Teaching Terry To Cook

Terry came to my most recent appointment with the midwives, and heard the nutrition advice they gave me. He's been doing much of the cooking lately, and I think hearing me get admonished to resume healthier eating habits made him feel a little guilty. He used to take the time to cook balanced meals, but lately he's reverted to just cooking a piece of meat, slapping it on a plate, and calling it dinner. It's better than eating frozen meals or junk food, but it's still lacking a variety of nutrients.

Last night, I taught Terry how to make a pan sauce. He had tried to make one before, from reading the instructions in a cookbook. But he complained that whenever he tried he just wound up making bad burnt-tasting stuff (point taken, I forgot about his previous attempts). So I taught him step by step, from what kind of pan to use, how to make the mise en place so it's all ready quickly after the pan is deglazed, etc., etc. I also taught him how to tell when chicken breasts are cooked by pressing them and judging by springiness. He thinks he'll be able to remember and cook it himself next time.

Tonight I taught him to make broccoli salad. I explained how the only really important measurements was for the dressing, and that everything else was discretionary. He lacked confidence, and made me help him determine how much cheese, bacon, and raisins to add. It might take a while to get him comfortable with just throwing together a meal, he's definitely more comfortable using recipes.

It's been so long since I preferred using recipes, it's hard for me to relate, it seems like such a nuisance when you can just wing it. But I suppose I did have to cook a number of recipes before I was able to abandon them, although I honestly don't remember how long that process took.

Anyway, I'm really pleased that Terry is willing to learn to cook. I don't like cooking very much myself, although I do it because I like to eat well. But when I don't have to be the one cooking all the meals, it's actually easier for me to enjoy it a bit on the days I do cook. And in order to not burn Terry out on cooking, I think I'll spend some time finding some easy recipes to build up his confidence.