Last week it dawned on him that I hadn't cooked a single thing outside of Cheese Casadilla's (if you can call that cooking). And those weren't even for him.
Hey, you haven't cooked since I've been home. When are you going to cook something? He's been back from Germany for over a month and even before that I had kinda fallen off the cooking wagon. Big time.
I knew this was coming. I defended myself. I made chicken breast the day before you got back. We ate that for dinner. Then I started whining. Anyways. Nothing I make is ever as good as you do it. Why should I even bother? I glanced over at our tornado of a kitchen. In my head I'm also thinking, you seriously expect me to cook in that mess?
He demanded to be fed for 3 days. By me. When he insists on something there is usually no point in arguing especially when I know I've been slacking so the next night I picked up Subway on my way home from work. I just wasn't mentally prepared to cook yet. My culinary skills are limited. I can't just whip something up. I needed more time to wrap my head around the recipe searching, ingredient checking, grocery shopping rigamarole that is cooking.
I'm not the chef and we both know it. I WANT to enjoy cooking but unfortunately I have never found it to be enjoyable. I actually refused to eat some of his meals. It just didn't feel fair for me to eat his cooking when I didn't contribute at all. Is that weird? The guilt was getting to me but apparently not enough to propel my un Martha Stewart like self into the kitchen. After six weeks of the non cooking single life I was having some serious motivation issues. Neither one of us expects me to whip up dinner every night...or every other night...hell not even every week if I'm being realistic. It's just not going to happen, but I should do it sometimes so he can eat something he didn't have to cook every now and then. My husband had spoken and it was time to cook again. But not before having a discussion about the condition of the kitchen.
Dear husband. How can you expect me to cook when the kitchen has been in an ongoing state of chaos since you got back? On the occasions that I do cook, 9 times out of 10, I leave the kitchen clean. He could care less if there are crusty dishes piled in the sink for days, mystery blobs and wayward crumbs scattered across our beautiful granite counter tops but it drives me nuts. I made it my goal to shut it and not nag about it. I will allow the kitchen be his domain but I couldn't even think about cooking in there. Any passing thought about making dinner dies with one look at that dirty kitchen so we have an understanding. He hasn't promised to clean up after every time he cooks. I wish. But if I plan on cooking I have every right to tell him he had better clean up that kitchen or he can forget about it. At which time he is to dutifully clean the kitchen if he wants me to cook.
|Bean foam. Looks kinda weird but it goes away.|
And the thing is. It makes me feel really good to feed my husband. I enjoyed watching him sit down to eat a meal that I made. There is something about feeding people that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I felt like a good wife and when I feel like a good wife I feel better overall in my relationship and as a person. I like the end result of cooking; I just don't want to DO it and when I fall off the wagon it's really hard to get back on. It's kind of like going to the gym. The moral of the story is to get off my arse and cook. Even if it sucks at first I'll be glad that I did. Even so, I don't even want to think about what I'm making next.
If you want to cook fresh beans and eat said beans on the same day the best way to do it is to soak them overnight because it really is an 8 1/2 hour process. I got up Sunday morning, worked out and by the time I got back from the grocery store the beans didn't make it into the pot until 1pm. I ended up soaking the beans and cooking them along with the meat on Sunday so it would be ready to heat and eat for Monday.
CHILI WITH FRESH BEANS
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tbsp Chili Powder
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt or Seasoning salt to taste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water (optional)
16 oz bag of beans (black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans or any combination).
Rinse and drain beans. I used black beans and kidney beans. Pour into a large pot and soak beans in 3 x their volume in water for 6 hours. Drain beans and return to pan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and let simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Don't worry about the foam that forms on top. It will go away. I left most of the "bean juice" in the pan but it's up to you if you want to drain all or some of it and then add water depending upon how thick you want the chili.
Saute diced onions, bell peppers and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add meat, black pepper and seasoning salt to taste. Continue to cook until meat is browned and fully cooked.
Add meat, vegetables, crushed tomatoes, cumin, oregano and chili powder to the beans.
Let simmer for another 30 minutes.