Friday, March 30, 2012

Dinner woes

Feeding my husband is always an issue for me. I am a born and raised midwest farm girl. (You may all save your farmer's daughter jokes for another time OK?) That definition means a few things, meat and potato dinners, women in the kitchen while the men were out working in the field, women fixed plates of food for everyone and brought out. These are the things I grew up with, this is what is normal to me.

I am not saying that women did not do outside tasks or they were kept barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. But as a rule the women I knew ruled the kitchen and the men were at the table to be fed or play cards, never to help make the meal.

I think much of the dynamic comes from the farm environment. Instead of Dad putting on a suit and going to a 9 to 5 job, he worked in the fields and with the animals, all day. Instead of Mom putting on her 50's era pearls and high heels to be a housewife, she cooked meals, baked, bottle fed bum lambs and raised us kids. I am saying that both of them worked darn hard to provide for us, just in different ways.

My bother, sister and I  worked too. When we got home from school, we changed into our chore clothes and fed and watered the animals, all the animals. We hauled wood to heat the house too. I can remember moving off the farm and thinking what a cake walk town chores would be, washing dishes and taking out the garbage. What a breeze.

So now that I have completely meandered down memory lane I will return to my point. I feel responsible for making dinner. Awhile ago we tried a very restricted diet as part of a fasting program at our church, no meat, bread, dairy, preservatives, or additives. It was quite a stretch for us. Add to that the fact I normally felt guilty if I served a meal without meat, and by meat we're talking about the entree. The bigger slab or hunk I could find the better. So there is guilt point one a meal without meat means your wife does not love you enough.

Dustin is a hearty eater unless it falls into certain categories; seafood (all of it), nuts, dark meat poultry and eggs (mixed with things ok but by themselves no.) I simply do not make these things unless I know he has other plans. When he was in the military and had a duty day I would usually go wild and get at least two or three of these treats while he was gone. Usually I rented a total chic flick too. Might as well get my dose of estrogen too. Now I tend to do this when he works late or has a dinner meeting. Which brings us to guilt point two do I still need to cook for him when I have already eaten one of my banned foods?

Normally dinner time does not bother me but sometimes I feel guilt over things he may not even care about. So lets do a poll with all two of you that read this.

Do you cook for the people in your life or with the people in your life?
Does dinner ever make you feel guilty about what you're serving?
Does meat take center stage at dinner? Does it have other support roles or even a few nights off?

Well this turned into a darker post than I thought it would be. Feel free to tell all your farmer's daughter jokes now if you wish.


  1. I started out cooking for the people in my life, and now I cook with them. My hubby and I always ask each other what we'd like for dinner the next day 1) because we usually have to defrost something and 2) it means that we don't have to figure it all out when I get home the next night. I recently had to change my eating habits, but hubby was on board with me, because he wants me to be healthy, so we eat the same things, and I usually just eat less. If there was something he really didn't want to eat, then he would just have something else.

    And yes, we love meat, but if there's no meat, my hubby still knows I love him.

  2. I was raised with the rule that our house was not a restaurant, so if you didn't like dinner, you made your own food. While I cook at home (because the Husband hates it), I will cook food that both of us don't like. Not all the time, but sometimes I'll throw in shrimp for him (which I don't like) or make something that's more me that he'll just have to make do eating. When we were freshly married, I was nicer but at this point, he can deal.

    Meat is often center stage, but not always. We do a lot of vegetarian dishes or casseroles with only a little meat in it.

  3. I am in agreement with kisknit. Luckily, hubby and I like mostly the same things, and since I had to change my diet recently for health reasons, he's been 100% on board with me, which quells the small amount of guilt I might get from "denying" him the food he likes. He still cooks his own bacon if he wants it, though, and I order pizza when I want it (although, not much recently).

    And meat usually is the main part of our meal, but that's because we're carnivores. :)

  4. Thanks fellow carnivores. I may try some new vegetarian dishes again to find another new favorite. I guess I feel a little passive aggressive if I make something I know he will not eat. It would be different if we were a more numerous family but with the two of us the like it or lump it theory just looks a tad mean.
    Guess I am just working through some meal time issues even if they're all in my head. Thanks for the input.