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When Your Husband’s In The Kitchen | News, Sports, Jobs

When Your Husband’s In The Kitchen | News, Sports, Jobs

I’ve come to believe that men would like to be a lot more creative than women give them room to be.

I mean, their whole lives they’ve been shooed away from pie crusts and wallpaper samples and cookie cutters and handed power saws and snow blowers and grocery lists. Did it ever occur to you they just might like to frost the cake?

I know there are award-winning male chefs and bakers all over the world, so I am not under any pretense that the kitchen is the woman’s domain. There have been plump chefs with mustaches stirring the sauce in France long before any of us came along.

There are, however, no male chefs in my kitchen.

The other day I set out to make 9 mini loaves of chocolate bread for the guys at hunting camp and he suddenly showed up in the kitchen as if he’d been called into a meeting.

He wanted to participate, and since his favorite memory was baking pies with his mother, he was no stranger to rolling pins and aprons.

But here’s what you need to know about a man who suddenly decides to get creative with you: Just smile and nod no matter what happens. Being curt and critical will force him right back to the football game and he might never come back to the kitchen again.

We began this lesson in domestic tranquility with him measuring the flour, and it turns out that what came most naturally to him was to dump whatever seemed like two cups of flour into a bowl.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Putting flour in the bowl,” he said.

“But this is baking. You can’t guess. You have to measure it.”

He shrugged his shoulders and went on to the next step which was to look for cocoa powder in the vast forest he imagined our kitchen to be.

That was great, because while he was lost in the woods, it gave me time to throw more flour into the bowl, knowing there was not two cups.

He measured the cocoa over the bowl, mostly spilling it as he aimed for the measuring cup.

“Honey,” I said, smiling brightly, “maybe you should measure the ingredients over the sink so if any of it spills it won’t go into the bowl unmeasured.”

The poor guy, right? He can’t even come into the kitchen to help make bread for his own officemates without his wife nitpicking him and controlling his maneuvers with the measuring spoons. I should have been wearing curlers and a robe and holding a frying pan.

And it occurred to me that he wasn’t there to help me, because the truth is, he really enjoys baking. And I wondered if given the right circumstances, he might be wearing a tall white hat and turning out crËme Brule and puff pastry in a little bakery in France somewhere.

He manned the mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, putting his heart and soul into mixing it, as I read the last instruction: “Do not overmix.”

He spilled the batter all over the sides of the pans as he was pouring it, and when he wasn’t looking, I cleaned them up with a damp napkin, and I smoothed the tops of the batter with a spatula so they’d be pretty when they were done.

And here was the real coo: When he set the timer, he turned off the oven instead, and neither of us knew.

I’m not sure how the bread turned out since we only made enough to give away, but no one has reported any illness or injury at the camp and I figure anything that has chocolate in it is bound to get eaten anyway.

And the truth is, I enjoyed the whole experience. It gave me an opportunity to set aside my perfectionist tendencies and let things slide. And I have renewed appreciation now for a man in an apron.

But truth be told, a husband in the kitchen is not the norm for most women I know, so maybe it’s high time we encourage them to come into the kitchen and discover, finally, their secret inner baker.

Just make sure you man the timer.

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