Don’t be the Cook, be the Chef

Chef hats / daddy & son

You’ve got to do something around the house. Right?

It is not 1955, and if you were like me growing up, you were a latch-key kid who had to help his mother more often than not. We were raised by single mothers or grew up in families where our parents divorced. If your dad wasn’t around, I bet we have a few life experiences in common with one another.

Here’s an example from my childhood – I was mowing my mother’s lawn at the age of eleven or twelve. It was not good or bad, it was just a circumstance we had to deal with.

So, if you have to do something to help around the house, feed people.

Here’s the backstory on why I’m recommending this, and why you should go full tilt in the kitchen. We gutted our kitchen several years ago to remodel it. This involved taking down a wall between our kitchen and living room. The plan was to have one open living area to open up our 1950’s home so it would resemble something from the 21st century.

It took almost nine years of savings to accomplish this. That part sucked as the process literally ‘sucked’ money out of my savings account at an accelerated pace.

I was standing in the gutted kitchen one early morning, looking at everything that was gone and what our plans were. We were at the stage of choosing appliances and I wanted a Wolf range. A gorgeous one, a 36-incher, with a griddle in the middle to make pancakes and what not. It was going to be epic!

The Wolf range cost nearly five grand. “Yeah, right,” I thought to myself as I stood in our gutted kitchen in my bathrobe. But then I thought…. I’m the cook.

I turned around and looked at the wall where the range was going to be. That range would be my range. Then the fridge…. Who’s going to stock it? Me.

What about the countertops? Quartz costs a lot of money but – it would be in my kitchen. This was an ego trip of fantastic proportions! I was standing in MY gutted kitchen where I would cook.

More importantly, this is where I would teach my son how to cook.

I didn’t get the 36-inch wolf range. Sans the griddle plate, we got a 30-inch Miele instead, which is very nice, and I put aside my penny pinching to get a dream kitchen.

Now I rule the roost on the weekends when I cook for everyone, making tasty meals and my son gets a cooking lesson every time I do so. Then, I kick him out (and everyone else) when I get into the final throws of putting a meal together. I have access to lots of knives, pans, pots and spices. I often cook with wine, in the same manner how Julia Child cooks with it – one glass for the chef, one for the recipe. It’s a great way to get a buzz without getting an earful because… no one f*cks with the chef!

It beats cleaning, laundry and the other sh*t a homeowner and parent has to do.

When it comes to chores, you have to divide and conquer with your spouse. So my ‘dad advice’ – own the kitchen!

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The Power of the Mind: Exploring the Intersection of Psychology and Performance

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