All or nothing – when guys cook

Ange had a busy day yesterday. By about 6:00, I realised the responsibility of organising dinner had fallen to me. I knew what to do. I called our local Mexican joint and ordered burritos. There wasn’t enough time to prepare a noteworthy meal and there’s no middle ground for me in the kitchen, it’s all or nothing.

I’m a capable cook, especially when it comes to baking. I find baking relaxing and it reminds me of my Mum, who always had biscuits or a slice in the oven when I got home from school. My friends always used to make a fuss over Mum’s biscuits. Now they make a fuss over mine.

I indulge it. It’s the kind of kudos you don’t get when you improvise a simple dinner which I possibly could have done last night. There was a head of broccoli and some white rice in the fridge. I could have attempted fried rice. We also had some baby spinach and a can of tuna in the pantry. I could have made a crude salad… either would have been pretty unremarkable though which is why I resolved to order burritos.

I’m not alone. My friend Kate’s husband, Mark is also a ‘kudos cooker’. Last Sunday he was at his culinary best; a Jamie Oliver inspired spread comprising four different dishes served on chopping boards. His afternoons work in the kitchen received rave reviews. Photos were taken on mobile phones. He went to bed feeling 10 feet tall.

But what did he follow it up with on Monday night when Kate had to work back late in the office on short notice?.. McCain frozen pizza. Like I do so regularly, Mark had gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in the kitchen.

My Mum is more consistent. She has an innate ability to just whip something up, even when there seems to be nothing in the fridge. I can drop in unexpectedly for dinner, get a good feed and leave with enough leftovers to keep me going for the next 3 days. Fast food isn’t even an option.

Unfortunately Mum didn’t pass on the ‘whipping something up’ gene to me though. I can’t muster the motivation to make a sandwich unless I have proscuitto and capers. I lack the drive to improvise a salad without goats cheese and pepitas. I’ll happily eat pan fried chicken and steamed veggies for dinner if someone else prepares it but if I do, it feels like admitting defeat.

It’s a terrible affliction really but at least you know, now, what you’re getting for dinner if you come to my house on short notice. Burritos.

Do you know a bloke who is ‘all or nothing’ in the kitchen? What dishes does he alternate between? Leave a comment below…

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