Every Man Should Cook Dinner!

It started almost fifteen year ago now when I had two little kids for long stretches on my own. I had to cook food they would eat. I drew on the skills instilled in me as a teenager when my mom made each of us cook dinner one night a week.

I invented some of my own recipes (unhealthy but good) like cooking bacon and then cooking French toast right in the grease topping it off with cinnamon sugar. All before nursery school.

Over the years I have refined my cooking skills and still do a lot of shopping and cooking even after being remarried now for almost a decade.

Of course a good man doesn’t need to cook but here are ten things to consider as a man with a stove:

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

Comments

  1. Justin Cascio says:

    AMEN.

  2. Every woman should work!

    Does it sound condescending now?

    • No – why would it? Women (and men) should have jobs because 1) how can we meet as equals if there’s a fundamental socioeconomic imbalance?, and 2) we cannot afford to have half the intellectual talent wasted,

  3. I would also say that being self-sufficient is a mark of adulthood, which is what being a man is all about. I think it’s lame when a man can’t feed himself properly. I was glad to see a few references to cooking as something that’s good for you as an individual, though most of the list was still about how to please other people – wife, kids, date, etc. The only reason that a single man cooks is to get lucky? This is hardly an enlightening statement. (I’m surprised it didn’t say that the store is a great place to pick up chicks.)

    I can see how someone can see this as a condescending list, such as the point that shopping means you get to choose what you want to eat. I’m trying to see this not as condescension, but as one of those forms of zen in which there is profound wisdom in the totally obvious.

  4. The Bad Man says:

    No problem here, I love experimenting with food and trying new recipies. However, it seems like many women these days have never learned that skill.

    Definitely, every woman should get a job and cook dinner.

    • Every person should know how to cook and feed themselves and everyone should work. These skills teach resilience and self sufficiency.

  5. Every woman should cook dinner.

  6. I’m wondering – is this supposed to be provocative? Is cooking something men (in the US) do not do?

    To me it’s obvious that all members of a family should contribute, and that cooking for the family is an important contribution. Dinners is often one of a few regular joint situations for the whole family. What’s more, cooking is plain old fun, and cooking a great meal is great satisfaction.

    I don’t really agree that cooking is so much a service for others, something that will impress others. There seems to be an implication there that it’s extraordinary that men cook and thus a man should be applauded and admired for it. I cook because 1) it has to be done, and 2) I often enjoy it. In my family, I cook 9 days out of 10 – I’m the person who enjoy it more, and so have become the person better at it. I also do the meal plans, the grocery shopping, etc. I’m not sure it earn me more sex or admiration from the kids, but it makes for plenty of great meals for the family, and it allows me to do something material with my hands – something I my job has precious little of. The driver, to me, is the cooking itself, not some idea of a better sex life trough cooking.

    BTW – while I love experimenting and getting things right by tasting, I don’t agree with the “no recipes” idea. A recipe is a great starting point for experimentation, and I would never have picked up, say, Indian or Thai cooking without recipes to start from. Recipes is inspiration from others with experience – what could be better?

    • On point, Lars! Recipes are a GREAT starting point, especially if you’re dealing with a type of cuisine with which you’re unfamiliar. I’m not about to go making Indian food without some guidance. :) Once you get a recipe right or are familiar with the flavors of a certain region or type of food culture, you get to add your own twists. Cooking can really be a reward in itself. It’s quite an accomplishment when things turn out well…and when you have people to appreciate it, all the better!

    • I’m wondering – is this supposed to be provocative? Is cooking something men (in the US) do not do?
      We do but its weird go of it. Somehow men are regularly still picked on as being horrible cooks while at the same time people point to Food Network stars to try to prove that the rest of us who aren’t celebrity cooks are somehow given an okay on cooking.

      When it comes to cooking in the States a man is either Emeril Lagasse or a dangerous hazard that should be kept away from the kitchen at any costs lest your loved ones be in peril.

  7. Danny–there are men (and women) who are good cooks, and ones who are not so great. It takes research, patience, planning, practice…and, yes, some talent to become super good. If you’re not the best in the world, who cares, it can still be fun and rewarding. It’s a bonding experience when a couple has the time to do it together, although that’s often not the case nowadays. If a woman is super into cooking, I can understand wanting to keep a man out of the kitchen (this can go for men who are more into cooking as well). If you have everything planned out and see it as your ‘territory’ and your ‘accomplishment,’ it can be annoying when others try to tell you what to do or do things incorrectly. Then again, extra hands and different palates are never a bad thing.

    • Danny–there are men (and women) who are good cooks, and ones who are not so great. It takes research, patience, planning, practice…and, yes, some talent to become super good. If you’re not the best in the world, who cares, it can still be fun and rewarding.
      Yes there are people who are good cooks and ones that are terrible cooks but I’m sure you’ll agree (since you just said it) that its not cool to divide the good from the terrible by gender right? Yet and still most fictional male characters are made out to be such bad cooks.

      If a woman is super into cooking, I can understand wanting to keep a man out of the kitchen (this can go for men who are more into cooking as well). If you have everything planned out and see it as your ‘territory’ and your ‘accomplishment,’ it can be annoying when others try to tell you what to do or do things incorrectly. Then again, extra hands and different palates are never a bad thing.
      There is a difference between a woman declaring that the kitchen is her space and none shall enter when she is cooking and saying that her husband is a horrible cook because he’s a man.

      There are guys that don’t want their wives in the garage when working on cars because they claim it as their turf. Does this mean that its okay to stereotype women as terrible auto-mechanics?

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