Confessions of a young wife Part 2

Before we go any futher, let me mention that although I have improved greatly, my mouth still has its moments. It is as if the more you uncover in marriage, as far as your spouse as well as challenging dynamics are concerned, the more you have to say. Anyhow…

There are many ‘love languages’, and today I want to share my experience with the kind that has less potential of causing emotional damage. Funny though, as much as it is commonly related to the physical, I personally find it emotionally and mentally stimulating.

A wife who cooks and cleans. (Feminists just put down their mobile devices, kidding). Growing up, cooking and cleaning was a chore. A hideous one at that. Possibly one of the reasons the above ‘cliched statement’ grew to be a sore point for many women. Domestic duties became an exercise set to prepare us to adequately perform in our ‘wife’ capacity within the institution of marriage. To cushion the blow we were told that “a way to a man’s heart is through the stomach”. I battled to associate a pot belly with happiness, the harms of literal thinking.

I am generous at heart. This translates in to me being what I call a ‘feeder’. I want everyone to be fed, and fed well, all of the time. This however does not mean I have an interest in cooking daily. Bless the soul who developed the concept of Mr Delivery. I also did not suffer the stereotypical behaviour expected from black/african men (Come home and demand you plate full of home cooked food). Many attributed this to my husband having an English father and being of Scottish decent, but this sadly is not the cause.

My husband spoke a similar ‘love language’. 

Why do I believe cooking is more than a chore? My husband’s reasons for taking his turn to cook, do the dishes or make a cup of tea were varied, but at its core his wished to remind me that he was present and wished to meet my needs. He came how one evening, after we had consumed take outs for a while (way to long honestly) and said “Tonight you are cooking, what do you need”. I turned around with such vigour and enlarged my playful eyes and responded quite swiftly “What the hell for?”. His response was simple “I miss my wife’s cooking”.

My husband did not miss my cooking (as good as my cooking can be if I say so myself), he missed my attention, consideration and warmth. The things that homes are built on. Cooking, when done well, is an art. The reason our ‘quick meals’ and failed lasagnes are found acceptable however is the heart behind the art. Someone took the time to consider my physical and mental needs. The body and mind sadly do not function on romantic utterances. 

Look at the concept of negligence. Failing to meet the physical and mental needs of a child by failing to provide regular and wholesome meals is considered negligence. Marriage doesnt suddenly allow us to evolve in to super beings whos needs suddenly differ from those of all mankind. 

The mind also requires a sense of order in order for it to function in an orderly fashion. Creating a space where this is attainable speaks more of your ability to sympathise with the needs of those you care for than your domestic finesse. 

I am appealing to the part of our beings that are able to put the needs of others before those of our own. This speaks more of us than it does of those who receive. An abundance of self love allows for an extension of genuine care an affection. With no expectation of a word of gratitude. How much more happier would we be if we found contentment in simply knowing that we have done good and we did it well. 

Food speaks to all of our hearts. So men should not shy away from learning and speaking this here language. 

I probably should mention that we live in an age of food channels, food blogs, cook books, cooking lessons, Woolworths (hahaha) so excuses have been reduced.

Explore the human condition. Relationships thrive on the reciprocating of meeting human needs. 

Let me cook… Not 

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Caked up & Tired 

 
I have better days, but some days almost reduce me to tears with an intense craving for cake. Really good cake. Rich, soft sponge, perfect filling, fattening cake! One morning I told my husband how much I would love cake for breakfast as I had been craving it all week. His response was peculiar. He asked if I was sleeping well. Now what do my sleeping patterns have to do with the price of cake? He continued to explain how the craving of cake is associated with insomnia. 

I had to consult doctor google urgently. And lo and behold. Craving cake, carbs and junk found is one of the major signs of insomnia, poor sleep, anxiety and depression. Speaking to a psychologist I confirmed all this. 

This is when I began to trace back to my ‘weakest moments’. I generally enjoy all things fatty and delicious, but intense craving did come about at my ‘low feeling’ and ‘poor sleep’ episodes. 

My mother has waved her hands in the air and ranted about my father’s poor food choices at random. My mother is a vegetarian and has been for 25 or so years, my father a pescetarian. He does however have the random craving for junk food. Now notice, he is one of the people I know to suffer from insomnia. A very busy man who is constantly ingrosed in various studies I wonder how and when his mind rests. So here mom, the better we sleep the better we eat. 

The body and mind attempt to find a substitute for the things necessary for the body’s function that are found in sleep. Also, the imbalance created by an irregular sleep pattern must somehow be compensated for. Carbohydrates seem to offer such substitutes. You can read more about this study online. 

Personally, I should thank my lucky stars that rapid weight gain is not familiar to me or I would quickly emulate the shape of many birthday cakes. The best way to combat the symptoms is to deal with the cause. 

So here’s to beating insomnia, somehow… 

   
   

Pies and pretty things 

Cooking calms me. When it is not perceived as a task it then becomes rather pleasurable. 

Growing up, all things associated with the kitchen were chores. The worst of these being the dishes. Even if there were two mugs, a few plates and spoons, squeezing diswashing liquid into the sink pained you. Dish washing was so horrendous a task you would ration it into three (3) parts. “I wash, you dry”, and drag someone else into the kitchen to pack them away.  Our parents must have looked on in horror at a growing generation who found defeat in stroking pieces of porcelain with a dish cloth! How could possibly handle a giant piece of metal with four wheels attached to it some day? 

In our home, cooking was a skill that one had to grasp by the age of eight (8), latest nine (9). My sister and I would alternate all week, and fight each friday when it was time to prepare for the Sabbath. We’d each list what we had supposedly prepared the friday before, adding all sorts of fantastical dishes to the list in an attempt to make our toils seem so heavy, that it would be gravely unfair to be made to do it again. This must be the reason I have issues with odd numbers. 

We have not yet established all the problems of this here dynamic.  Here is what I feel was the nail to the culinary coffin. My mom has been a vegetarian for about 25 or so years. At some points in her journey she adopted a vegan diet. My father however, was the extreme opposite, and enjoyed his meat product. This left is children with a constant swing vote which was mostly driven by craving, but at times by what my mom chose to include on the grocery list. 

I have no issues with a varied diet, none at all. My problem was that both parties expected a well balanced meal each evening, which left you cooking double the ordinarily required amount. So you would spend 20 minutes staring at two different pots of rice, for one evening’s sitting. Daunting does not begin to describe it.  

I needed an out so I found on in pasta. No one knew that whole wheat pasta existed at that point so the starch option was standard to all. Id create the same base and in the other pot substitute the vegetarian option with soy mince. This worked of course until my family realized that, that is all I ever prepared! 

I did explore in the kitchen, just as to know how far my skills did stretch, but my attitude towards cooking was tainted. Until recently…

My husband has always known that I can cook and bake. But, this was a basic chore, and these were mediocre meals until I learned what cooking means to me. 

I consider myself a ‘foodie’. I enjoy good food, I am knowledgeable about food and I have a relatively strong pallet. (Will blog about super tasters soon). Being able to add the preparation of good food to this list pleases me. I now cook and bake because I enjoy it. Immensely! I won’t deny the moments where the aim was simply to impress my husband lest he forget that he married a winner hahaha. 

Below is a display of desserts I prepared recently. A pumkin pie and an apple crumble. The recipes are not my own so I will not share them. This is simply testament that I have discovered the beauty in food and art in cooking. Despite the trauma of soy products. 

   

 

Food see? 

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So,after eating myself into a serious case of indigestion, I still feel the need to share this great discovery. A photographer friend of mine,on his move to Johannesburg posted a picture of a burger on IG. Given, his photographic skills shape some bias, but it would be a sin not to try what I saw. This is how I came to know one of the best burger spots in Joburg! RocoMamas!!!!! You are given the option of constructing a burger with fresh, delectable ingredients or enjoy one of the standard options. Either way, you will rarely leave unsatisfied. If gluttony is in motions,the ribs are a great choice. The wings are perfect for sharing. If you do share, you lessen the risk of looking pretty silly by your lonesome, because truly, who has found a dignified way to eating chicken wings??!! Try it! Fourways and Randburg area.