Guest Chick Public Safety Telecommunicator Toni

Even Chicklets get confused.

Baby Spice will be our guest chick in a couple of weeks. And the pictures I took of the chili (for which I make Abigail’s Awesome Guacamole) turned out blurry, so y’all will have to wait until I make it again. Which still may be this week, since it’s one of the kiddies most requested recipes. The writer’s conference was awesome and we both learned so much. But now…

Please welcome Toni, a chick usually not in her kitchen. She has the courageous job of working the night shift as a public-safety telecommunicator in a county 911 center where all of her hobbies are verboten. (Well, almost all of them… wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more!) Toni blogs semi-regularly about a few of her favorite things at Write, Knit, Read, Purrrrr. Other hobbies include singing, acting, sewing and flirting. And she’s great at all of them, but her husband gets the credit in the kitchen.


Hi, chicks, both in and out of the kitchen!

I was thrilled when my friend Abigail asked me to write a guest post for this new blog, because it meant I was finally famous. Right? After all, only people who are “known” are asked to write on someone else’s blog, because what would be the point otherwise, you know? So being asked to guest post must equal being a celebrity. At last!

Then I checked out this cool blog and my joy turned to confusion. I wracked my brain but could not remember even one time in the 13 years of mine and Abigail’s friendship that I might have given her the idea that I am an expert on cooking or kitchens or food. OK, so she has seen me eat more than once and she can’t have missed me gaining weight in the last 13 years, but being a fan of eating does not equal being a fan of cooking.

Not that I hate cooking. I don’t. I just don’t LOVE cooking. Or baking. Or candy-making.

My hubs, on the other hand, is a capital-C Cook. When we started dating 15 years ago, he told me (in a bit of an overstatement) that he was a chef. After a disaster with some rice noodles a few weeks later, he stopped making that assertion, but he didn’t stop playing with food to create original and usually delicious meals for the two of us. From scratch. No mixes for him.

The hubs can smell a spice or seasoning and magically intuit how it will taste when combined with other spices and ingredients. He is pretty fearless and he will eat the results, no matter what. (Well, almost. There have been a couple of rice-noodle-like dishes that have gone to the dogs, literally, but not many… and especially not in the last few years.)

He takes pride and pleasure in making dishes that make me go, “Mmmmm!” He loves it that he can take care of me so deliciously. He also takes delight in quizzing me. “What spices do you taste?” Um, good ones? “Does it taste better or worse than the last time I made it?” You mean when you made it two months ago? Um, better? “Do you think it would be better with more cumin next time?” Um, there’s cumin in it?

He’s a better cook than I am. Period. So I have ceded the kitchen to him, gratefully. I am relieved to be relieved of culinary duties. And I am thrilled to get the benefit of someone else’s talent and pleasure in that room.

Look, it’s not that I can’t cook. I can. I haven’t gotten to the age of mumble-mumble on fast food and charity meals alone. Not at all. There were years when I was the primary cook in my house, and there were few complaints and no catastrophic failures back then.

But cooking doesn’t ignite my passions. It doesn’t excite my senses. It doesn’t equal “fun” and “play” for me. When I cook, I make something “safe,” something tried and true. I stick to what I know will come out edible and tasty, because food is expensive and my time is valuable and I’m hungry, dammit! I refuse to waste money on food that I can’t eat. And I just will not eat some things, no matter how much time/money/energy went into their creation.

This means I make baked chicken, whipped potatoes, potato soup, chicken and rice (white or yellow), meatloaf, baked pork chops, crockpot roast (beef or pork), pancakes and Bisquick biscuits. I can also add milk, butter and water to various mixes to “make” nummy side dishes.

Surely, I thought, that’s not what you all want to read about and not what Abigail wants me to write.

Then it occurred to me that I cannot be the only chick who feels this way about cooking. I can’t be the only chick who is happy to think of the kitchen as the place with the refrigerator full of good stuff, the place I walk through on the way to the dining room, the place I wash the occasional dish.

I am lucky to have a hubby who equates cooking for his family (for me!) with taking care of us, with loving us. And I’m also lucky that his early claim of cooking expertise has panned out (pun intended) in real life.
And lest you think he got the short end of the domestic bargain, I’ll let you in on a little secret. When he and I decided to set up a home together, I told him to pick one room in the house that he wanted me to excel in, with the caveat that he should choose very carefully. Safe to say, he didn’t choose the kitchen… and he’s quite, um, satisfied with his final choice. ‘Nuff said.


17 thoughts on “Guest Chick Public Safety Telecommunicator Toni

  1. Toni, thanks for the guest post. Maybe next time I should ask the Hubs instead. *laugh* Or maybe I should ask him to cook for me. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Takin’ it to the… kitchen? « Write, Knit, Read, Purrrrr

  3. Would that I’d thought to make that bargain myself when I had the chance. Now I’m expected to excelt in all the rooms. Thank God hubby insists on doing his own laundry or I’d insist on a maid. (Believe it or not, the last fight with my first husband was over the fact that I had failed to fold and put away his laundry. If I’m not mistaken, my name isn’t Hazel.)

    I like your arrangement, Toni! I hope this leaves you more time for knitting! 🙂 Oh yeah, and writing too. We can see you excel in *that* department!

    • Thanks, Carla!

      I wish I could take credit for the idea behind our arrangement, but I actually usurped it from a racy book or movie a year or so before I met my now-husband. After a more “traditional” first marriage, with the resultant daily grind, I was ready for something different. And my mom always told me that, with children or animals or men, you shouldn’t start anything you don’t intend to keep up, so I put this proposition to my current husband as soon as we talked about setting up house together. After he realized I was serious, he went quiet. I held my breath while I watched him churn the implications of this bargain and was relieved when he smiled and said, “Deal.” (My silent response, “Thank goodness.”)

      It’s not the first time I’ve stolen an idea from a book or movie, but it was the first time it worked out for me… maybe because it was the first time I really meant it.

      Oh, and the hubs does his own laundry too. Did I mention that I’m a lucky woman??

    • Thanks, Jess. I don’t know if it’s an arrangement that can be imposed *after* the fact, but you could try. Think Lysistrata, perhaps, but with the aim of getting your man to bend to your domestic will? Let me know if you try it and how it works out. 😉

  4. Hi Toni,
    It’s really nice to meet you here. I identify with your post completely because my husband does 85% of the cooking at our house, too, and he passed the love-of-cooking gene to our son as well. He doesn’t make up recipes as your hubby does, but he’s always searching for new recipes and loves experimenting. Like you, I definitely can cook but I simply don’t enjoy it. The sad thing is, I don’t work outside the home and he very often comes from work and still makes the meal! I tell everyone I am a well-kept woman.

    Thanks for the fun insights!

    • Hi, Liz! Thanks for stopping by. I think the last time my husband cooked for me was in 2002. HA! I don’t mind, though, since he only has about three dishes that he can me. Hmmmm… but he used to cook when we were dating….

    • Hi, Liz. You are well-kept, indeed!

      And hoorah for the husband passing the cooking gene to your son. My 14yo son also enjoys cooking for himself, but he’s not very adventurous. Still, it’s a start and he may one day make his future wife a very well-kept woman, too.

  5. Heh… I too have a cooking husband. Which is not to say that I dislike cooking, but he likes it a lot more! So he does all the regular daily cooking. And I bake when I’m in the mood.

  6. Hi Toni! This was a perfect post and it made me realize I’m not the only one with a magnificent husband. Mine used to cook all the time, but now only does so when it’s on the grill or his fabulous cube steak with pearl onions. However, he does all the laundry, takes out the trash, does all the errand-running, works his butt off, and keeps a roof over my head. 🙂

    I think we’re all wonderfully blessed chicklets!


    • Thanks, Lis’Anne. I am so glad you and Abigail asked me to post, in large part because it made me examine and appreciate my domestic situation even more. And congrats on the magnificent husband!

  7. Pingback: Cupcake won the Cupcake Cook Book! « chicksinthekitchen

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