.
By the way, why does it sound as if you want to put this in writing? Do I need a lawyer?
Funny. Mr Taylor, what types of dishes can we expect to see over the course of the next three months?
Healthy and challenging meals, Mrs Taylor. I’ll throw in some traditional ones every now and then. I’ll focus on meals to inspire my social media followers. Remember you are what you eat!
Look at you!!! Sounding like a real chef. What’s the hardest thing to get used to when interacting in the kitchen?
As a police officer, I must say the sexual harassment I have to endure, namely, being slapped on my butt every time you walk by the kitchen. It's untenable.
(Leans in suggestively) Then why don't you arrest me, Mr. Officer?
This is exactly what I'm talking about. Mrs. Taylor, can we keep this interview professional?
Fine. In respect of your target weight, will you be sharing your fitness updates with us?
(Laughing) Come on now wife, this is me you are talking to. Even when people don’t want to know I will be posting.
As your loving wife, how can I support you on this healthy cooking journey?
Great question! Be more sensitive when I’m asking basic questions, and yes, you know I will be buying every cooking gadget, so don’t say a word, please and thanks!
I have to ask, having spent a few days in the kitchen, do you know have a greater appreciation of all the hard work that goes into cooking?
Having now experienced all the effort and hard work that goes into cooking, I want to hug my mom, and I want to thank you and every one, including all my exes, who has ever cooked for me. Cooking a meal from start to finish has truly been an eye opener. This is the main reason I will try to cook for you as much as possible -- within the next 100 days that is 🙂
Why, thank you husband. Any last words?
Breaks out singing, "You no inna my league" in Movado's voice.
That’s for the shade in the first question. On a serious note though, the main thing I’ve learnt from this experience is that sometimes we are cultured... wired into accepting particular roles in life and as such we box ourselves into thinking that there are things we can or cannot do. Just letting go off those stereotypes can add so much value to our lives and relationships.
Awww. That's pretty profound.
By the way, is this interview over? I have to get back to cooking.
There you have it folks. If you enjoyed this post and you want to follow Garfield's, sorry, I mean Chef Bucka's 100 days of cooking subscribe for updates and remember to share!