Newlywed Cooking

Three months into our marriage and i’ve cooked some and botched some.

I’ve met a lot of my wife pegs that leave the cooking to other, more able hands. I think that is a very wise stance especially if the kitchen is not a strength area. Neither is it mine, but for now, I would really love to give it all that I can if only for the journey - I find the methodology interesting and the ingredients fascinating, like guys you go out with on first dates or audiences you sing to for the first time. They all have different reaction times and manifestations. Ang pagkain nga naman ay parang tao - lahat tayo, may iba’t ibang timpla. Sa pagluluto pala galing yun, at ngayon ko lang siya lubusang naintindihan, haha.

I dare say that girls who grew up with a love of and natural flair for cooking are at a comfortable advantage when they get married. In the myriad of things one has to adjust to in marriage, at least the kitchen would be one less area to be concerned about. But for the inexperienced ones like me, it can be a source of great frustration (especially for extremely picky husbands), or on the flipside, it can be an adventure and an altogether different relationship one can hone and nurture.

My husband Joey is very picky. Our recent Europe trip has opened my eyes to just how discerning his palate is. It’s quite funny how it seems that I was the one who made him realise this character trait - all along he probably thought he is okay to eat whatever, hahaha. I am reminded of what my financial planner Rienzie Biolena said: that there are certain qualities husbands and wives bring out in each other that don’t come out with other people. More of this fascinating phenomenon in another entry; for now, let me entertain you with our #bikerxbossa food anecdotes.

I should have kept a list of all the dishes i’ve tried to cook, and documented everything complete with pictures and descriptions of Joey’s face as he tried them, but I have none for now. I shall do my very best though, to recount as accurately as i can.

When we were still boyfriend/girlfriend, I made chili con carne and curried egg salad. I excitedly brought some to him for dinner, and waited patiently in his house for him to come home from work. When he finally arrived, he said they’ve already had dinner, and completely ignored the two dishes I’ve prepared. He saw store-bought cookies in the counter and had some of that instead. I remember feeling so frustrated and irritated. I didn’t cook for a long time after that.

Lesson number one: It’s all about timing. Make sure that when you make food for the husband, his stomach is empty so then he would have no other choice but to sample your cooking. :D :D :D

Another time I made salad complete with a Mediterranean-inspired dressing. (Since I lost the magazine cutout recipe I forgot what it’s called hahaha but it was good!!!). When then boyfriend came to our house for dinner, he said he was so tired from the traffic. I brought the salad up to our den for us to enjoy while we watched our favorite series. He took one look at the salad, tried the tortilla strips on top, commented “Uy, masarap ‘to a!”, ate all said tortilla strips and ignored the actual salad. Huhu.

Lesson number two: Presentation is everything. And Joey likes crispy things.

In one of our Tagaytay trips, my best friend Marj made a summer salad. I remember it was so delish that it was the very first salad I made for Joey after the wedding. Apples, oranges, cheese, wansoy, sweet corn, and greens. He didn’t mirror my excitement, sadly.

Lesson number three: Joey likes his food simple and minimal, yet flavorful.

But he did love the pizza bread I made with that salad. He did say that the beef taco salad I made one time was good, save for the wimpy iceberg lettuce. (Golly, I had so much fun watching the beef get cooked.) And he did drink all the banana berry smoothies I made some mornings for him. One time he mentioned that he got to try a really good oat banana smoothie from some restaurant, and I went on trying different recipes of it; I’ve yet to come up with a formula that would gain his approval.

Ah, the smoothies. There was a time that Joey wanted to have smoothies for breakfast. (Not sure if this applies to now, I have to check with him.) And he loves chocolate, absolutely and ecstatically. The darker, the better. So I saw a recipe for choco banana peanut butter smoothie, decided to try it one morning, substituted nutella for peanut butter because we were apparently out of the latter, stuck to the recipe, tasted it and found it too chocolatey, but then thought, well, he loves chocolate, so maybe he would like this. So Joey comes home from bike training, takes a sip from the smoothie, says, “Nasobrahan ng tsokolate.”, sets the glass down and promptly forgets about it. Hahaha

Lesson number four: If it tastes too much for you, it probably does for other people as well. (Hello??!) And there is such a thing as too much chocolate even for the chocolatiest person.

But of all our bikerxbossa food anecdotes, this next one tops the cake.

I made another batch of curried egg salad sandwich, but of a different recipe. (Obviously, there is something about me and egg salad recipes that I gravitate towards making them hahaha!) So one morning, I prepare it for Joe, lay the sandwich next to the bed so he would eat it while he gets ready for work. He said, “Masarap siya.”, and eats half the sandwich.

I text him at work. “Di mo naubos yung sandwich. Di mo ata nagustuhan. :(

His reply: “Bubs, masarap siya. But i only eat eggs sunny side up, scrambled, or poached. I don’t eat egg in sandwiches. Sorry i didn’t tell you.”  

Panalo, di ba? Hanggang ngayon, tawang tawa ako pag naalala ko ‘to. Hahaha!! :D :D :D

Lesson number five: Know your husband’s eating limits and preferences before deciding what to cook.

At least now I know that he would eat only either tuna or chicken for sandwiches. With preference for tuna. :)

Looking forward to more stories as we progress in our married life and as I get to know my way around the kitchen more, haha. To my fellow non-cooking new wives, we must take everything with a grain of salt and to try not to be overly sensitive. And to cook as much for ourselves as for our husbands.

Ah, our future kids. I just might desensitize their palates.

I’m kidding, Joe. :D