How can I encourage DP to learn some cooking skills?

(29 Posts)
Jolleigh Tue 29-Oct-13 18:54:50

Not too sure if this is the best place for this...apologies if not.

DP cooks 1 evening a week to give me a night off (he gets a greater proportion of cleaning chores to make up for this) and frankly, he can't cook. Sounds horrible, but there's not another way of phrasing it. I don't mean to be mean blush

His 'creations' are always saucy one-pot type things, with a base of pureed tinned tomatoes which is flavoured with condiments. It always tastes exactly the same (kind of like mustard with a bit of tobasco). The meat could be anything but is always horrendously tough. The veg is whatever there is in the house. Today he's added cooked rice to the pot and an hour later, it's still on the hob.

He's very touchy about cooking so I want to gently steer rather than be critical. Does anyone have any tips on perhaps getting him to follow a recipe? I like my non-cooking night but I'd love it if I could look forward to the food too.

The only alternative he occasionally makes is kind of a chicken stuffed with cheese, served with double or sometimes triple carbs confused

TwoLeftSocks Tue 29-Oct-13 20:39:38

Does he have a favourite takeaway or style of food?

Would he be willing to follow a recipe in a cookbook?

Do you ever watch any cookery shows on the tv, and would he maybe try a recipe from one of them if you got the accompanying book?

Or would he even enjoy going on a cookery course?

SteamWisher Tue 29-Oct-13 20:43:14

When do you tell him his food is crap? If its when he cooks or just after he serves it, that's the wrong time.

Pick a time when you're not eating and he's not about to cook. Ask him how he finds cooking, and would he try some recipes as you'd prefer food like x/y/z. Give him one recipe to follow and ask if he'd make that next time.

Snowlike Tue 29-Oct-13 21:15:28

Dh has learnt to cook a few things but I struggle to keep my nose out. I so want him to cook for me occasionally, I bite my tongue. He tends to be better at breakfasts, actually he's fantastic at breakfast, imaginative and will follow recipes too....I'm thinking the lack of alcohol helps!

21mealspluscake Wed 30-Oct-13 08:20:46

My DP is another one that is brilliant at breakfast, thinking it might also be the time I am least likely to stick my nose in. Juice, coffee, smoothies, toast, eggs, occasionally porridge are all pretty simple and at the start of the day - weekends usually - I love just sitting about reading the paper while he gets on with it. And then he washes up, bliss! Maybe start him there Jolleigh to give him some confidence, then buy him Jamie's Ministry of Food or something similar for Christmas and go through it with him, picking out the things you'd both like to try.

Is he in the kitchen when you cook? Get him to help, just peeling veg and grating cheese, pouring the wine smile and having a chat. Nice for both of you

gallicgirl Wed 30-Oct-13 08:29:11

Do you have dc?

There's a great book called Cook With Daddy. Tasty recipes, very easy and there's even a video blog.

However it sounds more like your DP thinks there's nothing wrong with his cooking so not sure how you'll get around that.

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 08:38:01

TwoLeft - I bought him Gok Wan's book as he loves home made chinese food...it kind of backfired and more than anything now, he'll use cookbooks as a menu to let me know what he'd like to eat through the week shock

I don't think I'd get him on a cooking course unfortunately.

JennyPiccolo Wed 30-Oct-13 08:39:31

Jamie Oliver's 'ministry of food' book is really good. Starts with basic recipes and shows how to develop them into something more complex, for example, stew then how to make it into a pie or a hotspot or whatever.

I got it for dp a few years ago (though he could always cook a bit) and he's made LOADS of recipes from it. I think because there's a sort of 'evolution' of recipes you're not insulting him by getting him a beginner cookbook.

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 08:43:45

Steam - luckily I've only ever had to mention something while the food was in front of me once (it was inedible).

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 09:25:59

gallic - we have one on the way so will be a while before DP can cook with our DC grin

I have some prep to do to get rid of bad habits before then...such as leaving food out all night then eating it the next day, sometimes even feeding it to me. If I can get him to comprehend how dangerous this is before baby gets here, I'll consider it a win.

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 09:26:52

smow & 21meals - he's not bad at toasties actually so I can certainly try and expand his breakfast repertoire grin Thanks.

nbee84 Wed 30-Oct-13 09:38:30

My dh changed working hours this year and got home before me. I asked him to cook on those nights but quickly became fed up of 'freezer food' - chips, pies, birds eye chicken etc. The sort of thing I kept for standby quick dinners that we probably only ate once a fortnight. He did pasta one night - chicken, mushrooms, peppers and onions smile no sauce! sad

I introduced him to those 'cook in a bag' dinners. Lots of different flavour options and you put all the fresh ingredients in and pop it in the oven. You can't really go wrong and I look forward to my dinner when he cooks now grin Not quite as healthy as cooked from scratch but better than pie and chips.

SinisterSal Wed 30-Oct-13 09:50:12

If you decided to meal plan you would have an opening to say Ok it's Tuesday, so it's this meat, this veg. You would be able to get the conversation going about how to cook this particular meal. It could be as simple as using a jar of sauce with the instructions on the side. It would be a start into expanding his interest without having to hurt his feelings about what he has done up to now.

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 09:57:22

nbee - could you tell me more about cook in the bag dinners? I've honestly never heard of them blush

Snowlike Wed 30-Oct-13 10:06:36

When I'm ill it's a bloody nightmare. Salmon and mash with frozen peas and all of it was served cold. The mash was horrible, lumpy no butter or seasoning, I could say nothing. sad

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 10:45:55

ick. Nothing good about cold lumpy mash sad

ivykaty44 Wed 30-Oct-13 10:52:00

could you suggest that your eating the same things every week and thought it would be nice if once a week he chooses what you cook and you choose what he cooks - so effectively swap recipes.

That way you are both on the same level, both choosing a recipe for the other to make for dinner.

Then give him a simple easy recipe to cook and hope he gives you something good - but it must be something you have both not made before, that way he can't make up one of his weird tomato meat meals

SteamWisher Wed 30-Oct-13 12:06:26

Just tell him his food isn't nice. Just don't tell him just after he's spent ages cooking it!

Snowlike Wed 30-Oct-13 15:35:13

Dh also does an odd fusion thing with Chinese veg and Italian flavouring -it's awful....the man eats the best food cooked by other people - regularly eats out in London's best restaurants and I'm a perfectionist when I'm cooking, you'd think his palate would be well educated and guide him but no, he does have great taste in cheese, beer, music ......and woman of course!!! grin

nbee84 Wed 30-Oct-13 19:13:53

Jolleigh - we buy the Colmans ones, but there are other makes and I think supermarkets are starting to bring out there own branded ones out too.
You get an ovenproof bag with a tie closure. Into this you put fresh meat and veg, ie potatoes, carrots, green beans, peppers, onions - whatever you want really, we just use the list on the pack as suggestions though they are good to follow to start with. You then add the powder flavourings supplied (spices, herbs etc) and a measured amount of water, seal it up with the tie and bung in the oven. It's a complete meal as some have potatoes in and some have rice. My favourite is Rustic Chicken.

sharond101 Wed 30-Oct-13 21:54:08

I think you are lucky he agreed to cook for a night. My DP won't entertain it, he is definitely scared of the kitchen. How about an evening cookery class you could go to together, maybe as a Christmas gift (could hint to someone to buy you it so not directly from you??) I went to one this year which you had a demo then you cooked it then everyone sat down and ate. It was more like a night out than a cooking lesson.

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 22:55:42

Beggars belief doesn't it Snow! The amount of scrummy food DP and I eat, I'd have thought he'd know that a meal doesn't need potatoes and rice and bread. (And that after being together for quite some time, he can no longer just tell me that it's how the Portuguese people cook!)

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 22:57:41

nbee - those sound like the perfect solution. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for some. Thank you so much grin

Jolleigh Wed 30-Oct-13 22:58:43

I know I'm lucky sharond - I definitely want to have my cake and eat it wink

Snowlike Wed 30-Oct-13 23:05:43

Dh cooked more when we met but he's always been in the make it easy with processed food group and I've always been in the from scratch school of thought. I'm making an impact on the dcs - so one day soon, they'll do what dh doesn't. Mind you he works obscene hours so I'll let him off cooking duties for now.

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