Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AGREE TO DISAGREE (05/04/17)
- TITLE: The Master's Way
By Francy Judge
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Warm bubbles fill the tall glass I hold under the faucet and rise over the top, pouring sudsy water over my hands. Today’s scent is orange zest. I meditate on the spiritual meaning of water until my husband stomps in and flicks on the oven.
I’m extremely grateful to have a husband who is willing to cook. Since we both work full-time, and I got tired of doing the majority of cleaning and cooking for our family of seven, I passed my chef hat to Gene. He preferred that hat to the dirty dish washing hat or any other hat that involved cleaning. So I keep reminding myself of this when I feel the urge to control the cook.
I knew there might be a problem with Gene cooking; he wanted to cook his way, not MY way.
At first, he asked how I cooked certain foods. I proudly taught my husband the best way to make turkey meatballs with less fat and cook pasta to the right consistency. I showed him my tricks to prepare low fat meals with less salt that the kids liked. And he listened…at first. The scent of fresh tomato sauce and baked turkey balls filled our kitchen, just as I wanted.
Then Gene discovered his favorite cooking channels. He learned what he calls “the way of the master chefs.” My way soon became the wrong way.
I tried to remind him of the first lessons I gave, but he retorted with the chef’s instructions. “This is how the masters cook.” As Gene sliced a thick tablespoon of butter and slid it into the rice, I watched, horrified at the extra fat grams. As he shook the container of salt over the pot without even measuring, I cringed at the thought of my ankles, soon to be swollen.
So I tried another approach. Blame the kids.
“Maybe you shouldn’t use so much butter and salt because it’s not healthy for the kids. They could develop clogged arteries.”
But my darling husband is the son of a lawyer and is much better at defending his case and winning arguments.
“Look at our kids. They are active, thin, and healthy. They don’t need to diet. Maybe you should relax and let me cook. I’m following the masters.”
If I hear him refer to the master chefs again, I might throw the spaghetti.
Sometimes I reflect on the verse: “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19. Sometimes I forget the verse and prefer to argue to no avail other than getting frustrated instead of appreciative of Gene’s help.
I could disagree with Gene’s cooking methods: “That’s the pot that’s hard to clean; you don’t need to use every dish we own to make a meal; wash the chicken; wash your hands; stir the ravioli. Use the light mayonnaise.” But arguing would be more exhausting than cooking the meal myself, so I try to stay out of the kitchen and let him do his thing…the Master’s way.”
And when Gene needs a break from cooking, I don’t mind taking over. I keep the butter in the fridge, the salt in the cabinet, and scoop out the light mayo if needed. Gene doesn’t say a word. He’s also better at holding his tongue.
I'm learning to keep my hands in the soap suds and ignore my obsessions and urge to control my husband’s cooking around me…and keep the peace. I can let Gene cook the master’s way by following my Master’s way. I’m determined to seek peace and pursue it. But when I shop I just might forget to buy the butter, the beef, and regular mayo.
And when the kids say my meatballs are the best, I smile at Gene…because they prove I’m right.
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