For as long as I can remember, adult women have had this utopian, perfect fantasy of a man that can cook. In her mind he is hyper-masculine in the streets and/or the boardroom, but when he gets home, he magically finds the time, energy and skills to cook a marvelous meal for his wife and their doting family.
Man, it ain’t like that!
As a single father, I’m now contending with things I hardly ever had to – like the fine art of cooking. I’ve long visualized myself as that guy in the above paragraph, but I don’t know if it will ever happen. First of all, my days are divided between running a major Hip-Hop culture site – AllHipHop.com, along with my other smaller businesses. This means, I’ve got little time to ponder about how much paprika to sprinkle on the chicken. My iPhone is blaring, emails are pouring in, all while my social networks are crackling. So, in my attempt to cook, I have burnt everything you can imagine. I have even burnt water, leaving nothing but mineral deposits.
What to do? There’s the matter of my daughter and my health. I need an answer for that, because the $2 cheeseburger meal at the local fast food joint just don’t cut it anymore.
Quite simply, I experiment with my dinners and lunches. The gift of patience is still at a distance, so reading recipes or watching the food channel just won’t work. I – with the help of my 8-year-old assistant – keep it fun by experimenting.
On Twitter, I shared a dish called the Spagetini Taco. Basically, its equal parts Spaghetti and Taco! We started off eating regular wheat spaghetti with the ground turkey. Suddenly I burned one or two of the noodles and she didn’t want ANY of them. I couldn’t completely waste the food, but I had a demanding kid. With the tacos in view, I just flipped it and she was satisfied and had a sense of accomplishment. It may have not been the most healthy dinner, but the individual parts aren’t so bad.
I can’t lie.
My experimental ways in the kitchen don’t always work – even with the kid. She recently rejected my grilled chicken with A1, BBQ Sauce, paprika, barley and other stuff in exchange for microwaved chicken nuggets. And, I am not foolish enough to think that my cooking is going to fly with a grown woman. So, I still have some work to do, or find somebody that doesn’t care about that pretty Idris Elba lookin’ cooking’ dude that’s messing it up for us culinary deficient men.
So until then, the struggle continues. Would you like hot sauce on those eggs?
PS: And, to the Idris Elba lookin’ cookin’ dude – I am the absolute master of the grill cheese sandwich in all of its many incarnations. So, there.
Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur is a father, son and the co-founder of AllHipHop.com. He’s a cultural critic, pundit and trailblazer that has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), BET, TVOne, VH1, The E! Channel, MTV, The O’Reilly Factor, USA Today, The New York Times, New York’s Hot 97 FM and like a zillion other outlets.