Anyone can cook, with butter.
My husband and I heard that offhand comment a few years ago at a fête — and a new (ironic) family motto was born.
Because, not anyone (such as, well, me) can cook, even with butter — an ingredient that my husband doesn’t fear.* En fait, because he enjoys faire la cuisine (and since I don’t know how), he does the cooking in our home, toujours — every day — an arrangement that works for us, and one that’s never changed.
(If he doesn’t feel like cooking, we order a pizza, eat leftovers, or go out.)
As you might imagine, some of
our his favorite recipes are found in cookbooks written by Julia Child.
If I were Julia Child
So, whenever he tries a new and complicated recipe (which is often) — if it calls for butter (which is quite often) — someone in our family might remark to him that, well, “anyone” can cook with it.
Then, he laughs…and concocts something délicieux.
I blame my inability to cook on my family growing up: my father did the cooking, so I thought that was normal. Evidemment, it was one of the qualities I looked for in a husband. That, and a sense of humor, patience, and optimism, among others.
But from what I’ve observed, cooking almost requires those three — at a minimum.
In my soon-to-be-available novel, the main character, Jenny, is a girl in college, and in one of my favorite scenes, her date cooks dinner for the two of them at his apartment. I’m not saying whether butter is involved, but wine is — c’est certain. But c’est la France, so c’est necessaire. The evening is a memorable one, but not because of the food. I won’t describe it further here, except in these words: guitar, bathroom, and (full) disclosure.
Jenny has her own list of qualities that the ideal man should possess, and I’m not sure they match my own. Let’s just say, she’s open to persuasion.
I don’t know what Julia would do. But – what will Jenny do? Il faut acheter le roman! (You have to buy the book!)