Now I know what you're thinking...good for that Kristin, her husband has learned how to cook! I would be remiss to allow anyone to think that, for the fact is that when I met my husband he could run rings around me when it came to the culinary circle. As a matter of fact, there was a time in my twenties and better part of my thirties that if I had asked you to dinner, I would not have been offended if you showed up with carry out. I grew up with a mother who is a fantastic cook- it did not rub off. Unless there is such a thing as delayed rub off. When I made spaghetti back then, I had no idea what "al dente" meant and my sauce was a warmed can of tomato sauce. Let's be clear- I do not mean pasta sauce, I'm talking little red can of Contadina. I was pathetic and I am not ashamed to admit it. Little by little, however, over the last five years or so something extraordinary has happened. I am like Little Chef from Ratatouille, Anyone Can Cook. It started falling together when I began reading cookbooks. I noticed something akin to chemistry happening in my mind, but instead of Elemental Tables and metric measurements, it was lists of ingredients and ratios. The how and the why of foods was beginning to make sense to me. We did something daring last Thanksgiving. My husband and I decided to stay home and cook everything ourselves for our children. We casually planned and talked over the menu only a few days beforehand. It was a first in our marriage when we showed up together in the kitchen the next morning. The usual routine is one or the other- never both. We split up the dishes between the two of us, but I caught both of us looking over to see what and how the other was preparing. Comments and suggestions were made back and forth and were politely being met with an "um hmmmm..." Good grief, I had thought to myself, we've become each other's cooking back seat driver. How did this happen? When we sat down to the table that early evening, a valuable lesson had been learned by all. Shut up and let the other person cook. The meal was out of this world- every last dish. Since Thanksgiving, we've found ourselves in the kitchen together a few more times. These occasions have mainly been times when we have had friends and family over for big breakfasts, or brunch. We cook so much on these occasions that brunch is really the only way we can get it all on the table. The first hour or so leaves me concerned there may be bloodshed. We no longer try to mentor one another but we now fight to be in the same spot. There are three battlefields- the oven, the sink, and the stove top- in that order. And I have to preface something here. We have one of my father-in-law's first ever designed kitchens, and it is laid out beautifully. If we were attempting this feat in our old galley kitchen in Florida there would have been major injuries all around. We have no lack of space, we just seem to want to occupy the same space- or at least our food does. At the end of each and every day I find myself thinking over the culinary delights of the past sixteen hours. The foods prepared never fail to amaze me. We hardly ever eat out anymore. When we do, with very few exceptions, I find myself thinking of what could have been. So sad, I know, but our kitchen is turning out some truly divine food. If only I could turn out a truly divine kitchen clean up person I might never eat out again!