family life

Mars and Venus in the kitchen

“ ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’ I really hate this expression. I bet fish would totally want bicycles.”  author Meg Cabot, “Princess on the Brink”

I can’t quite remember the British cartoonist’s name, but I am still smiling over a single-panel I saw a few years ago. “Mars and Venus mow the lawn,” were the only words beneath an illustration of a husband mowing one side of the lawn in tidy rows and his wife cutting the other half in random coils and curves, all while talking on a cell phone.

That is our marriage in a nutshell.

Perhaps never had that been so clear to me as this weekend, when my husband got up early to make a mega-batch of yogurt. He stood stirring the milk over low flame when I finally made it to the kitchen. “I love thermometers,” he enthused. I turned around to see what he was actually doing.

Yep, one of his many fancy thermometers (he even has infrared ones) was dipped in the milk. “It needs to stay at exactly 190 degrees for exactly five minutes,” he explained, going on to provide details about protein something and food-science journal something else.

I blinked sleepily and turned back to my granola. This was a new wrinkle, but nothing surprising. He has been in the quest to make the perfect yogurt for several years now. Once, when our oldest daughter briefly joined the cause in order to produce a science fair project, he even called Dannon, the global yogurt entity. Somehow, he got all the way through to a food chemist. They had a cheery chat about fermentation, live cultures and exactly what kind of bacteria Dannon uses in its Oikos Greek yogurt.

When it’s my turn in the kitchen, which, ironically enough, is most of the time, things get a bit more, well, random. I don’t measure. Sometimes I time, sometimes I don’t, which means that I sometimes burn. One wickedly cold winter, the entire family was convinced my listening to mambo while cooking was responsible for a heating up of spices across the board. You know. Shake, shake, shake.

Whatever. He has his way of doing things. The right way, he is probably thinking most days. I have my way. The get-on-with-it way, I know I often think. Somehow, between the two of us, it works.

Yep. Mars and Venus. It does take some work, but it tastes pretty sweet in the end.



3 thoughts on “Mars and Venus in the kitchen”

  1. That’s the way I mow the lawn…. swirls and circles! Thank goodness opposites attract.
    It keeps me balanced, though sometimes annoyed 🙂


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