Friday, April 22, 2011

Modern Translation: The Awesome wife’s guide (Rule #1)

(This is the 2nd post of this series. To read the entire series, click on the label to the left that reads "Modern Translation Series.")  

Let’s break down these good housewife tips, shall we?

* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

This one is complicated for me. I like to cook and I am especially proud when I cook a meal that my husband loves. The problem is that doesn’t happen very often. Don’t get me wrong, the hub will eat anything I cook. He’s like a garbage disposal (which is great, because we don’t actually have a real garbage disposal). I’ve yet to make a meal that wasn’t edible. That’s a lie- I’ve yet to make a meal that I thought would be edible but we discovered upon bite one that it wasn’t. I have made a meal that went straight to the trash can... or two. But I don’t think three.

My husband is the chef of the house. He CAN cook. (My advice to the single ladies- marry a man who can cook!) When he starts feeling creative he goes in the kitchen and takes it out on a pork loin & let me tell you he works wonders- especially on the cheapest meats, which makes my frugal grocery budget very happy! I love these nights but they only happen when we’ve got a good 60-90 minutes to wait on dinner. When we need dinner in 20 minutes, I’m your girl! I’m a whipper-upper and I can whip-up a well balanced meal no less. I have it down to a science:

Step 1: Put some frozen pre-seasoned fish fillets on a baking sheet.
Step 2: Grab a box of frozen veggies from the freezer and toss those in the microwave.
Step 3: Is there a bag of frozen Pillsbury Grands biscuits in the freezer? SCORE! Toss a few of those in the oven w/ the fish.
Step 4: Wait 20 minutes.
Step 5: Serve on real plates and throw away evidence of freezer packaging.

This works for us. This is just one example of how well my husband and I complement each other. I guess you could call this the “modern” take on Rule #1. But, what can I learn from 1950 Rule #1? Planning ahead is essential- even when “whipping up” a meal. One thinks “to whip” is to do something quickly and yes, I do cook the meal quickly but I’ve usually planned out which quick meal I am going to whip up in advance.
One thing I think my household needs to improve on is decreased food waste. I’ve noticed that we waste more food when I don’t take the time to pre-plan. For example, when I buy fresh bagels only to get home and discover we have 5 bagels at home already and there is no way we can eat 11 bagels before they go bad. Or, when I pull more meat out of the freezer than we can eat in a week’s time and I’m scrambling to cook two meals in one night before everything goes bad, then we end up with too many leftovers and I’m stuck eating the same thing for lunch all week which I get sick of and start spending money on food at work that I probably shouldn’t be spending only to have to throw half of it out in the end anyway. <deep breath>

So, I think the 1950s housewife planned ahead not only to make her husband happy but to be smart. She planned her weekly meals around what she already had at home (something I need to work on) and planned her weekly shopping trip to supplement the meal plan. I plan meals ahead for my husband because it saves me money and cuts down on food waste. I plan ahead for his Top Chef moments by pulling meat that needs eaten out of the freezer when I know we’ll be home for a weekend dinner because I get to eat the fruits of his labor. I cater to his cooking whims because, well, it’s worth it!

I don’t mind being the one responsible for weeknight meals for a number of reasons:

1) I need to eat. The hub is more like a camel- he can take or leave a meal. If he doesn’t eat tonight, he’ll just eat double tomorrow and somehow it all balances out for him. I, on the other hand, am hypoglycemic (low-blood sugar) and I don’t always have time to wait for him to cook.

2) I do all the shopping therefore I know what we have. My husband suffers from the disease which causes a man to start asking where something is in the refrigerator while in the process of opening the refrigerator. I can cite him for not really trying to find the ketchup sitting on the shelf in front of his face, but I cannot exactly blame him for not knowing that there was an awesome deal on ketchup at Target last week and therefore we know have a stockpile in the basement for when said ketchup bottle runs out. So, for the sake of our pocketbook and the garbage man I think I’ll continue cooking the majority of our meals.   

3) I like a clean kitchen which a cooking husband doth not make.

In summary,

Dear 1950’s Housewife,

I generally like Rule #1 and I believe you are onto something with this planning ahead idea. I do, however disagree with you in regards to the dinner-on-the-table-when-he-walks-through-the-door ideal. I am happy to cook my husband dinner, but I see no need in wasting food if he arrives home not hungry or only to tell me he is going out to eat that evening. (On those nights I am perfectly content with a bag of popcorn, a handful of M&Ms and a sink empty of dirty dishes.) Additionally, while I agree with you that nothing says “I’ve been thinking about you” more than Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff, I don’t think my husband’s cholesterol would appreciate his favorite meal too frequently.

Have a pleasant day,
The 2010s Housewife

1 comment:

  1. I love this rule!!! Mostly because I do this one no problems hehehe
    I do like to have a meal on the table for when Brian walks int he door at 6pm.
    We all eat at the same time (there are 5 of us we have three boys aged 15, nearly 3 and nearly 2) so that helps.
    The boys would prefer to eat at 5.30ish but it's not hard to stretch them out to 6pm.
    I do like to eat earlier on the days that Brian's home though. Makes the evening routine not run too late.
    So yep I like the first rule. Onto rule #2