When Men Take Over the Kitchen


There is a lot of testosterone in my kitchen these days.

My adult son, Barrett, has come home for an extended visit and has taken on a new hobby. He cooks complex dishes from scratch. A couple of nights ago he made chicken tiki masala, which included hand grinding, grating, and crushing the various spices that make up curry.

Needless to say, it was the best tiki masala I have ever had.

That said, I have lost control of my kitchen. This morning I went in to make my simple, reliable WLS breakfast and there was Barrett, making his breakfast in *my* pan, using the burner I like to use. My husband, Mike, was at the kitchen sink washing mushrooms.

I said, “Hi guys! I am going to get in here and make *my* breakfast.” Mike laughed as he turned and put his frying pan on the stove.

“No room for me,” I thought!

I announced they were messing with my routine. Mike smiled and said, “I’ll share my eggs with you. I hope you like mushrooms and cheese.”

I thought, I like them fine but eating them is not my routine. Yet, I agreed to his proposal because I was too hungry to wait.

As I sit here typing, I can hear them in the kitchen talking loudly about dinner. What Barrett will make. What he will need to buy. Barrett is suggesting a stir fry with carrots and broccoli. But then I hear Mike say, “Farmers Market,” then “sausage,” then “fresh basil.” Then Barrett exclaims, “Oh! And tomatoes!” Mike replies, “Yes! Tomatoes, too!”

Who knows where this brainstorming will lead?

While all of this is annoying the heck out of me, it also brings me deep joy. The two men I love the most in the world are doing the job I used to do for them, planning and cooking meals. They’re all grown up. (Both of them, lol.) I’ve decided my new job is to be flexible and enjoy the ride.

And with regard to my food, after 17 years of WLS living I have come to accept that sometimes I will be able to eat what’s served, and sometimes I will have to choose an option other than what’s being served.

I notice I want to figure out a new routine so I can feel comfortable and get my dietary needs met. I also notice I have a great problem. I can figure how to take care of myself, while also appreciating the energy and excitement around Barrett’s visit and his new hobby.

Life is going to throw curve balls. My routines will be interrupted. I will fall down and get up.

And I am deeply grateful to have my family together for the first time since 2019.

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