Stuff My Husband Cooks

I think I’m going to have to rename my blog Stuff My Husband Cooks!

Fruit Salad with Lemon and Mint

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have a foodie for a husband?

Well, I recently realized that my husband has in effect disabled me in the kitchen! It is ridiculous how little I cook these days. I would like to take steps to change that…. Basically, I’ve lost my confidence because I want simple, simple, simple, easy, quick meals, and his style is always, “Well, we could add this, and we could whip that up in the food processor…”

The pic above is a beautiful fruit salad he made with the pears (that I thought were rotting),  apples, strawberries, and raspberries that we had on hand, plus lemon juice and fresh mint from his herb garden. We whipped this up when we had his parents and another couple, their good friends visiting from Iowa, over for breakfast last weekend. He also made scrambled eggs with fried onions on the side (which only the two of us ate on top of our eggs, along with hot sauce) and English muffins. His parents brought over bacon and I ate veggie breakfast sausage.

Below is the pasta he made tonight for dinner, Cacio e Pepe, which he had recently seen in the New York Times.

Cacio e Pepe

For this cheesy, peppery pasta, he used freshly grated Romano and Parmesan cheeses, fresh chives from his garden, frozen peas, and frozen edamame because he couldn’t find fava or lima beans at the market. On the side he made a salad of sliced kohlrabi with olive oil, fresh mustard, salt and pepper.

Oh! And I cannot forget to tell you about the pan bagnet!

It was such a production that I feel guilty that I did not document the process and devote a whole post to it. Apparently, he’s been wanting to make this sandwich for a couple of years and he was inspired by yet another recent New York Times food article. He made such a fuss about this sandwich for two days before he made it. He used leftover salmon that he had grilled when his parents were here. I wasn’t excited about it because I had just had the revelation that I do not want to eat fish again for a long, long time and now he wanted me to eat the leftovers.

 Pan Bagnat, a French picnic sandwich

He wrapped the sandwiches up in saran wrap and waxed poetic about how traditionally you would have someone like your children sit on them to press them. He took one to work and left one for me to eat while I was at home writing. He texted me to remind me to take it out of the fridge and let it get to room temp before I ate it.

And it was pretty awesome.

I enjoyed it with my espresso and a piece of chocolate afterwards and pretended I was at a cafe. All in all, I cannot complain about having a foodie for a husband. 😉

However, I’d like to someday be an adult myself, and cook for my family more…. We’ll see how that goes.

 

 

 

How Exercise Pulled Me Out of Another Season of Depression

It happened again.

I had another several weeks of depression. It always seems to come around a time when I had hoped to start blogging again. So I don’t, because it’s just going to be day after day of the same thing.

  • I’m extremely overwhelmed by everyday tasks.
  • I find basic housework dreadful and energy sapping. It is a gigantic weight on my shoulders.
  • It seems like clutter is piling and piling and it is severely oppressing me. (Though in reality it’s being managed – it isn’t growing.)
  • I cry every day.
  • My brain is in a continual fog and I cannot write.
  • I can’t imagine ever accomplishing anything creative and “meaningful” with my life.
  • I’m short tempered with my husband, my mother, and my toddler.
  • I cry more because I feel like a terrible mother. (And daughter; and wife…. And sister; and friend.)

But I’ve continued to exercise a few days a week despite this and I’ve learned that that is the most essential piece to my mental health.

At my lowest these past several weeks, exercise didn’t make me feel any better and just sapped my energy. But I did it anyway.

Most of the time though, it makes my entire day better.

  • I’ve started to feel those endorphins that my husband is always talking about.
  • I think it helps with the insomnia and with quieting my intrusive negative thoughts.
  • It makes me feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed about the chores and the clutter.
  • I am able to adopt that healing attitude that life is not a race.
  • I accept that my life is not currently designed around deadlines and social engagements.
  • It doesn’t matter if I finally get the Christmas decorations that are sitting in a pile in my office put away downstairs this week or next week – or here is a crazy though – ever.

It doesn’t matter.

Exercise makes me more confident. I feel more secure about the state of my home – take me as I am world! I feel more at home in my own body. I feel better about my creative ideas. I feel like there will be time to make my ideas come to life. My thoughts aren’t such a jumble that I feel hopeless that I will ever accomplish anything creative or fulfilling again.

Because of exercise I believe I can weather this storm and arrive again in another season of creating, growing, and improving my life.

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Oh, in case you are wondering, the reason I am even able to fit exercise into my life at all with winter weather and a toddler, is the new Gold’s Gym in town. Like the Stroller Fitness class I was invited to when Sebastian was 10 weeks old, and where I met my best friend in town, it has saved me.

I love the classes! I love the protein shakes! I love the childcare room!

I love meeting my good friend there and working hard together while our children play together. I love running into just about everyone I know there. I was never a big “gym” person until I tried this one. No joke, I thank the universe for bringing a Gold’s Gym to my small town.

Don’t Tell Me I’m Not a Feminist Because We Are Not There Yet

In a recent article Elizabeth Wurtzel begins by comparing 1% wives (the richest non-working women in America) with all stay-at-home moms. Apparently I can’t be a feminist unless I earn an income.

This was the response that I originally intended to post to as a comment to her article, but I decided to put it here instead:

Come on Liz, don’t conflate rich moms with nannies with ALL stay at home moms. I have an education and I want to have a career, and I worked before I had a child, but for personal reasons I’m just not cut out for a full time job while I’m trying to raise my little ones. And I wanted to have children.

I don’t think it’s my duty sacrifice my family or my desire to have a family just to go out in the world and have a career “for the betterment of all women.”

I don’t think it’s my duty to help Feminism, but I think it’s Feminism’s duty to help me. Stand up for my right to work AND have a family. Come on Feminism make it easier for women to have a career and a family and they will! Where are the policies for maternity leave, family leave, breastfeeding rooms, daycare, etc?!!!!! I don’t not have a career because I’m lazy. I do it because we are not “there” yet.

You are absolutely right that we still don’t earn as much as men for the same jobs and we do not occupy all the top positions. My husband gets to be more successful in his career and life simply because he has a wife. The reverse is not true for me. But I don’t want to fight that fight while my children are small. I choose to sacrifice my career – for now – because my husband and I make a good family unit.

I do not romanticize staying home. It is a sacrifice I make.

But I am still a feminist.

I plan to earn my own money someday because I want to experience that fulfillment of my full human potential. But whether I do or do not – I am still a feminist.

You chose to not get married and not have kids – perhaps you never wanted those things – but perhaps it’s because you knew you couldn’t do that AND have your career. Brava! You have solved nothing for women. A working feminist without a husband or kids – who completely ignores the issues surrounding working mothers – is not a feminist.

(Incidentally, my husband does all the cooking after coming home from his job as a physician, so I’m not sure I’m *completely* losing in this situation.)

In a response to the article on the blog Feministe, the author, Jill, at least separates the act of staying home from whether or not someone is a feminist (emphases are mine):

“…she tries to draw lines around who’s a “real feminist,” which is a pointless exercise, and she defines a “real feminist” as someone who earns a living and has money and a means of her own. Obviously there are plenty of “real feminists” who don’t earn a paycheck. Obviously there are plenty of people who, because of age or ability or socioeconomic status, are dependent on someone else and are still “real adults.” And obviously stay-at-home wives can be feminists, even if I cock an eyebrow to the claim that staying at home full time is a “feminist choice.”

But that aside, Wurtzel poked some things that needed to be poked – “I choose my choice” feminism first among them.

In any comment section on the internet where feminism comes up, someone will pipe up and cry, “But feminism is about CHOICE!” No. Feminism is not about choice – at least not insofar as it’s about saying “Any choice women make is a feminist one and so we can’t criticize or judge it.” Feminism isn’t about creating non-judgmental happy-rainbow enclaves where women can do whatever they want without criticism. Feminism is about achieving social, economic and political equality for all people, regardless of gender. It’s not about making every woman feel good about whatever she does, or treating women like delicate hot-house flowers who can’t be criticized.

And maybe Jill is right by criticizing “I choose my choice” feminists instead of all stay-at-home moms. And maybe you can argue that my “choice” to stay home wasn’t exactly feminist – at least that separates my action from whether or not I’m a feminist. But I’m not a “I choose my choice” feminist either, just because I don’t work. I don’t feel it’s really an equal choice. Again, for me it’s not a “choice” it’s a sacrifice.

Saying that “feminism is about achieving social, economic and political equality” – but saying that that should be achieved by all women going to work and men stepping up at home just isn’t effective. It’s shooting us all in the foot. What we need is policy that prevents women from being punished for working AND having children.

Show me the feminists who are working on those goals.