Do you ever see the “easy meal” videos that float around Facebook? They’re pretty fantastic and always seem relatively simple, which led me to believe that I could easily whip up a Cheesy Chicken Mexican Lasagna. A few ingredients and a few simple steps and voila.
There is only one issue. I don’t cook. Ever. It’s not a strength of mine. I suck. I forget ingredients, I skip ahead on recipes and often overlook things. Now, let’s not completely discredit all of my kitchen skills. I can make a delicious turkey sandwich and a mean margarita, which, if we’re honest here, can get you much further in life than a bowl of spaghetti or, in this case, chicken lasagna.
However; after watching the video recipe, I decided I was going to give cooking another try and asked my husband to go to the store to grab my list of needed ingredients. He immediately gave me the look and said “you don’t need to be cooking. Let me do it. Cooking is not your thing.” I insisted! He quickly realized that I wasn’t giving in so he went to the store to grab what I needed. (I send him to the store because I never know what/where to find special things like Crema, so it makes sense that he goes.)
As soon as he arrived home, I tore open the grocery bags and began creating the chicken lasagna concoction. I was excited. I felt like a legit chef. I wore an apron and sprinkled in the salt with my fingers like fancy cooks do. My husband kept walking through the kitchen eyeing my work, giggling, and shaking his head. I just kept telling him – you better like it! Don’t hate it just because I made it and you didn’t! You better love it!
375 degrees and 25 minutes later, out came the gooiest and cheesiest lasagna I had ever seen. I eagerly called for my husband and then I cut a slice. It took a little more effort to cut than I anticipated; we both realized the noodles weren’t completely done, but we didn’t speak of it. I just kept saying – doesn’t this look so good? I can’t wait to eat it! It was evident that my husband wasn’t thrilled. In fact, he was pretty certain this lasagna was going to kill him. He takes his plate and then grabs hot sauce from the fridge and 5 or more seasonings in an effort to completely fix whatever crap he was sure I’d made. He took a few bites and then put his plate in the sink. I ate my entire piece and then a second piece. Sure, it was a little crunchy, but that wasn’t the point. As soon as he put his plate away and walked off without saying a single word about the meal, my blood started to boil. I desperately wanted him to like it. No, that’s a lie. I wanted him to love it; to swing from the rafters and tell everyone he knows that his wife is an exceptional cook and makes the best damn lasagna.
Needless to say, that didn’t happen and I was pissed. I pouted and I tried not to speak to him for the rest of the night. However, my husband wasn’t going to let that happen. A few hours later, he sat down next to me and began to tell me that he liked my lasagna, which was a lie, but was exactly what I needed to hear. He apologized for having a lackluster reaction and agreed that he should have been more tolerant of my meal-making attempt. I explained that sometimes the effort is more important than the outcome. I forgave him for his reaction and he forgave me for trying to poison him.
I realized that evening that I legitimately can’t cook. I don’t enjoy it and I’m not good it, but that’s okay. It doesn’t make me any less of a woman, mother, or wife. Sometimes we focus too much on our inadequacies rather than celebrating our strengths. We don’t have to do it all, be it all, conquer it all. Just accept who we are, move on, and continue kicking ass in the areas in which we excel. So, in our family, my husband makes the meals and I make the margaritas.
And I also do the dishes.