Walking into the arena, chosen weapon in hand, you feel the intensity in the air. Two enter. Only one remains standing once the smoke dissipates. But we all know, where there is smoke, there must be fire. So someone did something wrong. Although the battle has finished, the victor claims their prize. A successful meal executed, eaten, and enjoyed. The loser must bathe their hands in a tub of burnt flesh, lye, citrus, and defeat.
Cooking in a house with a stubborn at home cook and a bullheaded professional chef is no easy feat. Each meal is filled with epic battles, blood spilled, egos crushed, and a final thumbs up or down by the Caesar (not the salad, we wont be talking about salad here) of the evening’s festivities. The air is always filled with the war cries of the kitchen.
“Behind!” “Hot! Hot!” “Oh my goodness! Can you just give me the knife already?!” “Ooo, that’s a lot of blood. Are you okay?” “Merely a flesh wound my dear.” “I lost part of my finger, its fine. It’ll cook like bacon.” “Wasn’t made in a cold oven, now was it?” “Move, you’re doing it wrong.” “Ha! I told you that was too much red pepper!” “It’s sticky! Why is it still sticky??”
What? You thought this was a Lifetime Movie? Ha! In our house, it’s a battle until death. Well, by death I mean whoever gets pushed out first.
The husband and I don’t have many days in a month where we can cook a meal together. When we do finally get a chance to cook a meal together, things start off with a lot of indecisive jabs. “What do you want?” “I don’t know what do you want?” “It’s your turn to pick.” “No, I picked last night. It’s your turn!” And so on and so on. This stage of the battle, the opening war cries and declarations, the hypothetical line in the sand, is where one of us gains ground right out the gate. Whoever wins this clash has a strong foothold for the rest of the fight.
The meal now goes into a direction of dominance. The proverbial pissing match as they say. This is where territory is claimed. Who is chopping and who is observing, because honestly who wants to do all the prep work? Let us say Chef won the picking round, so I end up being sous chef (this is where kids come in handy… wink). Being the amateur between the two of us, sabotaging the chopping, dicing, julienning will strategically put me into a position where I can cleanly remove myself from this job. Point, Shannon.
We have now entered the pushout phase. What was supposed to be a dinner cooked together, turns into the professional ending up just doing everything. I start to cook one thing, turn around for a second and the husband swoops in and finishes it off. I begin reading part of a recipe and Chef (said sarcastically) has already jumped ahead three steps into the process. Now it is personal. It becomes a battle of hanging on to any way I can, to find a task to do or I might as well put my blades down and surrender. The professional side comes out, and the chef mentality kicks in. I can no longer communicate with him. He has laser focus. Helena of Troy couldn’t even distract this soldier at this point.
I’ve lost. Husband slays the beast, roasts it, serves it with all the accoutrements. I must bow out, admit my defeat. I sit as he adds the final touches, preparing the table on which the spoils of war will be feasted upon. He has done it. Victory goes to Chef Moises. But, in all actuality, who really wins? I got out of cooking, got to sit down, and enjoy a delicious meal, with my favorite person. Cooking together, or cooking around one another, we get to spend time with each other and have fun doing it. So if you have the chance, try starting your own battle royale, make it a habit. There’s never too many red pepper flakes in a relationship and you’ll both come out on the other side victorious (unless you serve raw chicken, don’t serve raw chicken) Fight on warriors!