Friday, May 1, 2009

The Two-Hour Meal

There's a little joke between me and my husband that no matter what he's cooking, it takes at least two hours to cook it. Actually, it's my joke, and he doesn't think it's all that funny.

Ned is a leisurely cook, rinsing veggies, peeling garlic, putting an edge on his knife, all in good time. In the midst of slicing garlic, he might remember that he meant to do some laundry, so he leaves the garlic on the cutting board and runs off to the laundry room. After getting a load started, he might return to the cutting board, OR he might decide to put on some music -- that's another of his talents, providing a soundtrack for our lives, but it can take a surprising amount of time for him to pick out the right CD.

At some point he returns to the kitchen, picks up the knife, and recommences slicing. Eventually, amidst a hundred other distractions, it does all come together, dinner is served, and I am finally happy and well-fed... about two hours later. Almost without fail. (Tonight, we're already going on an hour and ten minutes at 7:55pm.)

On the other hand, when I cook it's all about getting the job done. Efficiency. Precision. Eating before 8:00 pm. I cook like I'm on a deadline. I often get an adrenaline rush. Don't get me wrong; I love to cook, but I didn't realize until now what a "task" I make of it, almost a race. Who am I racing against? (Ned just called out, "Dinner's in a few minutes." It's 8:05 pm.)

Can you guess which of us is healthier? Which one of us has sounder sleep and a saner relationship with food? Maybe I should stop joking about the two-hour meal and start paying attention. Maybe Ned could teach me to make meal preparation a peaceful pasttime rather than a sprint for the finish line. (Ahh, dinner is ready. It's 8:15. Tonight's time: 1 1/2 hours.)

No comments:

Post a Comment