Monday, April 6, 2015

Husband Tired Of Boring Menu, Wants More Spice In His Food

Dear Tazi:

My wife is not a bad cook, just an unimaginative one.  She uses the same 10 – 12 ingredients in everything she cooks, and the meals are always the same ones or some variation of her regular menu. For example, she will change up her macaroni and cheese by adding ham or bacon to it. The food tastes good, but I am getting tired of the repetition. When I suggest that we go out to eat, she insists that she can make something at home for less. This is true, but sometimes restaurant food is more fulfilling.

The worst part of my problem is that my wife collects cookbooks, subscribes to Rachel Ray recipes on our joint email account, and loves to watch cooking shows. She will comment on how good something looks and ask me if I would like her to make it sometime – to which I almost always respond with a hearty “YES!” – but then she never makes it. When I ask her when she is planning to make something she suggested, she always responds that she does not have the necessary ingredients, and needs to add them to her shopping list. Somehow, those ingredients never make it into the shopping cart, even when I put them on the grocery list.

I have tried everything I can think of to get my wife to mix up the menu, from offering to go shopping with her to offering to assist with dinner, but she always refuses. Lately, I have been stopping off at a local restaurant on my way home from work just to grab a bite of something new, but my wife has noticed that I am eating less dinner. I don’t want to hurt my wife’s feelings – I love her very much – but the repetition on the menu is getting to me. What’s a guy to do, Tazi?

Hungry Man

Dear Hungry Man:

I love Rachel Ray! She’s so perky, and ever so healthy looking from eating all her own delicious foods! Plus, her recipes are easy to make at home, so you don’t have to gather all sorts of exotic ingredients that you will never use again or have a degree in cooking from Johnson and Wales University! I cannot understand why your wife will offer to make some of Miss Rachel’s recipes and then not do it. Could it be that she is scared to try something new?

It is obvious that your wife would like to make you some of the dishes she sees on the cooking shows that she watches, and your enthusiasm and offers to help should give her the encouragement she needs to step outside of her comfort zone. Since this is not working, why not try to work on easing her out of the box in which she has encased herself?

A new season upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by trying something new? Many adult education and community learning programs offer cooking classes. These classes are offered at all levels, from novice to expert, and allow you to cook along with the master! Participants are part of a group, with each person working alone or as a part of a team, so nobody feels singled out, and if mistakes are made there are others who have made mistakes of their own – no hard feelings, only fun and a sense of adventure and accomplishment!

Since you wife enjoys watching cooking shows and reviewing new recipes, a cooking class might be just what she needs to launch her interest in new recipes from dream to reality. You could even take a class together, which would allow you both to explore new tastes while bonding as a couple. Before suggesting cooking classes to your wife, you might want to pick up an informational brochure on them – pictures and descriptions of a class can go far towards convincing a reluctant soul into signing up for them. If your wife says no to cooking classes, do not give up hope. You might decide to take one on your own, and show off what you learned, giving your wife a deserved break from the kitchen and showing her what she is missing by not joining you in class.

If, in the end, classes are not her style, you could try a very direct approach. Look for a recipe that you would like to try, show her a printout, and ask her directly if she could make it for dinner on a particular night. Tell her that the dish looks quite tasty, and with her cooking skills you know that it will be very satisfying.

At all times, work to build up your wife’s confidence, not tear it down…which means no more stopping off for a bite to eat before dinner.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.


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